Marital Spats Plus Sleep Deprivation Could Equal Health Problems

Marital Spats Plus Sleep Deprivation Could Equal Health Problems

Being sleep deprived alters your mood, even if you’re aware it can and try to guard against it. Lack of sleep increases your level of stress, both physical as well as mental. Beyond making you harder to deal with for others, it can increase your own risk of physical symptoms such as cardiovascular problems and diabetes, among others.

A new research study looked at married couples, to track how sleep deprivation affected them physically as well as mentally. The study tracked their levels of sleep and conducted medical tests to confirm their physical states. After establishing their baselines, the couples were asked to engage in typical marital conflict scenarios.

Couples where both slept fewer than seven hours per night over consecutive nights displayed more hostility and less ability to get along with one another. Physical symptoms of sleep deprivation increased six percent for every hour of lost sleep. And when the couples engaged in particularly abrasive or damaging conflict with one another, those physical symptoms went up ten percent per hour of missing sleep.

More than half of the couples in the study had at least one partner who got less than the recommended amount of sleep. The study also found that it was more likely for a couple that had a partner who was getting enough sleep to be able to defuse the conflict scenarios, in a sense helping their sleep deprived partner navigate the mental and physical effects that come from not enough rest.

Key Points:

  • 1Sleep deprivation is linked to chronic diseases, especially those related to inflammation.
  • 2Lack of sleep hurts your physical body and your emotional well being.
  • 3The most concerning component is that marital spats and sleep loss are common daily occurrences for most people.


Hostility and arguments were more prevalent in couples where both partners received fewer than seven hours of sleep over two nights.


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