Add marital strife to the list of things caused by poor sleep habits. According to a new study published in Social Psychological & Personality Science, people are more likely to fight with a spouse or romantic partner after a bad night’s sleep.
In the first part of their research, the study’s authors had 78 young adults in romantic relationships file daily reports detailing their sleep habits and their relationship problems. The study participants recorded more friction following nights of poor sleep.
In the second part of their research, 71 couples rated their previous night’s sleep and had a short discussion about a source of conflict in their relationship while being videotaped. Participants then rated their own emotional interactions during the conversation, their partners, and whether or not they thought that the conflict was solved by the discussion.
Researchers found that participants who slept poorly felt more negatively to one another during the discussion, had a harder time resolving the conflict, and were worse at accurately gauging their partner’s emotions.