The closeness of a couple and how happy they are in their relationship is reflected in the distance between them as they sleep, a new study has claimed.
Partners who slept less than an inch apart were more likely to be content with their relationship than those maintaining a gap of more than 30 inches between them.
Couples who spent the night touching were also happier than partners who upheld a “no touching rule” while asleep, according to the survey which looked at the responses of 1,000 people.
The study found the overwhelming majority (86 per cent) of couples who slept less than an inch away from each other claimed to be happy with their relationship compared with two-thirds (66 per cent) who slept more than 30 inches apart.
It also revealed the most popular positions, with almost half (42 per cent) lying back to back, and nearly a third (31 per cent) facing the same direction. Four per cent face one another.
Twelve per cent of couples spent the night less than an inch apart while just 2 per cent slept more than 30 inches apart.
University of Hertfordshire psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, who led the study, said: "One of the most important differences involved touching. Ninety four per cent of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship, compared to just 68 per cent of those that didn't touch.
The study was conducted as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Prof Wiseman is the author of Night School, which examines the science of sleep and dreaming.
Additional reporting by PA