Valentine’s day is just behind us. When the candles are out and the roses have wilted, it’s up to us to continue being loving, supportive partners, even in the absence of obscene discounts on chocolate.
Taking care of yourself and taking care of your loved ones are sometimes seen as distinct efforts. The reality couldn’t be further from that idea. While some degree of personal sacrifice is a part of every good relationship, if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not going to make a very good partner to anybody.
One of the most important things you can do to keep the flame burning in your relationship is, surprisingly for some, to make sure you get enough sleep. Here are three reasons that’s the case.
1. Getting enough sleep helps you see eye to eye
A study out of UC Berkeley showed that a bad night of sleep is associated with more conflict with one’s romantic partner the following day. When you don’t get enough rest, you actually have trouble reading other people’s emotions accurately. Losing sleep impairs various brain parts of your brain, and numerous studies have shown that high-level operations like using empathy and reading facial expressions are among the first to suffer.
2. Sleep deprivation makes you crabby and unpleasant
Even one night of poor sleep sensitizes your brain to negative emotions. That translates to heightened irritability and stress, leaving you more likely to overreact to small things—blow-out fight over dishes, anyone? Being deprived of sleep is like having a little storm cloud over your head all day, which is unlikely to have positive effects on your relationship, to say the least.
3. Your sense of humour suffers when you don’t sleep enough
If sharing laughs is an important part of your relationship, prepare to find everything a lot less funny if you don’t sleep enough. Humour takes a lot out of the brain, and when sleep deprivation leaves it struggling to power through basic functions, you can bet that humour will suffer. In fact, many studies have shown exactly this.