How sleep affects your relationships, according to science

Posted at 5:48 PM, Aug 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-06 17:48:30-04

Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep, waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the world. We all know sleep is essential for our health but now science is telling us that if we don’t get enough, it can affect our relationships. 

You asked our Facebook friends how lack of sleep affected their lives, what did people share?

I wasn’t too surprised with the feedback our Facebook friends gave and I’m sure many of you will relate to what P Stone Thomas posted. He said “I am the world's worst insomniac!! I sleep on and off for like 3-4 hours a night. I am always tired, and it affects all of my relationships due to my low patience and easy irritability.”  Well Mr. Stone, you might be interested to learn that the amygdala, the part of our brain that plays a key role in processing emotions, gets thrown out of whack and doesn’t work as well with lack of sleep.  So your brain can only handle so much. And now you can have trouble controlling your emotions.  Which easily leads to bad decisions, poor behavior and can cause conflict in many relationships.

Another Facebook friend responded to your question. Patricia Trembley posted “I truly believe lack of sleep can affect a person in many different ways like eating habits, attitude, driving, operating machines and illness”. What do you think of her comment?

Patricia is absolutely right. Not getting enough sleep means more than just being tired the next day.  It can affect our job performance, our mood, safety, heart health, our metabolism, and weight, and it can alter our immune function which may lead to illness and disease. What happens when we sleep is our bodies heal and repair things like our heart and blood vessels. Our brain processes emotions and also forms new pathways that help you learn and remember things. So it’s very important to make sleep a priority. Be consistent in your sleep routine - go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  If you’re having issues please talk to your family doctor who can rule out potential medical problems that just might be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep.