The Link Between Sleep Quality and Conflict in Relationships

We all know that going without sleep for one night can lead to crabbiness and overall discontent in the morning. The ill will and bad moods are gifts that keep on giving when it comes to conflict resolution and romantic entanglements. At least, this is the case according to a recent University of California Berkeley study.

Relationship Conflict and Sleep Study Details

The study, conducted by Dr. Serena Chen and psychologist Amie Gordon, discovered that romantic partners are common targets for ire after a poor night’s sleep. The study itself involved the sleep habits of more than 100 couples who had an average of two-year relationship histories between them.

The test also made accommodation for other issues that might lead to conflict including depression, stress, low relationship satisfaction, and anxiety, in order to focus on sleep and its impact on conflict within the relationships.

The study was conducted in two parts. The first part was a daily experience study that lasted two weeks and required couples to provide daily reports about their sleep experiences and relationship conflicts the day after.

The second part of the study involved videotaped discussions about points of contention or conflict in their relationships. The couples assessed their behavior as well as that of their partners and how well they resolved the issues.

Relationship Impact of Inadequate Sleep

One specific thing the study discovered is that even among people who are typically good sleepers, one night of poor sleep led to a heightened occurrence of conflict the following day with romantic partners.

The common trend discovered was that poor sleep was a contributing factor for increased negativity, conflict resolution difficulty, and a decrease in the ability of partners to pick up on emotional cues from the other partner.

Getting Better Quality Sleep

The end result of the study is that people need to enjoy better sleep more consistently in order to resolve issues with their romantic partners in a more fair and balanced manner. There are several ways you can accomplish this. Those listed below, however, are all great first steps towards a better night’s sleep.

Little steps like these can help you and your romantic partner avoid unnecessary relationship conflicts. As well as the myriad of health and wellness related issues that also accompany inadequate sleep.

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