Why Science Says You Should Cuddle More

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
By Rachel Grumman Bender
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When you fall asleep in bed with your partner, are you a mass of intertwined arms and legs, or do you sleep so far apart you might as well be in different beds?
Apparently, how close you and your partner sleep together in bed says quite a bit about your relationship — as well as your personality.
Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at England's University of Hertfordshire, asked over 1,000 people to describe their preferred sleeping position, as well as rate their personality and the quality of their relationship. The survey uncovered that the most popular sleep position (42% of couples) was sleeping back-to-back, followed by 31% who face the same direction when they sleep. A mere 4% snooze while facing one another.
The research also revealed that 12% of couples spend the night in bed less than an inch apart (aw!), compared to 2% of partners who sleep more than 30 inches apart — that's over two feet. The survey also found that extroverts in particular were more likely to slumber close to their partners.
When Wiseman compared sleeping positions to relationship satisfaction in the couples he surveyed, he found that — no surprise — physical closeness in bed corresponded to feelings of emotional closeness in the relationship.
“One of the most important differences involved touching, with 94% of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship, compared to 68% of those that didn't touch,” he said in a statement.
What’s more, 86% of couples who slumbered less than an inch apart from each other reported being happy with their relationship, compared to 66% of those who spent the night more than two feet apart.
Of course, this doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed if you and your partner prefer to spread out and have your own space in bed. But, a little cuddling now and then — or at least, scooting an inch or two closer in bed — never hurt anybody, right?
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