Poor Sleep Can Cause Relationship Strain

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Can bad sleep habits ruin relationships?

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, evaluated the sleep patterns of more than 60 couples and came to the conclusion a poor night’s sleep can cause both short-term and long-term relationship strain.

Researchers asked participants to keep a journal detailing both their sleep patterns and how they felt about their relationship partner.

Researchers also tracked certain participant’s sleep patterns and recorded those participants solving puzzles with their partners.


“Sleep deprivation prevented individuals from

acknowledging and appreciating their partners.”

In all instance,s poor sleep patterns contributed directly to relationship problems.

Researchers found sleep deprivation prevented individuals from acknowledging and appreciating their partners.

Additionally, researchers found various aspects of sharing a bed with a partner (including snoring and fighting over blankets) caused tension between partners, especially when these actions resulted in one or both partners experiencing low-quality sleep.

Lead researcher Amie Gordon summarized the study’s findings, noting:

“Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner’s. You may have slept like a baby, but if your partner didn’t, you’ll probably both end up grouchy.”


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