Common Dream Symbols And What People Believe They Mean

For decades, there’s been debate in the scientific community regarding the meaning of dreams. Sigmund Freud thought there was a specific meaning behind each dream symbol, while other scientists, such as Tore Nielsen, argue that it’s more complicated than that. Whether you believe dreams are meaningless or that they are the window to your inner self, it can be fascinating to dive into centuries-old interpretations. From dreams about flying to teeth falling out, read on for fascinating symbols and their believed meanings.

Water Is Thought To Reveal Emotions

Sleep disorder expert Meir Kryger explained to CNET that many believe water is a symbol for emotions in dreams. Some of the more common associations are muddy water and sadness, or clear water representing clarity.

water
a2eorigins/Unsplash
a2eorigins/Unsplash

Perhaps an even more straightforward interpretation is that the nature of the water indicates how you feel. In this sense, raging waves would allude to feelings of being overwhelmed. On the contrary, still water might symbolize feelings of peace and tranquility. Professional dream analyst Lauri Quinn Loewenberg told CNET, “all that truly matters is what fits for the dreamer.”

Death Can Represent The End Of Something

Dreaming about death may seem frightening or uncomfortable at first, but many interpretations shed a positive light on these types of dreams. Loewenberg says that death can symbolize the end of something, such as a chapter in your life.

Carolyna Booth/Pixabay
Carolyna Booth/Pixabay

In that sense, dreaming about your own death may not be a scary premonition, but rather an indicator that something in you has metaphorically died. This may be prompted by dropping a habit or changing a career. Someone else’s death may represent the end of their presence in your life, such as a former partner or friend.

Fire Can Represent Anger, Passion, And More

Loewenberg states that fire often represents anger or distress to her clients. Being that fire has the power to destroy, this would make sense to many. On the flip side, Dream Moods A-Z Dream Dictionary has a more broad definition of the dream symbol.

fire
alken/Unsplash
alken/Unsplash

According to the website, fire can take on a more positive meaning, representing passion, purification, or even enlightenment. It can also be a metaphor for a “fiery” person or a warning that you are “playing with fire.” They remind the reader that it all depends on the context of the dream.

Light Or Darkness May Indicate A Phase You’re In

Light and darkness are such vague concepts that they can be vastly different for every dreamer. However, if your dream is so bright or dark that it stands out to you, some believe it may be a symbol. Loewenberg explains that dark places in dreams may be a metaphor for sadness or loneliness.

darkness
fabiosbruun/Unsplash
fabiosbruun/Unsplash

She adds that a different interpretation is that you are “in the dark” about something and need more information. Thus, seeing light or daytime in a dream when you typically dream of the night may indicate that you’ve emerged from a “dark place.”

Wind May Represent Change

Another element many have interpreted in dreams is wind. In general, wind is thought to represent change. Thus, the dreamer is believed to either be in the midst of change or anticipating change that will soon come. The intensity of the wind is paramount in dream interpretations.

wind
tobistj/Unsplash
tobistj/Unsplash

A light breeze can denote feelings of ease or may indicate that the dreamer interprets the change as minor. A harsh wind that is uprooting everything around you may symbolize feelings of losing control. Furthermore, walking against the wind may represent your strength in the face of adversity.

Falling Can Be An Indication Of Insecurity

Falling is such a common dream symbol that Loewenberg describes it as an archetype, or a “pattern of the psyche.” For many, the experience is a metaphor for feelings of insecurity. Dream Moods describes it as “losing your foothold,” and thus being without control.

Alexas-Fotos/Pixabay
Derek Owens/Unsplash

This interpretation would explain why so many of us have had a falling dream, as we all feel our limitations at some point or another. Dream Moods also notes that falling can represent failure or feelings of inferiority, since you can no ability to catch yourself or otherwise prevent a hard landing.

Flying May Represent Freedom Or Escape

Another dream archetype, that is essentially the opposite of falling, is flying. Where falling is thought to symbolize a lack of control, flying can carry the opposite meaning, representing freedom and an inflated sense of self.

Xinhua/Meng Dingbo via Getty Images
Xinhua/Meng Dingbo via Getty Images

Dream Moods notes that how you feel and the direction you’re flying are important indicators of what the symbol may represent for you. For instance, flying backward may indicate you are focused on the past, while speeding ahead may reveal feelings of invincibility. Another interpretation is that flying is a metaphor for gaining perspective or reaching new heights.

