One way to be happier in your marriage? Get more rest. An experience sampling study.

Rested Relationship

Are you satisfied in your marriage? A daily diary study showed that this loaded question could be answered differently based on if one had more or less sleep.

When answering a question like, “are you satisfied with your marriage?” you make a decision based on the ups and downs of your experiences and then make a “global” assessment. But, in order to tune out more of the bad experiences, and remember good, you have to use self-control.

Self-control takes energy, and, if we are tired, it’s more difficult to tune out the bad things. So, Psychologists at Florida State University wanted to study whether or not the amount of one’s sleep was related to their marital satisfaction.

To do this, the researchers had newlywed couples participate in a weeklong study where they answered questions about their relationship satisfaction, amount of sleep, along with other interpersonal experiences, once per day.

After the study, they found that

  1. Both spouses reported increased marital satisfaction on days they had more sleep.
  2. Getting more sleep helped buffer against the effect of recalling negative experiences when making the global assessment in husbands, but not wives.

So, sleep can play an important role when evaluating one’s marriage. These results would have been get without the daily diary method, as the couple’s didn’t have to make global assessments about their sleep and global assessments about their satisfaction. Instead, the researchers were able to see how sleep influenced the results day by day. If you want to improve your satisfaction with your marriage day by day, you might consider getting more sleep.

 

Article

Maranges, H. M., & Mcnulty, J. K. (2016). The Rested Relationship: Sleep Benefits Marital Evaluations. Journal of Family Psychology.

Author Laura Williams

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