Sleeping together makes for a more harmonious marriage — and better health. And we mean sleeping in the literal sense! New research shows that insufficient shut-eye can amp up hostility between partners and make relationship conflicts more damaging to your health.To find out how sleep quality affects romantic relationships and health, researchers interviewed 49 couples and asked how many hours they’d slept the previous two nights. Then they took blood samples, had each couple discuss a topic that tended to provoke conflict, and then took a second blood sample. Those who hadn’t had much sleep had a greater inflammatory response, which over time is associated with conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. In fact, for every missed hour of sleep, levels of two inflammatory markers rose by 6 percent! And when both spouses slept less than 7 hours, the couple was more likely to argue, making the situation worse. Think of sleep, relationship harmony, and physical health as a kind of “love triangle.” Work together on better sleep habits.
“Sleep problems can boost inflammation and may jeopardize interpersonal functioning, risks that may be magnified in couples. Sleep problems can boost inflammation and may jeopardize interpersonal functioning, risks that may be magnified in couples.” S.J. Wilson et alia.