Being Chased May Indicate Avoidance

Another common dream is one where you’re being chased. Psychotherapist Richard Nicoletti told HuffPost that being chased is often associated with avoiding an issue or person in your waking life. He adds that what is chasing you — an animal, shadow, man or woman — also can have important implications.

Dylan Nolte/Unsplash
Dylan Nolte/Unsplash

Since dreams are personal, paying attention to who or what the chaser is, what feelings you experience in the dream, the setting, and other details can help break it down. Nicoletti notes that the chase isn’t often a literal representation, but may be a metaphor for running from a painful feeling or memory.

Shadowy Figures May Be Hidden Parts Of Yourself

Speaking of being chased in dreams, often, the chaser is a shadowy figure that you can’t make out. One mind-blowing interpretation is that the shadow represents none other than yourself! Dream Moods explains that shadows in dreams may be a hidden aspect of yourself.

VIVEK PRAKASH/AFP via Getty Images
VIVEK PRAKASH/AFP via Getty Images

In this sense, if the shadow is chasing you, it could be a suppressed part of yourself that is eager to emerge. A different interpretation is that you are trying to get away from being stuck in someone’s metaphorical shadow.

Being Lost May Indicate An Anxious Situation

Another common dream is one wherein you feel lost or are looking for something that has been lost. Author Cathleen O’Connor explained to HuffPost that lost dreams often relate to feelings of anxiety, frustration, or confusion. She said that the may indicate a waking concern of not being able to metaphorically find your way.

Jakub Kriz/Unsplash
Jakub Kriz/Unsplash

Moving to a new city or starting at a new job are examples O’Conner offered for why these dreams may persist. She also stated that if you’re looking for something that is lost in a dream, the item may be symbolic, such as a wallet representing identity.

Climbing Can Indicate Leveling Up Or Backing Down

Climbing is another dream symbol that depends heavily on the circumstances of the dream. One of the most vital components when interpreting a climbing dream is which direction you’re going. Many believe that climbing up a ladder is a representation of ascending toward success in your waking life.

Fionn Claydon/Unsplash
Fionn Claydon/Unsplash

Conversely, climbing down a latter or a mountain may indicate that you are backing away from negative feelings. Dream Stop also mentions that it’s important to note how you feel in the dream. If the climb is a struggle or if you stop, it could indicate a challenge you aren’t feeling up to.

Snakes Could Represent Something Positive Or Negative

Since dream meanings ultimately come down to the dreamer, many symbols can be explained positively or negatively. Snakes have particularly incongruent interpretations that depend largely on the dreamer. For instance, some believe that the reptile represents hidden threats because of its slithering nature and association with deceptiveness.

David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images

Some take it a step further and believe that the snake is your subconscious mind crawling underfoot. On the other hand, some see snakes as symbols of transformation because they shed their skin. Ultimately, whatever the dreamer associates with snakes is the most likely symbol represented in their dreams.

Losing Teeth Is Said To Symbolize Vanity

Having a dream where your teeth fall out is relatively common, according to Dream Moods. The website states that the dream may relate to vanity, indicating that the dreamer has anxiety over their appearance. It’s not a far-fetched interpretation when you think of how middle-schoolers often feel about their braces.

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Along those lines, teeth are also believed to represent embarrassment or poor health. Since teeth also help you enunciate, some interpret falling teeth as a symbol of not being able to say something in your waking life.

Dream Test-Taking Can Relate To Feelings Of Scrutiny

Often when dreamers are taking a test, it is one that is unusually difficult or impossible to read. Since tests can induce anxiety in real life, these dreams can be extra fear-inducing. That’s why some believe that they are a sign of fear in waking life.

FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images

More specifically, Dream Moods suggests it may indicate that you’re feeling scrutinized by someone. You may even be the one scrutinizing yourself out of fear of failure or a lack of confidence. A similar interpretation is that the difficult test represents an unrealistic standard you’ve set for yourself.

