6 Ways Sleep Affects Your Relationships

6 Ways Sleep Affects Your Relationships

6 Ways Sleep Affects Your Relationships

Did you know that a lack of sleep can affect your relationships? It’s true! According to the National Sleep Foundation, 7-9- hours is optimal for adults. Yet, 42% of Americans report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.

Since the 1940’s the average amount of sleep adult Americans get has decreased by more than an hour. Average sleeping hours have gone down and the divorce rate has gone up. You may or may not think that those two are related. Nevertheless, sleep does have an effect on your relationships. Here’s how:

  1. Lack of sleep and poor sleep can deplete your willpower and can decrease your self-management and emotional intelligence. This can exaggerate minor disagreements in your relationships and blow them way out of proportion. In a 14-day daily experience study, participants reported more conflict in their romantic relationships following poor nights of sleep. If you find that you’re experiencing more stress in your relationships, consider going to bed earlier.
  2. Lack of sleep can also adversely affect your relationships by decreasing your sense of humor. This may seem like a small thing; however, a good sense of humor has been shown to positively affect relationships. Humor is an effective stress buffer. It has also been shown to be a source of attraction, so if your tired and grumpy? You may not seem as attractive!
  3. Sleep affects your mood. People who are sleep deprived have reported feeling more easily irritated, more overly-sensitive, and more depressed.

When we were first married, we got a lot of good advice from family and friends. One piece of advice, however, actually proved detrimental.  And this advice was repeated to us by several people: Here it is: “Never go to bed angry.” Although it sounds good on the surface, we found that trying to stay up late to resolve an issue only increased the level of the conflict. The later it got, the more depleted our willpower. The more depleted our willpower, the more grumpy and stubborn each of us got.

Over the years we’ve discovered that when disagreements happen at night, it’s best to call a temporary truce, go to bed and then discuss the issue again in the morning, after each has had a good night’s sleep. In the morning, we’re usually able to have greater empathy and understanding and much more patience to assist us in resolving the issue. We could also see the humor in our depleted dialog and ridiculous reasoning from the night before. Our experience fits right in with recent research on conflict and relationships. Here’s a direct quote from the study:

“One partner’s poor sleep was associated with a lower ratio of positive to negative affect (observed and self-reported), as well as decreased empathic accuracy for both partners during a conflict conversation.”

Ok, that’s enough bad news. Here’s some good news facts on how getting enough sleep can benefit your relationships?

  1. The research we quoted earlier also shows that “conflict resolution is more likely to occur when both partners have had adequate sleep.”
  2. Studies also show that getting regular, adequate sleep each night, increases optimism. And couples who are more optimistic have a greater outlook on life and on their relationships.
  3. People also report experiencing greater levels of gratitude with an increase in proper sleep. Gratitude in relationships builds positive emotion which increases happiness and wellbeing.

So, there you have it. Based on the research, chances are if you improve your sleep habits, you’ll also improve your relationships! In other words, if your partner is weepy, he might just be sleepy! And if you find that you’re snapping, you may want to try napping! Thanks for joining us!


Relationship Tips From Couple Married 81 Years

It seems that everyone these days is looking for happiness. Yet many don’t know where to find it. A 78-year Harvard study shows that the #1 predictor of happiness in life is the quality of your relationships. It also shows that loneliness kills. With so many years of research pointing to quality relationships as the precursor to happiness, perhaps we need to take a longer and closer look at the lives of those who’ve found true happiness through long, fulfilling, relationships.

Dale and Alice Rockey were married 81 years. The video tells about their love story and their incredible marriage that spanned 8 decades. It’s interesting to note that the reporter in the video stated , “They leave behind no formula, no easy path for getting marriage right.” When I heard him say this, I wondered how he could’ve missed it. Their formula was played out on the video through their words, actions, and body language. Watch the video and see if you can find the 4 steps on the path of Marital Success which this sweet couple left behind.

A storybook romance's final chapter

Did you discover the Rockey’s 4 Steps to Marital Success? If not, watch it again. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Here’s their formula – according to my observations:

  1. Sense of Humor and Playfulness. How many times did you count them laughing and joking with each other? Their playfulness was inspiring! It would seem that their longevity is partly due to their daily fun and laughter. Confirming perhaps that “Laughter is Still the Best Medicine. Research shows that “Humor is Healing” (not just for the body, but also for the mind, the soul and for relationships).
  2. United in their faith. The saying “Couples who pray together stay together” appears to be a valid statement when you consider the Rocky’s 81 marriage. Each of their 5 sons are also still very happily married (to their original spouses).
  3. Service and Kindness. You can see that performing daily acts of kindness was a way of life for the Rockeys. Did you notice Dale helping Alice with her chair?
  4. Affection and devotion. After 81 years, the Rockeys are still holding hands. It’s easy to see that they enjoy being together and that they truly are Best Friends Forever.

Did YOU observe any other steps in their formula for a successful marriage? We would all do well to follow the example of this most amazing couple! And if we do, perhaps one day we can echo their words:

DALE: “What a wonderful ride we’ve had!”

ALICE: “[81 years] It does sound like a long time.”

DALE: “Well, it has been! A GOOD long time!”

Final Message: RELATIONSHIPS! Invest your heart and soul in them! They are the source of happiness, the fountain of youth, and the much desired secret of THE GOOD LIFE!

For more relationship building articles, click here.

To help you build more POSITIVITY IN YOUR LIFE, check out our FREEBIE!