Here’s How Lack of Sleep Can Negatively Affect Your Relationships
By now, we know that enjoying good sleep has a positive impact on our health, wellbeing, creativity, productivity, and helps us feel refreshed each day. However, recent research shows that the effect of sleep in our lives go beyond the impact on our health and wellbeing to actually affecting our relationships with people!
Here’s how lack of sleep can affect your social relationships:
1. Inadequate sleep can cause arguments
Another study showed that couples who had less than 7 hours of sleep tended to interact in a more aggressive and hostile manner than if at least one person had gotten enough sleep.
Lack of sleep can make us more prickly, cranky, and can affect our concentration and ability to solve problems. All of this results in a higher probability to have terrible arguments with friends, loved ones, colleagues, and people in general.
2. Good sleep makes us more empathetic
Empathy is very important in friendships, romantic and other social relationships. It helps us to try to understand what the other person might be thinking or going through, and then condition our responses accordingly. Frequent sleep deprivation can cause our empathy quotient to diminish, which could adversely affect relationships.
3. Lack of sleep can affect our ability to approach others
The refreshing effect of good sleep is more likely to make us feel happier, friendly and approachable towards others. However, a study determined that “lack of sleep leads individuals to become more socially avoidant, keeping greater social distance from others”.
This also works the other way, as the study found that people are more wary and less likely to want to interact with someone who has had less sleep.
4. Lack of sleep makes us more irritable
When we lose sleep, we are more likely to feel easily irritable, cranky, grouchy, and even react more aggressively than we usually would.
Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your emotional intelligence, making it difficult to carry out simple social interactions you used to perform with ease. As neurologist Charles Winter puts it, “all of the things it takes to make a relationship work are probably completely decimated by lack of sleep”.
The first step is to countering the negative effects of sleep deprivation is to find out why you’re not sleeping well. Is your mattress too uncomfortable? Do you need a pillow to sleep better? Does your partner snore?
Does your back frequently ache? Find out why here.