How a Disturbed Sleep Cycle Can Affect Your Relationship
It can be super hard to be in a relationship these days. Our jobs, our social media, even our pets can be a source of distraction and conflict. It’s no surprise that a lot of us feel like we aren’t the number one person in our significant other’s lives. Does it feel like the magic has gone out of your relationship and you want to get that spark back? It could be as simple as getting more sleep every night.
It’s true, and there are all kinds of research to suggest that getting more sleep not only makes you more empathetic at home, but at your workplace too. That news comes as the CDC recently announced that we are in the midst of a sleep crisis, with over 60 million Americans reportedly not getting enough sleep every night. So how can you figure out the recommended sleep hours for you and your partner, and how can you make sure you’ve get there? Fear not, we’ve got the solutions: and they’re easier than you think. Sleep is a key to the relationship but if your bed is outdated and uncomfortable it may be ruining your relationship. Make sure that you are at least sleeping on the comfy mattress, and you can read more about it by reading Best Mattresses for Couple in 2018 – Picks & In-Depth Reviews
Not getting the Recommended Sleep Hours Makes You Less Empathetic to Your Partner
When you go to bed late, or don’t get a good night’s sleep you feel grumpy in the morning. That’s obvious, but did you know that it actually makes you scientifically a less empathetic listener to your partner? It’s true. A recent study by the Ohio State University Psychology program found that couples who slept less than seven hours a night were more likely to fight, have hostile interactions, and have longer lasting feelings of ill-will toward their partners. So not hitting the recommended sleep hours can actually make your fights worse.
“This is the first study to show the synergistic effects of short sleep and conflict for inflammation,” said lead author, Dr Stephanie J Wilson.
This is because sleep affects the part of your brain that solves problems. Without that ability, it is hard to have a productive argument, which typically requires the skills most often associated with that part of the brain. Those skills include active listening, good humor and self-disclosure. It’s interesting though, that the body’s inflammatory responses seem to be triggered by these bad fights, even more so than lack of sleep. The study showed that productive arguments did not raise the level of inflammatory proteins, however little sleep people they had had.
Sleeping Can Make You Less Attractive to Your Partner
We’re all familiar with bags under our eyes when we don’t get the recommended sleep hours, but did you know that not sleeping enough can also make you less attractive to your partner? A recent study in Sweden showed groups of people pictures of well slept and sleep deprived people. The latter were judged as both less healthy AND less attractive across the board. It’s not just bags under the eyes though, people who didn’t get the recommended sleep hours were perceived to be less healthy in general AND less trustworthy.
Neuroscientist Dr Tina Sundelin, of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, where the research said, “The results show that (people) were less inclined to socialize with individuals who had gotten insufficient sleep. Furthermore, when sleep-restricted, participants were perceived as less attractive, less healthy and sleepier. There was no difference in perceived trustworthiness. These findings suggest that naturalistic sleep loss can be detected in a face and that people are less inclined to interact with a sleep-deprived individual.”
Not Getting Enough Sleep Hurts Your Sense of Humor
Laughter is the key to any good relationship, and when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re hurting that fun side of you. Obviously, it’s harder to be funny when you’re sleep deprived, but it’s also harder to find OTHER things funny as well. That comes from a 2006 Walter Reid Study where two sets of patients were asked to look at a cartoon. The control group after a normal night’s sleep, and the experimental group after having been up for over 30 hours. Across the board, the people who were sleep deprived lost the ability to see what was funny about the cartoon.
This is because humor is ruled by the part of the brain that needs the recommended sleep hours to function properly. It uses attention, memory and divergent thinking (where the brain has to combine different scenarios all at once). Then it must link all of these disparate thought patterns with feeling. Those processes are done by the prefrontal cortex, which is located at the front of the brain, behind your forehead and requires a recharge of at least seven hours every night to be able to work right.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you need to take a good look at your life and figure out why. If you’re too busy, you might need to rework your schedule. If you’re too worked up, you should figure out how to relax. If you just aren’t comfortable enough in bed, you might want to look at getting a mattress in a box.
So, give your relationship the shot in the arm it needs! Make sure you sleep at least seven hours of sleep a night. Those recommended sleep hours will make you funnier, more empathetic, and more attractive to your partner, overnight! The power of love and the power of sleep, they go together like nothing else. Happy sleeping!