Is there a word or an idiom for lying on the bed peacefully and happy? Throwing yourself down on bed arms wide open, all your muscles relaxed and staring at the ceiling with a happy smile like something you dreamed of has just happened. Is there an idiom to narrow this situation?

  • 5
    Shavasana - although it's not really an English word :-)
    – Lucky
    May 10, 2015 at 20:24
  • 1
    @Lucky: Great word. But it's Sanskrit. I doubt even people here in India would use it that way. Have no idea how many people in US know this word from Yoga.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 10, 2015 at 20:36
  • 1
    @Lucky: Also, arms aren't wide open in this asana. Just saying.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 10, 2015 at 20:37
  • 1
    @Area51DetectiveFiction I agree (both about the arms and not being an English word) that's why I put it in a comment and not an answer. It's just that words happy+peaceful+lying+relaxed reminded me of the asana :-). But I could have mislead the OP by accident, thanks for preventing that ;-)
    – Lucky
    May 10, 2015 at 20:58
  • 1
    @Lucky :D Reminds me of Rose from '2½ Men': I've been riddled with "glaukenschtuken" ever since./ Glauken? - Schtuken./ It means: " Feeling guilty for having felt schadenfreude"./ "They've got a word for that?"/ "Not yet. But I'm hoping "glaukenschtuken" catches on".
    – Tushar Raj
    May 10, 2015 at 21:09

4 Answers 4


There are a few terms which specifically capture the physical state of lying on the ground, face up, but they're fairly clinical and lack the mental overtones you describe (of complete relaxation, etc).


Supine: (of a person) lying face upward.
[google definition]

Which I like because its spelling reminds me of "supple" (relaxed, like a loose, floppy noodle). And there's also:

Recumbent: (especially of a person or human figure) lying down.
[google definition]

Which I like because it has hints of "recline" and "slumber".

Now, there are a couple of other words which are often used to mean lying on one's back, but in a strict technical sense, they actually mean lying face down:

Prostrate: lying stretched out on the ground with one's face downward
[google definition]

As a verb, prostrate¹ often carries an active connotation of laying face down in reverence or submission.

A more passive synonym, often used of the unconscious (e.g. boxers who have been knocked out) and corpses is:

Prone: lying flat, especially face downward.
[google definition]

This is the difference: comparison of supine and prone
image credit: paramedicine.com

You'll notice that none of these words explicitly describe one's arms and legs being outstretched. Now, if you truly need to capture that physical arrangement, you can use:

spread-eagle: stretched out with one's arms and legs extended.

"prisoners are chained to their beds, spread-eagle, for days at a time"
[google definition]

But I strongly recommend you avoid that term.

If the actual physical arrangement of your body is less important than the mental state of relaxation you're trying to convey, then you can use my personal favorite word from this particular constellation²:


  1. a state of rest, sleep, or tranquility.
    "in repose her face looked relaxed"

  2. a state of resting after exertion or strain

  3. peace, tranquillity
    [Merriam-Webster definition]
    [google definition]

But again, that lacks the explicit physical state of laying flat on the floor.

So, if you need to capture both the physical and mental states, you can say something like "I was relaxing on the floor", or "I was just floating there" (metaphorically invoking the image of floating on water), or, heck, "I was so relaxed, I just gave myself up to gravity".

¹ Don't confuse prostrate and prostate (with only one r), please.

² Why do I like this particular word? Because I once read a wonderful short story about a living car, and one line the admiring narrator used to describe it was something like "*That car didn't park, it reposed.". Sadly, that's all I can remember of the story; its title is lost to me forever.

  • 4
    Upvote. I want to give you another upvote for the warning about prostate!
    – Tushar Raj
    May 10, 2015 at 21:03
  • @MystiSinha Not sure that's the kind of paper trail you want to leave on the internet. If you ever run for office, that quote could be taken waaaaay out of context ;)
    – Dan Bron
    May 11, 2015 at 13:29

You could use tranquil

quiet and peaceful

or its synonym, serene

Calm, peaceful, and untroubled

Or better yet,


(in) a state of rest, sleep, or tranquility:

Though I must admit, neither of these are applied exclusively to describe lying on bed.


  • 1
    tranquil, reposeful, calm, placid, serene... none of these adjectives include arms wide open and staring at the ceiling with a happy smile on one's face.
    – Centaurus
    May 10, 2015 at 20:35
  • @Centaurus: I said that already. Question is, what does?
    – Tushar Raj
    May 10, 2015 at 20:39
  • 3
    To me this is just like "What is the single word for seeing your neighbor in town and not being able to talk to him?"
    – Centaurus
    May 10, 2015 at 20:41
  • @Centaurus: Someone asked that? Seriously?
    – Tushar Raj
    May 10, 2015 at 20:44

How about something based on the intransitive verb "loll?"

"Sit, lie, or stand in a lazy, relaxed way: 'the two girls lolled in their chairs'" --O.E.D.

"Scene four begins early the next morning with an indolent Stella, sexually satisfied and smug, lolling in bed." --[Bloom's Guides: Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, p. 40]


in a simile, could you use...?

Snow angel

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