The photo series The Sleep of the Beloved, from German photographer Paul Schneddenburger, depicts real couples sleeping together over the course of six hours. That’s “zzzz” and not “baum chicka bam bam.”

Long-exposure is used to capture the couples’ movements, which, set in front of black sheets in soft candlelight, creates a very phantasmic effect.

Intrigued by questions like: “What happens to lovers while they are sleeping? Is it a nocturnal lovers’ dance, maybe a kind of unaware performed tenderness, or does one turn their back on each other?,” Schneddenburger turns viewer into voyeur, offering a glimpse into a world of which even the sleeping lovers themselves are unaware. Because they’re sleeping.

Notice how the couples merge together and drift apart throughout the night, much like the transient nature of love itself… Wistful, no? Awww. Here, here’s a tissue.