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How Sleep Impacts Our Romantic Relationships

How well did you sleep last night? It turns out that your answer may have implications for your romantic relationship. Today, my friend Amie Gordon from UC Berkeley gave a fascinating talk about how our quality of sleep impacts our feelings of gratitude in relationships. Across three studies, Amie found that when we are sleep deprived we feel less grateful and less appreciative of our partners. It seems that when tired, we become more self-focused and have less energy to pay attention to our partners and their efforts in the relationship, and therefore feel lower levels of gratitude. We are also impacted by our partner’s sleep patterns. When both you and your partner are well-rested, you feel more gratitude toward towards each other and more appreciated. But, when one person sleeps poorly, both partners are negatively impacted.

Given that many of us do not get enough sleep (I know all of us SPSP-goers are finding less time for sleep this weekend!), Amie’s findings are incredibly relevant to couples’ everyday lives. Wishing everyone a good night’s rest (unless of course you are in New Orleans attending the Mardi Gras parade tonight)!

The L.A. Times picked up on this study and wrote about it here.

Dr. Amy Muise - Sex Musings | Science of Relationships articles | Website/CV
Dr. Muise’s research focuses on sexuality, including the role of sexual motives in maintaining sexual desire in long-term relationships, and sexual well-being. She also studies the relational effects of new media, such as how technology influences dating scripts and the experience of jealousy.

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