-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- If you feel underappreciated
by your spouse, it may be because he or she isn't getting enough
sleep, a new study suggests.
Sleep deprivation can leave couples "too tired to say thanks"
and may leave a partner feeling as if they are being taken for
granted, according to the findings by University of California,
More than 60 couples took part in each of two experiments. The
participants ranged in age from 18 to 56. In one experiment,
couples kept a diary of their sleep patterns and how the quality of
their sleep affected their appreciation of their partner.
In the other experiment, couples were videotaped as they did
problem-solving tasks. People who had slept poorly the previous
night showed less appreciation for their partner, the investigators
Overall, the findings suggest that poor sleep might make it
harder for people to count their blessings and value their
partners, said study investigator and UC Berkeley psychologist Amie
"Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner's," she said in a university news release.
What can you do?
"Make sure to say 'thanks' when your partner does something nice," Gordon suggested. "Let them know you appreciate them."
Although the study found an association between poor sleep and
less gratitude among partners, it didn't prove that sleep
deprivation was the cause of the behavior in these spouses.
The study was scheduled for presentation Saturday at the annual
meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in New
Orleans. The data and conclusions of research presented at medical
meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers
strategies for getting enough sleep.
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