We all know firsthand that sleep affects our mood. After a sleepless night you may be more irritable and vulnerable to stress and once you sleep, your mood often returns to normal. The same can go for the other way around too. We’ve all heard the saying “never go to bed angry”. Now research has shown that going to bed angry can have serious ill effects on your health, aside from insomnia and sleepless nights.
Chronic anger increases your blood pressure and heart rate. It also increases the pressure inside your skull, makes your breathing irregular, decreases insulin activity along with multiple other symptoms which can all affect your sleep and cause you to wake up feeling still tired in the morning.
If you’re angry right before bed, it’s recommended to not go to sleep right away, but to stay awake for a couple hours and relax before falling asleep. Research has shown that going to sleep after experiencing negative emotions appears to reinforce or “preserve” them.
In the study, psychologists showed participants disturbing photos (like scenes from a war-torn country) and found that sleep make the participants’ negative emotional memories stronger.
To help avoid going to bed with these negative feelings fresh, try thinking about something positive that happened during the day, or earlier in the week. This will help relax you and allow you to have a more peaceful sleep so you can feel stress free and more rested in the morning.