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Lack of sleep negatively affects relationships and often leads to marital problems
If people live in a relationship for a long time, interpersonal problems can arise between the partners at some point. These difficulties can continue to grow until the relationship breaks up and the person concerned finally thinks about divorce. But before you see a lawyer about marriage problems, make sure you get enough sleep. Researchers have now found that lack of sleep negatively affects human relationships.
In their investigation, Ohio State University researchers found that severe relationship problems are in some cases due to lack of sleep. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Psychoneuroendocrinology".
Effects of lack of sleep on the human body
Researchers have previously known that persistent lack of sleep is associated with increased risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and premature death. A lack of sleep can also create other difficulties, such as relationship problems. Many people only sleep about six hours a night - however, seven to nine hours a night is recommended, experts say.
If both spouses get too little sleep, this often leads to arguments
The researchers examined a total of 43 pairs for their study. The doctors were able to determine that if both spouses slept less than seven hours a night, they argued more intensely as a result. However, if one of the two spouses got enough sleep, the problems in the relationship could be clarified more constructively and often ended with a mediating conversation.
Rise in certain markers can promote inflammation
The couple were invited to a laboratory and there they documented the known problems of their relationship (e.g. money, parents-in-law or communication with the partner). The scientists also measured the values of markers such as protein IL-6 and TNF-alpha. An increase in these markers can trigger inflammation in the body and thus promote the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Earlier studies had shown that men were more likely to quarrel with their partners if they had slept poorly at night. Spouses who slept less than seven hours for a period of two weeks argued more violently and more frequently in their marriages.
Deprivation of sleep leads to difficulty concentrating and impatience
The current study shows the effects of short sleep and its effects on the development of inflammation, says author Dr. Stephanie J. Wilson. Deprivation of sleep is known to lead to difficulty concentrating and impatience, which makes it difficult for us to make the right decisions or to empathize with our partners' problems. The sense of humor, which is needed in every relationship, also suffers from sleep deprivation, according to the expert.
Lack of sleep makes it difficult to solve problems
Adequate sleep can certainly not solve all problems of conjugal cohabitation, but it can help to improve many relationships, say the doctors. The study only looked at heterosexual couples, but the results are likely to apply to a wider range or other forms of interpersonal relationships. Sleep influences the parts of the human brain that are involved in solving problems, and skills such as active listening and a good mood suffer from lack of sleep, the scientists explain. It is therefore no coincidence that relationship satisfaction often suffers in the first year after the birth of a baby, because during this time there is usually a significant lack of sleep. (as)