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Press releases


6th Oct 2006

A new sleep behaviour study has exposed truths about Brits' relationships... and it's all down to how we SLEEP. The research has identified the most popular sleeping positions for British couples and what it says about the state of their relationship.

Relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet has teamed up with hotel giants Travelodge for the sleep behaviour study.

The study revealed the most common sleeping position for British lovers is the "Liberty" which is a back to back, but not touching position at 27%.

Corinne has identified the most popular positions couples sleep in and how it can speak volumes about the quality of their relationship.

The most common sleeping positions include:

Back to back but not touching (27%)

This couple feel connected whilst independent enough to sleep separately. They are use to each other and accept each other's sleeping habits

Back to back but touching (23%)

This couple are comfortable, intimate and relaxed with each other. A popular position in a new relationship

Spoons - Male
Spoons with the female on the inside (20%)

A traditional position in which the male takes the lead and protects his partner, even while she sleeps

Spoons - Female
Spoons with the female on the outside (8%)

In this position the female takes the lead and protects her man while he is sleeping.

Lovers Knot
Face to face, legs intertwined for ten minutes then couple separate to sleep (10%)

This position demonstrates a loving independence, it's a sign of intimacy, love and sexual activity - even though the couple separate and sleep apart

The Romantic
Woman lying with head and arm on man's chest (4%)

This is the popular Hollywood movie bed scene position. An intimate pose much favoured in a new relationship or after love making. It represents new/rekindled love

Pillow talk
Face to face but not touching (3%)

This position represents an intimate need for one-to-one contact and conversation in bed

The Lovers
Face to face with legs intertwined all night (2%)

This is love's young dream position where you cannot bear to be separated as each moment together counts. A position for the born romantics

Woman lying in star fish position with man hanging off the bed (2%)

The woman rules the bed in this position, she likes her space and the man takes a secondary role and lets her take it

Man lying in star fish position with woman hanging off the bed (1%)

In this position the male is king of the bed, he likes to have his way and the female is happy to oblige

Relationship Psychologist, Corinne Sweet, said: "Couples fall into habitual ways of sleeping together that suits their personalities and personal preferences. These are negotiated at the outset, so if something changes in how they sleep together, this can reflect a change in their relationship and cause concern for the other partner.

"There are habitual tell-tale signs to look out for, which can change if either partner is stressed, unwell or feeling upset. Sleeping positions tend to be habits established in childhood, and tend, also, to reflect our individual personalities. When we form love relationships, we have to work out how to sleep comfortably with another person.

Inevitably, once the first flush of lust wears off, with couples naked and entwined, it is more likely that the need for a good night's sleep predominates, so sleeping back to back becomes a favourable position in bed."

The survey also revealed 22% of Brits adapt their sleep position depending on the person they are with.

Forty two per cent of respondents said if they have had a row with their partner, they change their sleeping position. More than three quarters of couples said they lie back to back and as far apart as possible after they have had an argument.

Corinne Sweet commented: "Individual psychological states also affect how we sleep and the positions we sleep in, so if we are stressed we may be irritable, and not want to snuggle up with our partner. Arguments often lead to sleeping wide apart, as people feel loathe to touch. Women's temperatures rise with menstruation, so they may want to sleep less entwined during their 'time of the month'."

To dispel the myth that you should never go to bed on an argument, the study identified that one in twenty couples wake up in the night to start rowing. A more traditional 40 per cent wake up in the night to indulge in some nookie.

More than a third of couples frequently sleep in separate bedrooms according to the research. Snoring was named the main culprit for sleeping apart, followed by rowing and just needing a good nights sleep.

An over whelming 92% of couples stick to the same side of their beds every night with only a bedhopping eight per cent who like to alternate. More women at 51% hog the duvet whilst 61% men hog the majority of the bed.

Size does not matter in the bed room with 60% Brits opting for a double bed whilst only 35% go for a king size bed.

Worrying about money at 55% is the main concern to stop most adults getting a good night sleep followed by family at 44%, work at 36% and relationships at 27%.

The survey also revealed that more than half of people questioned said they felt their sex life was better if they 'cuddled-up' more during the night. More men at 67% responded that their sex life was better if they cuddled up more during the night. 34% of men said that it annoyed them if their partner did not cuddle them in bed in comparison to 26% women.

For most couples, their time chatting in bed is the most time they have to talk with each other on a daily basis and that talk can be crucially important to their relationship.

19% of women opt for cute and comfy pyjamas rather than sexy lingerie. Although 37% of British men and women choose to sleep completely in the buff.

Fifty four per cent of adults can tell if their partner is cheating on them, by the way they sleep. Women at 60% are more vigilant under the duvet and can detect if their other half is playing away, by his bedroom antics. Over 3% of men have made the cardinal sin and called their wife or girlfriend the wrong name in bed.


For further information, please contact:

Shakila Ahmed, PR Manager
Direct Line: 01844 35 8638
Mobile: 07802 702 499

Notes to Editor:

individual images are available

Research conducted by 72 point in September 2006 with over 2000 adults

As the first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge currently has approximately 279 hotels across the UK in city centres, near attractions and airports. Rooms start from 26 and can be booked online at

Top sleeping positions per city:

Aberdeen - 29% Spoons - female on the inside
Belfast - 41% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Birmingham - 29% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Bradford - 50% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Bristol - 31% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Cambridge - 40% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Cardiff - 32% Spoons - female on the inside
Coventry - 43% Back to Back not touching (Liberty)
Edinburgh - 24% Spoons female on the inside
Glasgow - 27% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Leeds - 33% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Leicester - 36% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Liverpool - 33% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
London - 27% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Manchester - 34% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Newcastle - 35% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Norwich - 67% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Nottingham - 27% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Plymouth - 29% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Sheffield - 42% Spoons - female on the outside
Southampton - 29% Back to back not touching (Liberty)
Sunderland - 40% Back to back touching (Cherish)
Swansea - 26% Back to back touching (Cherish)

Popular Travelodge Destinations