You’ve likely heard the age-old advice of “never go to bed angry.” But, now there’s new research backing this up.
This study found that sleep may make it harder to forget negative memories in the brain. Researchers asked 73 men to look at photos of faces.
These faces were paired with upsetting images like an injured person or a crying child.
The men were tested twice and their brains were scanned in an MRI machine. Scientists found the men had a harder time suppressing the negative images after they slept, compared with before they slept.
Sleep can affect how newly-acquired information is stored. The men’s MRI scans showed the images were likely being stored in the area of the brain with longer-term memory connections.
Everyone experience disagreements at some point in time and it’s important how you handle them. So in addition to not going to bed angry, here are my prescriptions:
1. Be sure to listen when conversations get heated
Conflict is often fueled by miscommunication.
2. Always stay calm while working out any conflict
Losing control can cause hurt feelings and emotional injury.
3. If you’ve lashed out in anger, be sure to make amends.
Emotional injury can turn into long-term resentment or anger.
4. If you can’t solve it, try to compromise or agree to disagree.
If you’re often in conflict with someone, consider talking with a therapist to work through the issues.
If you’ve had a traumatic experience, it may be best to not sleep on it. Research shows sleep deprivation disrupts the consolidation of trauma memories. And, sleeping too soon may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.