Want to improve your marriage? Try getting more SLEEP! Show Notes

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Want to improve your marriage?  Try getting more SLEEP!

According to a story in the Boston Globe, a new study has found that adequate sleep is a crucial component for a healthy relationship. 

Researchers from the University of California studied sleep patterns in couples, and they found that lack of sleep can put strain on your marriage. 

They had 60 couples keep sleep diaries and then videotaped them while engaging them in problem-solving tasks. Those who had just a few hours of sleep the night before were less likely to appreciate their partner’s help with these tasks.

Also, they were much less likely to use words like “please” and “thank you,” compared to those couples who got an adequate amount of sleep.

The Globe article says blame it on crankiness from lack of sleep -- or perhaps resentment over a partner’s snoring that left them tired the next day -- but couples who don’t sleep well are less likely to value their partners.

Amie Gordon, a UC Berkeley psychologist and the lead investigator of the study, says “Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner’s.” 

She says one solution is to make an extra effort to say thank you to your significant other on days when you don’t sleep well, realizing that you’re probably going to be snapping more than usual.  Also, make a point to catch up on sleep the following night.

Not only can sufficient sleep improve your relationships, but it will protect your immune system, improve your mood, and lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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