Sleep Habits: To Cuddle or Not to Cuddle?

For many couples, bedtime is finally the time when they can get together, regroup and reconnect intimately with each other. Lots of couples love a little snuggle time at night, and researchers in Scotland are learning all that spooning may have an impact on the quality of the relationship. In a survey of 1,000 participants for the Edinburgh International Science Festival, researchers found that couples who slept less than 1 inch apart were more likely to be content with their relationships. In fact, 86 percent of those couples – who comprised 12 percent of the respondents -- reported being happy, while just 66 percent of participants who slept 30 inches apart or more reported being happy in their relationships. Physical touch during the night had an impact as well. While 94 percent of couples who did so reported a happy relationship, 68 percent of couples who kept their distance said the same.

Researchers studied the sleep positions of the couples who liked to get – and stay – a little closer, and they found that 42 percent lay back to back; 31 faced the same direction (in a spooning position); and 4 percent faced one another. Those who lay back to back or spooned reported the highest degrees of happiness in their relationships. Probably because the 4 percent facing one another were tired of breathing in the other partner's dragon breath. Researchers took sleep positions as a direct result of the relationship's progression. The lead researcher said, "The key issue is if you have a couple who used to sleep close together but are now drifting further apart in bed, then that could symptomatic of them growing apart when they are awake."