Could you every imagine that a good night’s sleep can be a secret to a happy marriage? So say the scientists from the University of Berkeley, California, who studied sleep patterns and family life of American couples in order to find out the links between their sleep and success of their marriage. It was discovered that the couples free from sleep deprivation and other common sleep disorders demonstrated much better performance in various teamwork related tasks, including working together or encouraging each other. However, those who suffered from insomnia, distorted sleep or other common sleep problems tended to take marriage for granted, never showed appreciation and failed in demonstrating love and care to their partners. In addition to that, those participants who reported suffering from chronic and severe sleep problems like chronic insomnia were found to have very high chances of facing serious problems in their marriage, and possibly even ending up with a divorce.
Those are the conclusions that the scientists came to after analyzing the data collected on 60 American married couples of various ages, from 18 to 55. The participants were asked to make detailed reports about their sleep routine, sleep hours, and also about all their activities and emotional sides of living together. In addition, the participants were offered a few decision making and problem solving assignments counted on demonstrating clear teamwork skills. According to the findings presented on the last week of January 2012 at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychologists in New Orleans, there are very strong links between good sleep or being free from sleep disorders and better performance in married life. Berkeley University experts are convinced that their findings should be considered of a great importance since they explain the role that good sleep plays for developing healthy marriage relationships and living a long happy marriage.
The researchers suggest that having a good night’s sleep is important to a happy marriage since a lack of proper rest at night causes plenty of negative emotions which very often turn into negative attitude towards life and everything that surrounds chronic insomniacs, including even their family members. ‘Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritise our own needs over our partner’s. You may have slept like a baby but if your partner didn’t, you’ll probably both end up grouchy. Make sure to say thanks when your partner does something nice. Let them know you appreciate them,’ that’s how Amie Gordon, one of the study leaders and a psychology expert at the University of Berkeley commented on the findings of his research group. He also underlined that this study was the first of its kind, to study the effects of good sleep on personal relationships of married people, regardless of other factors like their social status, occupation, income, the number of kids, ethnic origins, and so on.
According to the latest estimations, over two thirds of modern people reported suffering from minor or severe sleep problems, which very often interfere with their normal life development and cause serious other problems related to overall and psychological health. As the survey of 2011 by the scientists from the Mental Health Foundation has demonstrated, less than 35 per cent of modern people around the world say that they can regularly benefit from a good night’s sleep, and the specialists are afraid that poor sleep quality can very soon turn into a very serious public health concern, especially in the most developed countries of the world. A number of previous studies examined the links between bad sleep and psychological condition of people. In particular, it is reported that those who suffer from chronic sleep disorders are three times more prone to having mood swings, as well as four times more often have to face problem in interpersonal relationships compared to those people who have no sleep disorders and sleep well every night.