How You Handle Money In Dreams Indicates Its Symbolism

Who wouldn’t want to dream about money? However, the dream symbol doesn’t always equate to success in your waking life. By and large, the interpretation has everything to do with the context of the dream. For instance, spending money may be emblematic of giving love.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Along those lines, seeing others give money to anyone but you may indicate you feel ignored. Similarly, dreams about losing money may be tied to feelings of vulnerability. Borrowing or stealing money may indicate a sense of lacking something in your life, and a desperation to attain it.

Crowds May Symbolize Conformity Or Need For Space

If you dream that you’re in a crowd, it may be a sign that you are in need of more space in your waking life, or that you’re conforming too much. This interpretation suggests that you may be yearning to express your individuality and break from the norm.

Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty Images
Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty Images

On the other hand, if you see a crowd that you aren’t a part of, it could indicate feelings of isolation. Additionally, a chaotic crowd may be a metaphor for the problems in your life that seem to be “crowding” around you. A pleasant crowd may represent a strong support system.

Keys Can Be A Metaphor For Secrets, Freedom, And More

Keys are a versatile dream symbol with numerous interpretations. One of the more straightforward representations is that they are emblematic of secrets. In this sense, they may be metaphorically locking up or unlocking your inner feelings.

Gonzales Photo/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Gonzales Photo/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Along these same lines, keys are sometimes believed to signify opportunities or freedom. They can represent a sense of power and authority in that you have control over what is revealed and what is hidden, and who has access to what. Conversely, losing keys in your dream may symbolize loss of status or missed opportunities.

Balloons May Represent Rising Above Something

As with a metaphorically burst bubble, balloons in dreams are often said to indicate your mindset. For instance, seeing a balloon on the rise may allude to your ability to rise up during a difficult time in your waking life. On the other hand, seeing a balloon pop may reflect mounting pressure.

Ankush Minda/Unsplash
Ankush Minda/Unsplash

Alternately, balloons may represent an inflated ego, while blowing one up may symbolize breathing life into a goal or dream. Riding in a hot air balloon is said to relate to being metaphorically elevated, perhaps in terms of reputation or spirituality.

Weddings Can Represent Life Transitions

Dreaming about a wedding may or may not have to do with your current relationship status. Rather, it is generally perceived as a symbol of any life transition, such as moving or starting a new job. How you feel at the wedding may indicate your waking feelings regarding the phase of life you’ve entered.

John Rainford/GC Images/Getty Images
John Rainford/GC Images/Getty Images

Dream Moods also states that getting married to someone you don’t know in a dream may be a metaphor for your feminine and masculine sides coming together. It may indicate that you have embraced and balanced the opposite aspects of yourself.

Traffic May Represent Feeling “Stuck” In Life

Sitting in traffic can be frustrating enough in real life, not to mention dreaming about it! Dream Moods suggests that the dream may indicate you feel stuck in life. This interpretation suggests that the surrounding cars are metaphorical roadblocks, preventing things from running smoothly.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Alternatively, directing traffic may represent the control you have over the lives of others. In that sense, the traffic could indicate anxieties over the influence and power you have over others.

Machinery May Be An Illustration Of Your Mind And Body

Many people believe that machinery is a symbol of the mind and body when it appears in dreams. If the gears are all gliding smoothly, then it may be a sign that you feel efficient and healthy, or that situations are playing out with ease.

gears
MustangJoe/Pixabay
MustangJoe/Pixabay

If the machinery is malfunctioning, then it may indicate that you need some “repair” in your waking life. Think of the phrase “I’m having a breakdown.” Dream Moods notes that dreaming of a rusty machine may represent your outdated habits that are in need of an update.

Motherhood May Symbolize Nurturing

Dreaming of your own mother or of being a mother is believed to relate to nurturing. Since mothers are often associated with comfort and guidance, the dream may represent a need for those things in waking life.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

For those who are not mothers and dream they are, Dream Moods states that it may indicate you are longing to show more of your nurturing side. This may occur if you are harboring feelings of guilt for being too assertive or not compassionate enough.

Pregnancy May Symbolize Something That Is Developing

If you dream that you or someone you know is pregnant, it may not be an indicator that a bun is in the oven. Rather, it is often interpreted as a metaphor for something that is developing in your life. Perhaps you have an idea that is coming to fruition, a project that is underway, or a goal that you are headed toward.

LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

In this sense, the state of the pregnancy can indicate your feelings about the project or idea. A difficult pregnancy could represent your concerns about the project or idea, while one that is easygoing may imply confidence about it.

