Uh-Oh! Sleep-Deprived Wives Fuel Marital Strife

While we’re on the subject of sleep deprivation, let’s go a little deeper.

It’s no big secret around here that I’m perpetually sleep-deprived and grumpy.  So let me start by saying that I have high hopes of sleeping again–and soon.  To get there, I’m slowly but surely nudging my two resident insomniacs (Gabriel and Ken) toward better sleeping habits so that that they’ll no longer be keeping me up all night. (How and why this became my job is, um, another interesting post altogether.) Until we can get there, I think it’s safe to say that I might not be the most even-keeled person on the block.

But that’s not the half of it, according to this article by Drucilla Dryess on HealthNews.  According to a new study by Wendy Troxel, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, wives who didn’t sleep well the night before tended to initiate “more negative interactions” with their husbands.

So if you’re exhausted and you find yourself snipping at your spouse, you’re not alone.  Nor are you alone when you start complaining that you don’t feel supported or cared for.

Regarding the results, Troxel explained, “Women are generally more expressive and tend to drive the emotional climate of a couple’s relationship.”

She noted that wives who are unable to sleep are more likely to be irritable, convey stress, and verbalize feelings. Troxel then added, “Men are more likely to repress their feelings or not be as aware or tuned into the climate of change taking place.”

Troxel further explained that the sleeping difficulties of wife can be the result of a stressful cycle because marital issues may lead to insomnia and other sleep disturbances that in turn lead to negative marital interaction. She pointed out, “It’s a cyclical process that can get under the skin of couples and put them into negative trajectories when it comes to their mental health and well-being.”  (Dryess, HealthNews)

If that’s not a good enough reason for you and your spouse to get your asses into bed and figure out your sleep issues, I don’t know what is.

Good luck!  I’ll be working on doing the same, right alongside you.


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