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Why couples need to sleep to improve their relationships

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
22 January 2013

Lack of sleep makes us irritable and unable to concentrate so it’s not surprisingly that being tired takes its toll on our relationship.

But it goes deeper than that. According to new research, being tired actually makes us less able to appreciate our partner and more likely to take him for granted.

The US study of more than 60 couples found that lack of sleep makes us more selfish.

Amie Gordon, a University of California, Berkeley psychologist and lead investigator of the research "Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritise our own needs over our partner's.

“You may have slept like a baby, but if your partner didn't, you'll probably both end up grouchy."

[Related: Couples reveal they sleep better alone. Do you?]

In the study the couples kept a diary of how they slept and how they felt towards their partner. They were also videotaped taking part in problem-solving tasks. Those who got less sleep, cared less about their partner’s opinion.

Sleep is vital for our health, giving our body time to repair and to fight any infections, beneficial for weight loss and essential for a healthy brain. So if you’re having trouble getting some shut eye, you’ll find it encroaches on all areas of your life.

[Related: Five ways to sleep better this winter]

Amie explained that lack of sleep makes it harder for us to appreciate anything and therefore harder to say thank you, which can serious impact relationships. She recommends making the effort to say ‘thanks’ a little more often.

We’re aiming for a little more shut eye tonight!

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