Sleepy Unhappiness

Lack of sleep can cause marital unhappiness

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Wives should hit the sack early and get plenty of sleep. A recent study reports that both husbands and wives know when the wife doesn't get ample sleep on a Monday night, they can anticipate marital issues on Tuesday.

Principal investigator Wendy M. Troxel, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA reports that their study found that wives' sleep problems affect her own marital behavior, as well as her spouse.

"Get plenty of sleep each night."

The effects were independent of depression symptoms. Wives taking longer to fall asleep the night before reported more marital unhappiness the next day. The husbands also reported the same regarding their wives not getting enough sleep.

Troxel concludes that this study highlights the importance of sleep loss and its following impact on marital happiness.

Thirty-two healthy, married couples without clinical sleep, psychiatric, or medical disorders were enrolled in the study. Sleep latency, wakefulness after sleep onset, and total sleep time were measured for 10 nights.

Marital interactions were graded daily based on electronic diaries which evaluated positive marital interactions like feeling supported or loved by their spouse, as well as negative marital interactions like feeling criticized or ignored by the husband or wife.

The relationship between nightly sleep and next day's marital happiness was more strongly associated between daily marital interactions and subsequent sleep.

Interestingly, the husbands' reports of higher levels of marital happiness predicted their own shorter sleep duration the next night. 

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Review Date: 
June 14, 2011
Last Updated:
June 17, 2011