Not Getting Enough Sleep? It Might Be Ruining Your Marriage

couples sleeping
Photo: gilaxia
A study finds not getting enough sleep can lead to fighting between couples.

Fighting with your partner can do more than just spoiling your night out. A new study from Ohio State University researchers found that these fights can raise inflammation in your body, especially if you don't get enough sleep.

43 couples—who had been married anywhere between three and 27 years—were recruited to complete a series of blood tests. Then, the couples were asked to talk out a previous argument to explore “how marital interactions influence a person's health," Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times reports. Each couple had experienced some form of routine conflict in their marriage (of course), and brawling topics could range from in-law troubles, how much time they're spending together, or how money is managed within the relationship.

While the fights were consistent among couples, the way couples handled them was not. Some couples were hostile while fighting, and others tried to work together to resolve their issues. If both partners had gotten less than seven hours of sleep two nights in a row, the couples were more likely to argue negatively, and have bigger and angrier fights. For those couples, researchers saw around a 10 percent increase in inflammation throughout their bodies for each hour of sleep loss.

This is particularly true for most Americans—the Center for Disease Control reports that around 35 percent of Americans sleep less than the recommended seven hours per night.

The next time you find yourself fighting with your partner, think back to how much you slept last night, and then talk it out later—after a nap. You could also try Lasting, a science-based app backed by The Nest dedicated to improving the health of your marriage or relationship.