Are you a creative person stuck in an unhappy relationship? Or an extrovert who gets along well with your partner? Your preferred sleeping position may reveal the answers to these questions, and other secrets about your personality and relationship.
In a survey, 1,000 people reported their preferred sleeping positions, and also gave information about their personalities and relationship quality. It turned out that the farther apart people in relationships slept from their partners, the worse they rated their relationships.
A full 94 percent of couples who touched each other while sleeping said they were happy in their relationships, whereas 68 percent of couples who didn't touch each other during sleep rated their relationships as happy. The research also found that extroverts tended to sleep closer to their partners, and creative people usually slept on their left side.
"I think it just underlines the point that the night is not downtime," said study researcher Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in England. Instead, this missing third of our life provides important clues about our waking lives."
"This work suggests that if you have noticed that you are drifting apart from your partner during the night, you might want to take a look at the quality of your relationship," Wiseman told Live Science.
Wiseman also found that 42 percent of the couples in the survey slept back-to-back, 31 percent slept facing in the same direction and 4 percent slept facing each other. Moreover, 12 percent of the couples slept less than an inch apart, and just 2 percent slept more than 30 inches apart.
The experiment's findings about the link between sleeping positions and relationship quality may change researchers' perception of what really happens in people's consciousness when they sleep, Wiseman said.
"It is great that scientists are starting to explore the night, and realizing that we are just in a different form of consciousness, rather than it being a time when nothing much happens," he said.
Wiseman is discussing the survey's findings today (April 17) at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in Scotland. The results have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.