Most of us know that not getting enough sleep can negatively impact our outlook on life, making us irritable and anxious. But did you know that your love life can also suffer when you don’t catch enough zzzzs?
Science says if you don’t get enough sleep, which is true of one in three Americans, you may overreact emotionally and make yourself a bad romantic partner. According to research, not getting enough shuteye can seriously impact the quality of your relationships. That’s because when you’re sleep-deprived, the part of your brain that ties emotions to memories—the amygdala—doesn’t function properly, as Time reported. The amygdala may release more or less neurotransmitters, which could lead you to overreact or not notice someone else’s emotions, which is a big relationship red flag. In fact, a 2013 study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that the amygdala activity of poor sleepers predicted symptoms of depression and perceived stress.
“All of the things it takes to make a relationship work are probably completely decimated by lack of sleep,” says W. Christopher Winter, a neurologist based in Charlottesville, the author of “The Sleep Solution,” told Time. “Your brain’s ability to do things gets whittled down to: find food, urinate, get through the day.”
All of the niceties it takes to nurture a sense of connection get lost amid the chaos of a jangled brain. While some people think they are so tough they don’t really need to log eight hours, experts say it’s helpful to think about how lack of sleep impacts others. Jennifer L. Martin, a clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist at UCLA, says that without enough rest, we overreact to situations that normally wouldn’t rattle us.
“This can lead to more conflict and less satisfying relationships,” Martin told Time. “If you have ever seen a 2-year-old who skipped a nap, you can see a version of how we all react to sleep deprivation in terms of our emotions…Small problems seem bigger. Our reactions are amplified. Some studies show that people are more likely to feel sad, depressed, or anxious if they don’t sleep well or if they are sleep-deprived.”
The worst part of it all, is that, just like the cranky toddler with the lost binky, we don’t usually notice this amplification of our emotional reactions. We think it’s perfectly reasonable that we’re irate over who was supposed to go grocery shopping. …
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle