Sleeping on it
By Robin Abrahams
Hey, everyone, this is the 100th post on this blog! It's been lots of fun so far ... thanks to all of you who read, and especially to those of you who write.
There are a lot of articles in today's New York Times health section about sleep and the importance of same for healthy brain functioning, and one on Yahoo.com about how sleep-deprived people tend to overreact emotionally to all sorts of things.
Which makes me wonder, as I have for some time now, about that bit of marital advice people like to give about not going to bed angry. Why not? If you're mad at your spouse, you're not going to get any less mad as you deprive yourself of needed rest. And your ability to think through the conflict logically and compassionately is going to go down considerably.
A little while back Mr. Improbable and I got into an argument before bed, and once it became clear that we weren't going to resolve it, decided to get some sleep. The next morning we awoke rested, apologized sincerely for the part we had each played, and had a nice cup of tea out on the roof. What seemed like a big problem when we were tired didn't seem that way at all in the morning.
So why and where did this idea about never going to bed angry get such traction? Maybe instead of saying "don't go to bed angry," we should start saying "don't fight when you're tired."