My Executive


    Jul 17, 2013

    Sleepless lovers have more spats

    IT'S been confirmed: Coming up short on sleep can intensify arguments with your lover.

    University of California, Berkeley psychologists Amie Gordon and Serena Chen have found that people are much more likely to lash out at their romantic partners over relationship tensions after a bad night's sleep.

    "Couples who fight more are less happy and healthy," Ms Gordon said.

    "Our research helps illuminate one factor that leads couples to engage in unnecessary and harmful conflict by showing that they experience more frequent and severe conflicts after sleepless nights."

    While previous studies showed that poor sleep has a negative impact on romantic relationships, the new study shed more light on how bad sleep compromises couples' ability to avoid and manage conflict, researchers said.

    They collected data on the sleep habits of more than 100 couples who had been together for nearly two years, on average. They then assessed participants for depression, anxiety and other stressors in order to focus solely on the link between the couples' sleep quality and relationship conflicts.