Another reason lack of sleep is bad for you and your marriage

July 6, 2012

in Marriage Killer, Seeing Clearly, Understanding Her

Two fists © freedigitalphotos.netDoes being tired make it hard to be happy? Dr. Matthew Walker of UC Berkeley suggests this is the case. What we do and learn is stored in the long term part of our brain while we sleep, and more sleep means better storage. However, not all memories are treated the same way. Negative memories are processed by the amygdala while positive and neutral memories are processed by the hippocampus. Because sleep deprivation effects the hippocampus more than the amygdala, a lack of sleep means you will remember the bad things  far better than the good things.

But it gets even worse. A lack of sleep results in the brain processing things differently, and more negatively. The amygdala, which goes into overdrive without sleep, is the part of the brain responsible for the fight or flight response. Without proper sleep we over react, seeing things as more threatening and more negative than we would if we had sufficient sleep. Dr. Walker says a night without sleep turns a person into “emotional JELL-O”. Hardly a good thing for a marriage!

First and foremost, get enough sleep, and do all you can to ensure your bride does the same. Secondly, when you or your bride does not get enough sleep, be aware things will look more negative than they are. Learn to extend extra grace when she is sleep-deprived, and help her understand why she would be wise to do the same for you. Agree not to make decisions or argue when one of both of you has been short on sleep. Your marriage will be better for these choices.

Reference:
Sleep loss linked to psychiatric disorders

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