Social Question

Adagio's avatar

Sleeping on the driver's side, have you noticed this?

Asked by Adagio (12512points) September 9th, 2009

In New Zealand we drive on the left-hand side of the road. I have noticed over the years that men tend to sleep on the driver’s side of the bed. I guess that in the US my hypothesis, that men are more inclined to sleep on the driver’s side, would translate into a male preference for sleeping on the right-hand side of the bed. I wonder if men who do not drive exhibit the same driver’s side tendency. I also wonder if there are any commonalities regarding side of the bed sleeping preferences in same-sex relationships. I have no experience of this so would be interested to hear

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39 Answers

Darwin's avatar

In our house my husband gets the side farthest from the bathroom. Based on the orientation of our current bedroom this would be the driver’s side if we lived in England, but we don’t. Thus, he sleeps on the “passenger side” of the bed.

casheroo's avatar

Hmm, well my husband always has to be closest to the wall..away from the door. Which usually always puts me on the passenger side, US, of the bed (except the first bed we shared) I guess in New Zealand he’d be considered the passenger side.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I don’t know which way you mean as the “driver’s side”—do you mean the side that would be the “driver’s side” if the person is facing up, or if they’re facing down?

Adagio's avatar

@La_chica_gomela what I mean by driver’s side: imagine you are both sitting up in bed reading, who is on the driver’s side?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Hmm, unusual observation. In the US, we drive on the right side of the road. I sleep on the right side of the bed if you are looking at the bed from the foot of it. That side is closest to the window, and since I prefer to be closest to the window, I get that side of the bed. The driver’s side of my vehicle is the left side if you are standing at the rear of the truck. Standing at the hood puts it at the right side. I also sleep on my left side, rarely on my back, hardly ever on my right side and never on my belly. Ow, I’ve suddenly gotten a headache.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@Adagio: Ah, so facing up. Sorry, I can’t really answer the question, since we don’t have set “sides” we tend to switch fairly frequently.

casheroo's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra You completely confused me. I didn’t know this was so complicated! I took it as if laying in bed like a couple would sit in the car. My husband is to the left of me, like he is when he drives. Stop adding all the fat, because I’m confused! haha

Axemusica's avatar

I sleep in the trunk.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, nowadays my husband mostly sleeps in his recliner. If our TV room were a car, his would be the passenger seat and my recliner the driver’s seat, assuming it were an American-made vehicle.

casheroo's avatar

@La_chica_gomela I think he does, if he’s talking about the US…@evlyns_pet_zebra sleeps on the left side of the bed (I think) Also, my husband flips when I try to sleep on his side of the bed!! You’re lucky you can switch it up. Mine throws a fit, and says he can’t sleep and whines about it the next day haha

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@Adagio: Actually I just realized what’s been confusing me. You’ve stated it incorrectly in the question. In the US we drive on the right-hand side of the road, but the driver is in the left side of the car, so I believe that your hypothesis should read that men are apt to sleep on the left side of the bed. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Ooop, just saw your answer, Casheroo, sorry I had already changed mine, when I realized the problem. You’re correct, I was confused about the above ^^.

Adagio's avatar

@Axemusica that’s an interesting variation. Is that because you like sleeping at the foot of the bed or because there is someone else in the driver’s seat?

Axemusica's avatar

@Adagio I sleep where ever, couch, bed, floor. So, just thought I’d crack a joke instead. Although I have actually passed out in my driveway in the driver seat after a hard days work, lol.

mirador's avatar

Interesting concept, relating sleeping side to driving side. I suppose I would be considered to be sleeping on the driver’s side. I think that just evolved based on which of us preferred to sleep nearer the window and heat register (me for both!). To add another angle, my husband is left-handed. Do you suppose hand dominance contributes to sleeping side preference?? ;)

Adagio's avatar

I just realised my mistake: if you drive on the right-hand side of the road the driver is indeed sitting on the left-hand side of the car thank you for pointing this out @La_chica_gomela

Darwin's avatar

@mirador – I can’t see how handedness would affect it. My husband and I are both right-handed, but we don’t like the same side of the bed. For sleeping, that is.

Adagio's avatar

@mirador I do not think so. Considering that most people are right-handed it would mean that in New Zealand at least there would always be fights over the driver’s seat….—hey, maybe you have something there—

DominicX's avatar

Do men really tend to do that? Where does that come from? I always sleep facing the right side, but I’m also right-handed. I think that probably has more to do with it.

My brother says that he sleeps an equal amount of time facing the left or the right side.

(I also realize that I think I misunderstood the question. Just…roll wit it…).

Likeradar's avatar

My guy sleeps on the driver’s side, but I don’t think it really has any correlation.