Trains May Represent Your Life Journey

The phrase “being on track” helps explain why some believe that trains represent your life journey in dreams, particularly if you are riding in one. It can also point to the orderly way in which you do things, or how you refuse to stray from the path you’re on.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Along these lines, a train wreck in your dream may indicate feelings of chaos in your waking life. Things may not be going in the direction you’d hoped, making you feel like a “wreck.” Alternatively, it may indicate an inner knowledge that you’re on the wrong path.

Eating Can Represent Ingesting Ideas

Food is another item in dreams than many interpret as being a metaphor for something else. Some see the act as a symbol of ingesting ideas. Similarly, eating too much very fast may represent a desperation for something, such as affection or praise.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On the contrary, being opposed to eating something may indicate a distaste for something in your waking life. What your eating can also play a role in your dream’s symbolism. For example, those who are familiar with the phrase “bringing home the bacon” may be dreaming about eating bacon during prosperous times.

Being Literally Trapped May Have Metaphorical Implications

If you dream of being literally trapped somewhere, it could be a metaphor for how you feel emotionally in your waking life. There may be a relationship, job, or other situation that you feel you can’t escape.

Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images
Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

The dream could also be interpreted less specifically, as it may simply indicate that you feel “trapped” in a monotonous life. On the contrary, dreaming of setting a trap may allude to a desire to hold onto something that seems to be slipping away. Seeing something that is trapped may represent a part of yourself that you wish to let out.

A Wall May Point To The Barriers In Your Life

Many equate walls to boundaries in the metaphorical sense, so seeing one in your dream may be an expression of something you need to get past. Jumping over or knocking down the wall may indicate confidence that you will be able to handle whatever challenge comes your way.

John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Likewise, dreaming that you’re building a wall may represent the saying “putting up walls.” You may be preventing yourself from becoming emotionally attached to others. A different interpretation is that you’ve come to accept your limitations.

A Ring May Be A Symbol Of Loyalty

As with weddings, seeing or wearing a ring in your dream may not automatically imply that you’re eager to tie the knot. Rather, people often interpret the symbol more broadly so that it indicates a sense of loyalty to something in your waking life.

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/WireImage/Getty Images
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/WireImage/Getty Images

Alternatively, the round shape may allude to a sense of completeness or continuity. Thus, a broken ring may represent something being amiss or compromised in your waking life, such as an ending relationship. Similarly, having your ring stolen may be a metaphor for losing interest in something you were previously loyal to.

Roads May Indicate How You Feel About Progressing

There are tons of metaphors surrounding roads, from the fork in the road to long and winding roads. Many believe that these expressions can manifest themselves in your dreams, in which case a road may represent your beliefs about moving forward in something.

Peter Watson/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Peter Watson/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

For instance, a bumpy or windy road may symbolize obstacles you are expecting to encounter on the way toward a goal. A smooth and straight road may imply that you are confident in the direction you’re going.

Boats May Symbolize Your Response To Emotions

As we previously mentioned, water in dreams is often associated with your emotional state. The boat, then, becomes the symbol of your response to those emotions. If you are commanding a ship in a storm, it may be your way of getting through hard times.

Getty Images
Getty Images

If the boat becomes wrecked by wild waves, it could indicate that you feel ill-equipped to handle those emotions in your waking life. Alternatively, if the boat is your haven, you may be experiencing “smooth sailing” through life.

Easy-Going People Will Sleep Like This

Professor and sleep expert Chris Idzikowski found that people who were more social, outgoing, and trusting of strangers tended to be side sleepers. These kinds of sleepers keep their arms down at their sides as well.

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Men’s Health/Pinterest
Men’s Health/Pinterest

Dr. Idzikowski also mentioned that side sleepers tend to be a bit more gullible. People who sleep in this log position tend to not experience numbness, but the BBC discovered that only about six percent of the world’s population prefer this method.

These Sleepers May Be Yearning For Something

Dr. Idzikowski describes the yearning log sleeping position as someone who sleeps on their side, but stretches their arms out in front of them. Someone who chooses to sleep this way may be a little more open and trusting than most.

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Damir Spanic/Unsplash
Damir Spanic/Unsplash

While this person probably isn’t too gullible in their life, they may be very indecisive. Luckily, once they make up their mind, they usually stick to their opinion. Also, side sleeping is great for digestion and can reduce snoring.

