We all know that getting a good night's sleep makes you feel much more refreshed and energized the following day. But did you know that it could also lead to a happier relationship?
Researchers from the University of Florida studied 68 newlywed couples for seven days, asking them the amount of sleep they had each night and rate their satisfaction on a scale of one (not satisfied at all) to seven (very satisfied).
The results, published in the American Psychological Association, showed that when people sleep more than the average recommended amount, which is seven to nine hours, they feel "more satisfied" in their relationship the next day. In particular, men were also found to feel less negative about different aspects of their relationship when they score more sleep.
Aside from making us feel cranky, the researchers explained that sleep deprivation negatively affects our glucose levels, a key component of our willpower. Getting some shut-eye, they noted, contributes immensely to regulating self-control.
"Regardless of the stage at which a couple is in their relationship or the cultural context in which they're embedded, each member of the couple can be adversely affected by not getting enough sleep. Up to one-third of married or cohabiting adults report that sleep problems burden their relationship," researchers Heather Maranges and James McNulty wrote on the paper. "These findings suggest that sleep may offer self-regulatory benefits."
However, the researchers stressed that just because one couple gets more sleep than others doesn't mean that they are comparatively more satisfied with their relationship. Rather, it just means that they reported better overall satisfaction in their own relationship if they got more rest.