Ever heard of the notion that better sleep makes a better marriage? Perhaps it’s not to be taken lightly – recent research has found that sleep-deprived people are more unpleasant, and even hostile, in their social interactions than those who get adequate sleep.

Essentially, it’s the way sleep, or lack thereof, that impacts the way couples handle their spats. An Ohio State University study looked at 43 couples to explore how marital interactions influence a person’s health. Whilst arguments are universal amongst couples, how couples handled them were not. Some couples argued constructively and even with kindness, while others were hostile and negative. Now here’s the interesting bit, the hostile couples were also the most likely to be those who weren’t getting much sleep.

Dr Stephanie J Wilson, lead author of the study conducted by Ohio State University, states,

Of course, instinctively we know that sleep deprivation makes us short-tempered and unable to concentrate, make decisions or empathise. A sense of humour, badly needed in any relationship, is the first casualty of sleep deprivation.

Perhaps while getting enough zzz’s won’t prevent quarrels altogether, it may impact how you resolve them, allowing you to interact with your partner with respect.

So, does better sleep make us a nicer person?

Getting enough sleep may mean we aren’t as hostile, but does it actually mean that we’re nicer? Another study, which explored the effect of sleep deprivation on vocal expression of emotion in adolescents and adults, found that sleep deprived patients showed a significant decrease in positive emotion. Decreases in pitch, intensity, and vocal sharpness were also recorded. This suggests that being sleep deprived may have a negative effect on the way we communicate nicely with other people.

So, put in those hard earned hours of sleep and watch your relationships with your partner and family flourish.