Sleep is key to marital bliss for wife, but husbands can shrug off lack of rest
Last updated at 8:37 AM on 14th June 2011
Cause for concern: Women who sleep badly have more 'negative interactions' with their partners the next day
Husbands whose wives have trouble sleeping beware – it could ruin your marriage.
But a man’s inability to fall asleep at night does not have the same effect, a study shows.
It found that wives who have difficulty sleeping reported more ‘negative interactions’ with their partner the following day, and fewer positive ones.
Husbands had a similar reaction the day after their wives had a disturbed night.
But husbands’ sleep had no effect on either partners’ reports on the quality of their marriage.
Dr Wendy Troxel, one of the researchers, said: ‘We found that wives’ sleep problems affect her own and her spouse’s marital functioning the next day, and these effects were independent of depressive symptoms.
‘Specifically, wives who took longer to fall asleep the night before reported poorer marital functioning the next day, and so did their husbands.’
She said the relationship between nightly sleep and next day’s marital interactions was stronger than the association between daily marital interactions and subsequent sleep.
Curiously, however, husbands’ reports of more positive interactions were often followed by them getting less sleep the next night.
The researchers do not know why this might be.
Positive interactions: Husbands slept less the night after a good day with their partner, researchers found
The study involved 32 couples with an average age of 32, who were free of sleep, psychiatric or medical disorders.
The amount of time they took to get to sleep and the number of times they woke in the night were measured for ten nights.
Each day, they were then asked to report positive emotions such as feeling supported or valued by their spouse, or negative reactions such as criticism or feeling ignored.
Dr Troxel, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh in the U.S., found in a previous study that the presence of a husband or partner meant women slept better.
She has also found that women who are happy in their marriage report fewer sleep disturbances.
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If the wife's dont sleep the hubby's dont get nookie! lol ... My lack of sleep is down to our baby son not sleeping through the night, this does effect our marital bed time fun!
- Hayley, Swindon, 14/6/2011 12:55
Apparently those rubber, blow up women are a lot less argumentative.
- DS, Out here, 14/6/2011 12:46
32 couples???? mmmh, I always find that when my disfunctional wife can't sleep, 89% of the time it's because 90% of the ironing hasn't been done or 455 of the dusting. However, it COULD be because 37% of the time she's read *rse like this?
- knel before zod, newbury, 14/6/2011 12:15
Wow! Seriously comprehensive research. 32 whole couples? Well that'll be representative of every couple then! For the record my husband & I both have phases where we sleep badly, sometimes for no reason at all & sometimes due to the other person in the bed. He snores & I apparently have a variety of amusing/annoying sleeping habits, from fidgeting & huffing & puffing through to occasionally clapping my hands or banging my legs together. If I notice myself being a real bother or if he pokes me I just go & sleep happily on the couch. Looking forward to getting a bigger bed!
- Alice in Blunderland, Croydon, 14/6/2011 12:10
I have rarely had a good night's sleep since I married my husband 34 years ago because he snores so loudly, whereas he has had only a handful of disturbed nights. I can tell you, he complained a lot louder after those few sleepless hours than I ever have. I'm sure if he had as little sleep as me, our marriage would be a lot less happy.
- evelyn, UK, 14/6/2011 11:09
After about 15 years many women just dump their partners anyway to go gallivanting around town like a crazy drunken teenager.
- Alan, Manchester, 14/6/2011 10:36
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