The Surprising Way in Which How You Sleep Impacts Your Love Relationship's Quality
By Brian Vaszily, Founder of IntenseExperiences.com
If you sleep with your spouse or significant other, you likely already know a bad night’s sleep for your partner usually means a bad night’s sleep for you.
But research recently presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (I didn’t know there were such societies, either) has demonstrated an interesting gender-specific two-way-street regarding each partner’s sleep and their relationship quality.
For males, getting a good night’s sleep resulted in more positive ratings on the quality of their relationship the following day.
For females, though, interacting with their partner negatively during the day resulted in getting a poor night’s sleep ... for themselves and also for their partner.
To understand this a little better, let’s ask the age-old metaphorical question: which comes first, the chicken or the egg?
For men, it’s the egg: good sleep at night appears to make positive relationship building more likely for males.
For women, it’s the chicken: having a positive relationship appears to make getting a good night’s sleep more likely.
This of course means that there may either be a vicious cycle, or a delicious cycle, that heterosexual partners who sleep together can get caught in.
If he has a bad night’s sleep, it may lead to events the next day that prompt her to perceive their relationship negatively, which leads to a bad next night’s sleep for her -- and him -- and therefore so on.
If she perceives their relationship positively, both he and she are more likely to get a good night’s sleep, leading to the continued perception of a positive relationship the next day. And so on.
The principal investigator on the research, Brant Hasler, a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, suggests that couples should:
- Resolve issues before going to sleep
- Avoid potentially confrontational discussions on days when either or both have not slept well the night before
I’d also add that couples should become particularly aware of the facts of this study so they don’t jump to the conclusion that their partner is awful or their relationship isn’t meant to be ... that instead the situation is related to biology and emotions, neither of which we have to let control us and our relationships, neither of which are who we are, and both of which can be understood and therefore managed.
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