When you ask couples who’ve been married for decades the secret to their long relationship, chances are, they’ll say they “never go to bed angry”.
But it turns out this advice isn’t solely applicable to the topic of romance – new research from Iowa State University has revealed that going to bed angry also has a seriously negative impact on your sleep.
Psychologists analysed the sleep of 436 volunteers against the questionnaires they filled out about their anger levels prior to going to bed. They found that participants who ranked themselves higher on the anger scale slept worse than those who went to bed rather content.
“These findings add to the growing evidence that being prone to anger may lead to poor sleep and that anger and sleep are intimately connected,” the researchers wrote.
They suggest that anger not only impacts you mentally and emotionally but also physically, increasing cardiovascular activity and thus making the hot-tempered among us struggle to nod off.
So, the next time you and your loved one have a tiff, try and work it out before hitting the hay instead of deciding to “sleep on it”.
Keep your bond strong by adopting a night-time routine that the both of you can easily stick to. Here are some psychologist-approved tips that will keep the bedroom stress-free.
1. Put your phone on silent (or switch it off completely) and put it away at least one hour before bed. Social media addiction suppresses production of the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for bonding and intimacy.
2. Go to bed at the same time. That show you want to watch can be recorded, otherwise it’ll almost certainly be available to watch online. Going to bed at the same time as your partner helps maintain warmth and intimacy – you’re supposed to be a team, after all.
3. Have a chat. Nothing big – after all, you don’t want to go to bed angry! – but simply sharing all the positive feelings you have towards your partner (and having them do the same) will help you both end the day on a high note.
4. Be affectionate. It doesn’t have to be sex, but physical intimacy (hugs, kisses, massages) can reduce anxiety and relax the both of you, bringing you closer together and improving the quality of your sleep.