Going to bed angry really does make it worse, new research finds.
Sleeping after making a fresh bad memory, can give that memory more strength.
Yunzhe Liu, the study’s first author, said:
“This study suggests that there is certain merit in this age-old advice: ‘Do not go to bed angry’.
We would suggest to first resolve (the) argument before… bed.”
In the study 73 students were purposefully given negative memories.
The results showed that it was much more difficult to suppress these negative memories after sleep.
The study may help in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The study’s authors write:
“For example, sleep deprivation immediately after traumatic experiences may prevent traumatic memories from being consolidated… and thus provide the opportunity to block the formation of traumatic memories.”
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications (Liu et al., 2016).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Sleep image from Shutterstock