When you’re juggling a job, kids, and all the details of everyday life, sleep feels like a luxury you can afford later, when your kids are grown. Instead of sleeping, parents use those precious few moments they have at the end of the day to catch up on work or take some much needed me-time. But the problems that come with not getting enough sleep won’t simply step aside and wait until retirement. Sleep deprivation magnifies the challenges in an already difficult life. One area where sleep deprivation takes its toll is on our relationships, both at home and in the workplace.
Research from across the globe has linked general sleep tendencies with relationship quality, showing that people who sleep worse experience less satisfying relationships, particularly with romantic partners. People are more likely to fight with their partners after a poor night of sleep, and couples have more difficulty resolving conflicts if either partner slept worse the prior night. The effects go the other way as well — people tend to sleep worse after fighting with their romantic partners. This creates the possibility of a vicious cycle in which poor sleep begets conflict, and conflict begets poor sleep. Additionally, research suggests children who are exposed to more marital conflict tend to sleep worse, which may have further negative effects on the parents’ sleep. In contrast, children whose parents have higher quality relationships tend to sleep better.
Read the full article at Harvard Business Review.