Sleeping On The Left Side Of The Bed Helps With Heartburn

A survey from Sealy found that left-side sleeping is preferred by people in marketing and advertising, people between the ages of 45 and 54, and people with college degrees.

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Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

If you experience any painful heartburn symptoms, sleeping on the left side of the bed may help. “The reason for this is because when you sleep on your right side, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes, allowing stomach acid to leak out, which can result in irritation,” said SleepScore Labs Advisory Board Member Michael Breus, MD.

Tips For Side Sleepers

While there are many ways to sleep on your side, there are certain things to do while sleeping that can optimize your comfort and health. Chiropractic expert Dr. Robin has a few suggestions.

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Bruce Mars/Unsplash
Bruce Mars/Unsplash

Those who sleep in the fetal position shouldn’t put their knees all the way up to their chest. It’s helpful to keep a small pillow between your knees to keep your spine aligned. Also, try hugging a pillow between your arms to keep them outstretched. This opens up your chest, lungs, and other airways.

The Benefits Of Sleeping On The Right Side Of The Bed

While sleeping on the left side of the bed can help with heartburn, sleeping on the right side can actually be beneficial to your heart health. Nazma Parveen, MBBS, explained that sleeping on the right side of the bed doesn’t cause your heart to experience any gravitational pressure.

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Somnox Sleep/Unsplash
Somnox Sleep/Unsplash

A survey from Sealy found that people who sleep on the right side of the bed tend to work in transport or manufacturing, are between the ages of 35 and 44, and drink a lot of caffeinated beverages per day.

Sleeping On Your Stomach Isn’t Ideal

There are a lot of things that can go wrong for people who sleep on their stomachs. It can obstruct airways for people with sleep apnea and chronic snoring and puts stress on the lower back and neck.

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Vladislav Muslakov/Unsplash
Vladislav Muslakov/Unsplash

Sleeping on your stomach can cause your spine to realign, which can give you chronic pain during the day. Dr. Idzikowski says someone who sleeps face down on their stomach tends to be gregarious, yet brash. They also don’t like to be criticized and avoid dangerous situations.

Younger People Tend To Sleep On Their Back

A research study done by Sealy found that people who slept on their backs tended to be between the ages of 25 and 34 and worked in transport or logistics. Those who sleep on their backs will wake up more refreshed, but it can also cause them to snore more.

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Tania Mousinho/Unsplash
Tania Mousinho/Unsplash

“When you’re lying on your back, your throat is more narrow, making snoring louder and more frequent,” said SleepScore’s Dr. Breus. Those who choose to sleep on their back should place a pillow behind their knees to support the spine and reduce back pain.

Sleeping In The Fetal Position Is Common

In Britain, professor and sleep expert Chris Idzikowski surveyed nearly 1,000 volunteers to determine if there was any correlation between sleep positions and personality. His research allowed him to uncover some commonalities between subjects.

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Steven Mileham/Flickr
Steven Mileham/Flickr

First, Idzikowski found that the fetal position is the most common sleep position, especially for women. Someone who sleeps in the fetal position may have a shy and sensitive personality. The position might also give someone a sense of safety, especially if they are lacking it in real life.

Some People Change Up Their Sleeping Position

While some people are true back, side, or stomach sleepers, others will often change up their sleeping position depending on their comfort level. A survey from Sealy explained that these “freestyle” sleepers commonly work in utilities and are between the ages of 35 and 44.

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Diply/Pinterest
Diply/Pinterest

Almost everyone will change up their sleeping position throughout their lives, so it’s completely normal. People will move about 50 to 80 times throughout the night in order to wake up refreshed, move their muscles, and give their body nutrients and hormones.

Sleepy Soldiers Are Shy And Reserved

Someone who sleeps in the sleepy soldier position will lay flat on their back with their arms straight down at their side, which looks like a soldier standing at attention.

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Ciaoo/Facebook
Ciaoo/Facebook

The personality traits of someone who sleeps as a sleepy soldier tend to be quiet, reserved, focused, and independent. These are people who love structure, might take themselves too seriously, and have high expectations for themselves and those around them. According to Psycom, about 11 percent of Americans sleep this way.

Why The Shooting Star Is So Unique

The shooting star or starfish sleeping position is one of the most unique choices. This is when someone sleeps on their back with their legs stretched out and their arms are stretched above their head.

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Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash
Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash

Men are more commonly found in this position and the personality traits associated with it are selfless, giving, supportive, and a good listener. Shooting star people are very loyal and make their relationships and friendships a top priority in their lives.

The Skydiver Isn’t What It Seems

Someone who sleeps in the skydiver, prone, or freefaller position will lay on their stomach with their head to the side and have their arms wrapped around a pillow. According to the BSC, this position is the most common with Gen X and millennials.

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Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash
Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash

Nectar Sleep explained that a skydiver sleeper will be open, playful, and fun on the outside, but may be anxious and controlling on the inside. Also, these people aren’t afraid to take risks.

The Most Common Sleeping Position For Couples

The most common sleeping position for couples is a bit misleading. While it might not seem romantic, most couples will sleep back-to-back and far apart. This position is called liberty lovers.

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Divya Kamasutra/Facebook
Divya Kamasutra/Facebook

Corrine Sweet, a relationship psychologist, found that this position means a couple is connected and secure in their relationship. About 27 percent of couples sleep this way each night. Healthline said this is actually a good position for both partners because it can relieve pressure on internal organs.

Spooning Is A Classic

Spooning is usually one of the most popular sleeping positions among couples. About 18 percent of those surveyed said they regularly spoon. While this is a romantic position, it also includes a power dynamic within the relationship.

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Hope Maine/Pinterest
Hope Maine/Pinterest

One person will be the “big spoon” and give a sideways hug to the “little spoon” with both parties sleeping on their sides. The upsides to spooning are that it’s better for breathing and can relieve aches and pains.

Why Couples Do Back-To-Back Touching

Corrine Sweet, a relationship psychologist, conducted a survey among couples to find their most common sleeping positions and back-to-back touching came in second. This is when couples are facing away from each other, but their backs are touching.

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Nectar
Nectar

“Both partners are relaxed and comfortable with one another – this is often common in new relationships,” said Sweet. Since this is a form of side sleeping, couples have reported feeling less joint pain in the morning.

This Position Is Two-In-One

Psychologist Corrine Sweet found that about eight percent of couples sleep in the unraveling knot position. This is when the couples begin intertwined and after about 10 minutes, each person will sleep in the position of their choosing.

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Unsplash/Becca Tapert
Unsplash/Becca Tapert

“It’s a compromise between intimacy and independence, allowing for the best of both worlds,” said Sweet. According to Healthline, couples who sleep in this position have likely been together for a long time and feel more secure in their relationship.

Couples Should Avoid This Position

A partnership should be equal and even a sleeping position can reveal a struggling power dynamic. For example, one partner may be sprawled across the bed and the other is tucked into a corner with little room.

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Damir Spanic/Unsplash
Damir Spanic/Unsplash

“One partner dominates the space, while the other takes a secondary role,” said relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet. Even though it might not seem like much, this is a huge sign of power disparity between a couple and should be addressed early on.

The Cradle Position Is Filled With Passion

When someone refers to a couple who’s in the “honeymoon phase,” it wouldn’t be uncommon to see them sleeping in the cradle or nuzzle position. This occurs when one person lays flat on their back and the other will rest their head on their partner’s chest.

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Thought Catalog/Unsplash
Thought Catalog/Unsplash

It’s also common for the couple to be wrapping their arms and legs around each other while sleeping. This position is most popular with both new and rekindled relationships, but only four percent of couples actually sleep like this every night.

The Tangle Position Can Be Overwhelming

One of the most intense couples’ positions is the tangle. While this is quite rare, it is usually seen at the beginning of new relationships. It would look like two people hugging each other very tight while laying on their sides.

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Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

Also, legs are usually intertwined. This position has a lot of meaning behind it. The tangle usually translates to a couple who is very codependent and feels the need to both physically and mentally stay attached to their partner.

What The Pillow Talk Position Is All About

The pillow talk position will include two people sleeping on their sides and facing each other, but they won’t touch. This could indicate a problem in the relationship with both parties seeking attention from one another, but failing to receive it.

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Bustle/Pinterest
Bustle/Pinterest

“This position shows a need for intimacy and close communication,” said relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet. If you find that you and your partner regularly sleep in this position, it may be time to try listening to each other more.

People More Comfortable In Their Relationship May Sleep Like This

While spooning is typical for a lot of couples, there comes a point when they start lying in the loose spoon position. It looks similar to a spooning position, but there is a little more space between the two people.

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Good Night Sleep Site/Pinterest
Good Night Sleep Site/Pinterest

Some may think there could be a problem if a couple is wanting more space when sleeping, but it’s the exact opposite. Dr. Diana Gall said, “It still provides that closeness and reassurance. But, there’s more space between you, allowing you to breathe and relax into a comfortable position.”

There Are Some Mixed Messages With The Chasing Spoon

Spooning is usually considered to be a romantic sleeping position between couples, but the chasing spoon defies that myth. This position occurs when the “little spoon” has moved to one side of the bed and the “big spoon” moves over to hover their arms over them.

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Wattpad/Pinterest
Wattpad/Pinterest

It may seem as if the big spoon has chased the little spoon off of the bed or that the little spoon is trying to get away from the big spoon.

This Couples’ Position Won’t Get You A Good Night’s Sleep

A couple who is truly close may end up sleeping in the face-to-face and touching position. This would look like both partners facing each other on their sides and have their arms and legs intertwined.

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Adam Winger/Unsplash
Adam Winger/Unsplash

Sleep experts believe that couples who sleep in the face-to-face and touching position are usually very close and happy in their partnership. The University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom estimates that about four percent of couples sleep this way every night.

The Cliffhanger Could Mean Some Trouble In Paradise

Body language can show a lot more than most think. This is especially true with couples’ sleeping positions. The cliffhanger position will have a couple lying as far apart as they can from each other.

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Somnox Sleep/Unsplash
Somnox Sleep/Unsplash

Sometimes they will be so far apart that their feet will dangle off of the bed. According to Science Daily, a 2014 survey of about one thousand people found that those in bad relationships tended to sleep further apart from their partner.

Paper Dolls Is Comfy, Yet Intimate

Finding a sleeping position while sharing a bed can be difficult. One that is comfortable, yet intimate is the paper dolls position. This has both partners sleeping on their backs with either their hands or legs barely touching.

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AllGo/Unsplash
AllGo/Unsplash

The paper dolls position can help with back pain and circulation issues, but it can increase the amount and loudness of you and your partner’s snoring. In order to make it even more comfortable, tuck a pillow between your knees to stretch out your spine.

Get The Best Of Both Worlds In The Tetherball Position

Since everyone is unique, it means that people who share beds will most likely sleep in different positions. Many couples want to feel some sort of physical touch, but aren’t sure how it can work.

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Velizar Ivanov/Unsplash
Velizar Ivanov/Unsplash

The tetherball position could be a good way to start. One partner will be curled up in a ball or fetal position and the other will sleep on their back. The partner sleeping on their back can rest their hand on their partner’s hip.

Find Some Freedom With The Leg Hug

One position that gives both partners a good amount of freedom and movement in the bed is the leg hug. Both people can choose if they want to sleep on their stomach, side, or back, but will have their legs wrapped around each other.

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Womanizer WOW Tech/Unsplash
Womanizer WOW Tech/Unsplash

When both partners are actively wrapping their legs around each other, it often means they’re committed and feel safe in the relationship. If only one partner is doing it, then there might be a power imbalance in the relationship.

Shingles Is A Sign Of Deep Affection In A Relationship

Not to be confused with the virus, the shingles sleeping position is both intimate and sweet. One partner will sleep flat on their back and the other will sleep with their head resting on their partner’s shoulder.

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Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

Sleep experts say that the shingles sleeping position is symbolic of complete understanding and confidence in a relationship. One person serves as a protector and the other feels secure that they have someone who can look out for them.

This Position Could Signal An Unhealthy Couple

Sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst ways to sleep. Neil Robinson, a chief sleep officer at Sealy, said, “This is in fact one of the worst positions for causing back pain as it places pressure on your spine.”

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Capricorn Man Secrets/Pinterest
Capricorn Man Secrets/Pinterest

When couples do this it is called the stomach snooze and can symbolize a lack of trust and show vulnerability. Those who find themselves consistently sleeping this way should consider placing a pillow under their stomach to align their spine.