Adjusting to a sleep schedule that is less than your winter break average of 10 hours takes some getting used to, especially when you’re sleeping with one or more sleep-deprived students within 10 feet of you. Unfortunately for you and everyone trapped in that confined space with you, a new study has shown that poor sleep can make romantic partners unappreciated. While we understand that in most cases you and your roommates are not romantically involved, we extrapolated these results to dynamic of Cal students.
One of the main observations of this study is that though one person may have slept soundly, the couple can experience problems if just one of the pair didn’t. With the early-semester overload of classes coupled with the habit of sleeping as the sun starts to come up, there’s a fairly high chance that someone in your dorm or apartment woke up in a cranky mood. And it doesn’t help that someone is bound to have an 8 a.m. class and an annoying alarm that resembles the assortment of noises a car makes when broken into. It’s fair to say that this study is accurate – fewer words are exchanged when people are running low on energy, and it leaves less opportunity for commonplace phrases like “thank you.” No one likes to feel unappreciated, particularly when we’re all pushing ourselves to work the hardest we can.
Another important point that was brought up was how a lack of sleep allots less patience for the idiosyncrasies that you’re used to. For example, the fact that your roommate eats his breakfast one Cheerio at a time may not have particularly caught your attention before, but the constant clinking of the spoon against the bowl would be quick to draw your ire if you’re already feeling sleepy in the morning. Projecting that annoyance into an aura around you can be contagious too, so be careful of how open you are with your emotions after a bad night.
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According to a new study lead by sixth-year graduate student Amie Gordon, sleep deprivation makes some people more self-centered and consequently express less gratitude toward romantic partners.
Gratitude is vital in relationships of all kinds. But maybe there is a link between that all-nighter spent writing a paper and that argument that happened the next day?
This is why we at the Clog now have the best prescription for relationship health: Sleep all day. Preferably together. Adopt the sleeping schedule of cats. When you and your partner manage to wake up for the same three hours once a week, the conversation will be all excuse-me’s and thank-you’s.
Remember that Depeche Mode song “Enjoy the Silence”? Well, you can’t talk when you’re sleeping. We believe we have taken this study to its natural conclusion.
This is also why we believe us mega-sleepers are so generous and friendly. Thanks Ms. coffee-lady, we’re well rested and can now properly empathize. Have a massive tip. And Mr. cut-me-off-on-the-freeway? Thanks for not crashing into us, we guess.
Another point in Gordon’s study — who’s pursuing a doctorate in social-personality psychology — is that the expression of gratitude actually affects a person’s mental and physical health. It can lead to “fewer headaches and stomachaches, as well as better cardiovascular health.”
In the back of our minds, most of us know that emotions are biological. Chemicals and whatnot. But sometimes we like to pretend that they’re not. This may be why the expression of gratitude improving someone’s physical health comes as a surprise. Good emotions, good health.
Gordon also said that this “could be another point of research for how other bodily mechanisms, such as feeling hunger or being cold, can affect emotions.” Truly fascinating. Who knew our emotions were so much at the whim of our physical circumstances? We look forward to hearing more.
Image source: Wandering in China under Creative Commons
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