New research into how poor sleep can worsen lovers fights has come to light in a new study by UC Berkley psychologists Amie Gordon and Serena Chen.
"Couples who fight more are less happy and less healthy," said Gordon, a doctoral student in psychology and lead author of the study published online in the journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science.
"Our research helps illuminate one factor that leads couples to engage in unnecessary and harmful conflict by showing that couples experience more frequent and severe conflicts after sleepless nights," she added.
The researchers in this study have found that a couples ability to manage conflict is greatly hindered after only one night of poor sleep.
"For the first time, to our knowledge, we can see the process of how the nature, degree, and resolution of conflict are negatively impacted by poor sleep," said Chen, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.
Gordon and Chen compiled data on the sleep habits of over 200 participants who were involved in relationships for almost two years. Participants were screened for anxiety and depression, including other stressors.
One experiment involved 78 people in current relationships that provided reports about the quality and quantity of their nightly sleep over a two week period. Researchers then compared this data with the levels of relationship stress reported. Participants reported considerably more conflict and verbal outbursts the day after a bad night of sleep.
"Even among relatively good sleepers, a poor night of sleep was associated with more conflict with their romantic partner the next day," Chen said.
But what the study didn't explore was exactly why these couples had trouble sleeping in the first place. New studies on the effects of general anxiety disorder, also known as hyper-arousal and its negative effects on sleep quality are now coming to light. In one such study, "Neurofeedback for Insomnia: A Pilot Study of ZScore and Individualized Neurofeedback" authored by Dr. Barbra Hammer and others showed that brainwave misalignment as the probable cause for insomnia.
Neurofeedback has been available for almost 44 years and is considered the "first choice" of treatment for ADD and ADHD for children by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is now being used by several clinics specializing in it's use for insomnia.
For more information on neurofeedback for insomnia, please click here.