01/23/2013

Poor sleep can make unhappy relationships

NEWS

Maybe you sleep like you were shot with a tranquilizer dart, while your partner may be lying awake all night.  Maybe it's the sheet-pulling, loud snoring or incessant tossing and turning.  Couples rely on emotional interdependence and disrupted, unsatisfying sleep can contribute to the fracturing of this bond.

Research from the University of California, Berkeley has found that sleep deprivation can lead to increased selfishness and focusing on what is best for the individual rather than for the relationship or their partner.  The researchers concluded that unhappy relationships – especially feelings of being underappreciated – could be a result of poor sleep quality.

More than 60 couples took part in this study, ranging from ages 18 to 56.  The first part of the study involved scoring the quality of sleep, and how this affected feelings towards partners.  Next, researchers videotaped participants in a problem-solving atmosphere.  Finally, participants were asked to record five things they were grateful for while the researchers analyzed the sleep data.  The bottom line: Those who experienced poor sleep were less appreciative than those who slept well.