How your relationship impacts sleep quality
When you have good relationships with you family, friends and romantic partners you generally have better health outcomes like less stress. Past studies have also established this link. Stress has been shown to cause poor sleep — in terms of sleep quality and sleep duration. And stresses relating to your relationship can cause you to toss and turn at night. Previous research has examined if specific stressful events in a relationship such as divorce predict poor sleep but there is no research which examines how ongoing patterns of experiences and behaviours in a relationship and resultant stress can impact sleep.
The study shows that the quality of your relationships is important and can impact health behaviours such as sleep.
In this new study, researchers examine the effects of relationship effectiveness and stress exposure on sleep quality and duration using data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (MLSRA). In 1975–1976, the MLSRA recruited 267 first‐time mothers and then tracked their child, assessing his or her health, social relationships, and socioemotional functioning from birth to middle adulthood. This study uses data from three waves of assessment of the MLSRA at ages 23, 32, and 37 years. The participants were asked about their current and recent romantic relationships at both ages 23 and 32 years. They described past conflict experiences, how their partners treated them and how they treated their partners. They also described aspects of their relationship they like and did not like and gave perceptions of their partners’ values and feelings relating to their relationship. Additional details were asked about their general experiences in romantic relationships. Sleep quality and duration was assessed at age 37.
The researchers found that participants who had positive relationship experiences at age 23, experienced fewer and less disruptive life events at age 32 which predict better sleep quality — but not sleep duration — at age 37. The study shows that the quality of your relationships is important and can impact health behaviours such as sleep. This study also demonstrates that people who are higher in relationship effectiveness experience lower severity of life stressors when they occur and that people who are exposed to fewer stressful life events have better sleep quality.
Source: Personal Relationships
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