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These Are the Consequences of Going to Bed Angry

 ‘Never go to bed angry’ turns out to be more than just a hackneyed phrase or a myth. There is quite a bit of truth in this old saying, as it turns out, and it can even be backed by science. Going to bed angry has some very real physical outcomes, which can have negative effects on your health, relationships, and even your memory. These are the 5 biggest reasons you should try to refrain from going to bed angry. 

1. The quality of your sleep will suffer

Science Backed Reasons Not to Go to Sleep Angry man sleeping

Stress, anger, and other heavy feelings are known to trigger the body into a fight or flight response, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

Under these circumstances, falling and staying asleep becomes much harder. Furthermore, a 2018 study proved that disrupted sleep can build up more anger, which means you might get caught up in a cycle of bad sleep which leads to anger, which in turn, leads to more bad sleep. 

2. Less sleep hurts your overall health

Science Backed Reasons Not to Go to Sleep Angry woman waking up upset

Science has already established that the quality of sleep directly influences our overall health. One 2010 study describes sleep as ‘overnight therapy’. During sleep, and especially deep sleep stages called REM, the brain processes and stabilizes our emotions, a process that affects our mood the next day. Negative emotions trigger the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to physical and mental ailments.

In the long run, disrupted sleep can cause insomnia, depression, and even make you more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease.

Related: 7 Mind-Boggling Facts About the Psychology of Dreaming

3. It’s harder to let go of negative feelings

Science Backed Reasons Not to Go to Sleep Angry depressed man

As you might have gathered from the previous segments, sleep magnifies emotions and thoughts, for better or worse. Although we aren’t conscious, the brain is very active during sleep; it processes and stores new information in our long or short memory. Anger is stored in the long term memory portions of the brain. 

This means a negative experience can be reduced if you stay awake after it takes place, while sleep ‘seals’ the bad emotions that stem from the experience and solidifies them. It’ll be much harder to suppress these bad memories in the future and let go of them.

4. It sends a negative message to your partner

Science Backed Reasons Not to Go to Sleep Angry couple in bed
If the reason for your anger is an argument with your significant other, and you choose to go to bed while still mad, it sends the message that your relationship and the well-being of your partner are less important than you ‘winning’ the argument. This doesn’t mean any conflicts must be neatly resolved before bedtime, but the way you handle bedtime quarrels is important. Agreeing that you would talk about it and work it out tomorrow when you’re fresh makes a big difference, rather than just rolling over when you’re at the peak of your anger.

5. It kills intimacy in the long run

Science Backed Reasons Not to Go to Sleep Angry couple being intmate
Repeatedly going to bed angry with your partner creates an unhealthy pattern and destroys potential opportunities for physical intimacy. Intimacy requires vulnerability, which is only possible when you’re relaxed and comfortable around the other person. Built-up anger can really damage that part of your relationship, which is often associated with bedtime, too. 
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