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Couples in Good Relationships Sleep Better

'Don't go to bed angry' may be age-old advice, but it's true, study says,,

WEDNESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Happy at home and sleeping well? New research shows that relationship satisfaction and sleep quality might be linked.

The study included 29 heterosexual couples who didn't have children. Each partner completed sleep diaries for seven days and also recorded interactions with their partner six times a day.

Among men, a good night's sleep was linked with positive ratings of relationship quality the next day, the researchers found. Among women, negative daytime interactions with their partner resulted in poor sleep quality that night for both them and their partner.

"When we look at the data on a day-by-day basis, there seems to be a vicious cycle in which sleep affects next-day relationship functioning, and relationship functioning affects the subsequent night's sleep," principal investigator Brant Hasler, a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

"In this cycle, conflict with one's partner during the day leads to worse sleep that night, which leads to more conflict the following day," Hasler said. "Although these results are preliminary due to the relatively small sample size and a subjective measure of sleep quality, the woman's perception of the relationship seems particularly important as it impacts both her own and her partner's subjective sleep quality that night."

Hasler suggested that it's best if disputes can be resolved before going to bed, adding that difficult discussions should be postponed until both parties have had a good night's sleep.

The findings were to be presented June 10 in Seattle at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation offers sleep tips.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, June 10, 2009

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