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As someone who physically can not function on less than seven hours of sleep, it makes perfect sense that poor sleep can damage a relationship. I become irritable, mean and borderline b*%tchy towards anyone that crosses my path for most of the next day, and apparently so did the sleepless women in a recent University of Pittsburgh study. Troxel and her colleagues studied 35 couples - they found that when women had trouble getting to sleep, there were fewer positive interactions and more negative ones during the day. But insomnia in men didn't appear to affect the way a couple related.
This basically confirms something we probably all already knew: women are moody. What can I say? We need our beauty rest. And Troxel and colleagues aren't the only researchers to back this claim. University of Pennsylvania assistant professor of medicine Dr. Grace Pien agrees, "They [women] are more conscious about how their sleep is affecting them... And that may translate into their interactions with their spouses - or other people."
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Dr. Alon Avidan, an associate professor in the department of neurology and associate director of the sleep center at UCLA adds, "Insomnia is related to hyperarousal - which means that certain areas of the brain fail to calm down as night comes. In evolutionary terms it made more sense for women, who were the ones who took care of the kids, to be hyper-alert."
Forcing yourself to turn off your brain is a nearly impossible task, so the question still remains, what can women do to make sure their sleep issues don't turn into relationship issues? Besides being conscious and addressing the situation, Avidan urges that women need to seek help for their insomnia. Do you lash out at your man when your sleep is compromised? Let me know in the comments.
Ruvan Wijesooriya Photo: A4 (Issue #64)
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