At my place and his, he sleeps closest to the bedroom door. I prefer that because of some strange childhood thing when my whole family used to share a hotel room when we’d travel. My dad would have me share the bed furthest from the hotel room door with my brother, and he’s always want me to be the one absolutely furthest from the door. It’s pretty silly, but kind of cute- he wanted his baby girl furthest away from any potential bad guys coming in. When I sleep alone, I always sleep on the side closest to the door, strangely enough. I can take the bad guys. :)

Adagio's avatar

@DominicX It’s not about the side that you face, but rather the side that you sleep on, right hand or left hand. Personally I don’t think it has anything to do with handedness (see my previous entry) but I could be quite wrong about that

DominicX's avatar


Yeah, that’s what I realized that I had misunderstood…lol. I sleep alone in a queen sized bed and I tend to sleep in the center.

augustlan's avatar

In our bed, I sleep on the ‘driver’s side’, and my husband is the passenger. Interestingly, when we go somewhere together, I am almost always the driver. Hmmm…

Adagio's avatar

@augustlan exactly, hmmm…. my thoughts to a T

Sarcasm's avatar

My bed is in the corner of my room, against the wall, and always has been. Whenever I’ve had a gal over I slept on the “inside” of the bed (So that she’d be able to get out without disturbing me, but I couldn’t do the same).
Right now, the “inside” of the bed would be the passenger’s side. Back living with my parents, that was the driver’s side.

kalafatic's avatar

@Adagio & @Darwin
Yes my wife drives a lot, but this is why I sleep on the passenger side of the bed…

JERRY: Don’t be so sure. Look at George – he’s on his ninth date with Betsy, he still hasn’t gotten anywhere with her.
ELAINE: What’s his problem?
JERRY: Well, every time he tries to make a move, something screws up. Like on their last date, they were on the couch, but she was sitting on his wrong side.
ELAINE: Wrong side?
JERRY: Yeah, she was on his right side. He can’t make a move with his left hand. Can’t go left.
ELAINE: He can’t go left.
JERRY: No! I’m lefty, can’t go right. What about women? Do they go left or right?
ELAINE: Nah, we just play defense.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Axemusica GA. I really enjoy your posts!

Great question. My husband does sleep on the drivers side. We’ve switched sides before but I prefer facing the right side of the bed.

Don’t know what this means but I still like your question.

oratio's avatar

I prefer to sleep on the right side of the bed cause It’s more comfortable to reach my girl like that. Funny, linking driving to that though.

aphilotus's avatar

My fiancee and I figured out our sleeping-side preferences long before we met each other, and waaaay before either of us started driving.

Its good that we are sleeping-side compatible, though.

whatthefluther's avatar

In my van, I prefer sleeping on the air mattress in the back. I’ve also made it very clear to @sccrowell, that I would prefer she not fall asleep in the driver’s seat, but instead, pull over and park somewhere safe and join me on the air mattress, her choice of sides (altho there’s likely to be a bit of tossing and turning and what-have-you and not a whole lot of sleeping).
See ya….Gary/wtf

Jack79's avatar

My dad sleeps on the left of the bed (closer to the door)
Both my uncles on the right (in both cases furthest from the door)

I slept on the left when I lived with my gf, on the right when I was married (in two different beds) and on the left again now that I am single, even though it’s the same bed.

I think it’s more or less random and has to do with the particular space, and who happens to sit where, or takes off their clothes on which side when you first use the bed. I would have actually preferred left when I was married (in the first bed it was closer to the door, and therefore my daughter if she cried at night). But my wife insisted on having that side because she’d be closer to the wardrobe that way, and I didn’t want to fight about it.

Axemusica's avatar

@jonsblond Thnx.

As I read along this discussion, I notice a trend. Everyone just about has something to say about a window or a door. The passenger car thing might be only apply to those people who actually are comfortable drivers, I bid.

rebbel's avatar

We drive on the right side of the road and i sleep on the left side of the bed (except for when i had some drinks, then i sleep on the right side)

EmpressPixie's avatar

I sleep on the “driver’s side”. When we go places we take the bus.
My sister sleeps on the “driver’s side” as well. If you can get her to drive anywhere when her husband (or, to be honest, ANYONE ELSE) is in the car then you’ve witnessed a miracle.

wundayatta's avatar

I prefer the driver’s side, fwiw. But I like to sleep on my right side, and when I do that, I want to find my wife right there. If I were a southpaw, I might prefer the other side of the bed.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

In my family the rule was men slept closest to the bedroom door in order to be the first defense should a stranger come into the house. I’m trying to think about sleeping in bed and can’t come up a dominant side (I’m American).

Likeradar's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence I love that rule; it’s the same in my family. It’s fairly unrealistic that it would make any difference, but it’s such a lovely carry-over of chivalry.

casheroo's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence lol. I find it funny that my husband forces me to be closest to the door, because of his stupid fears. I’ll be the one defending us apparently haha

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@casheroo: you could always mess with him by saying how safe it makes you feel for your family that he sleeps closest a window instead (if that’s the case). Really though it doesn’t occur to most men nor should it be important but I guess in the old days it was

Adagio's avatar

I think that @oratio might be on to something…

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