Emotional/Mental Wellness: Is It OK to Go to Bed Angry?

Original article is available at Greatist Daily.

We've stuffed our faces in a pillow and teared up after a screaming match. There may have been some fist-pounding and leg kicking, too. But is it actually detrimental to personal health or relationships to go to bed in a tizzy? The answer is yes — sometimes. If the sun goes down and a fight is left open-ended, it could lead to a less restful sleep. But in other situations it may actually be best to sleep on it.

Bedtime Blues — The Need-to-Know

BedtimeSuppressing anger may poorly affect the quality of those Zzs. Post-fight, hanging on to feelings of anger and hostility is related to poorer sleep quality [1]. And after an extremely distressing event, it might be best to stay awake for a while [2]. Dr. Rebecca Spencer and a team of psychologists showed participants disturbing photos (like scenes from a war-torn country) and found that sleep made the participants’ negative emotional memories stronger [3]. Spencer gave one possible explanation for the results: When we sleep, our brains sort through information and decide which memories are important. The important ones move from the hippocampus (a temporary storage place) to the cortex, a more permanent location.

But the same study also suggests that going to sleep after a mildly distressing event (like arguing with a parent) can actually be helpful. Sleeping allows us to wake up with a clean slate, Spencer says. So in the morning, we can discuss the situation more calmly and rationally [4].
Confused? The consequences of going to bed angry may depend on the person. A small study of people in cohabiting relationships found that all participants experienced sleep disruption after conflict with their significant other. But the most sleep disruption occurred in people, especially ladies, who were highly anxious in their relationship. The lowest degree of sleep disruption, however, was found in people who strongly avoided emotional attachment.

Don’t Get Mad, Get Zzzs — The Answer/Debate

The good news is we can use the way our brain stores information to our advantage. If we think of something that makes us feel good, like getting a thumbs-up for a job well done at work, we will likely feel just as strongly about it in the morning. And when there’s a rift between friends or romantic partners, sometimes forgiveness may be the solution that makes for a more peaceful slumber [1].
When conflict arises between romantic partners, some experts suggest kissing before bed — no matter what the status of the relationship at that moment. But according to Greatist Expert Ian Kerner, “If you’re fighting with your partner because he cheated or was flirting it up with an ex, you’re not going to feel like kissing that person." Instead, Kerner suggests respecting yourself and honoring the emotional state.
If anger lingers when it’s time for lights out and you’d rather forgo a kiss (or more), try talking about what’s good in a relationship, romantic or not, instead of rehashing issues. Even just thinking about the good aspects of a relationship, remember why you’re grateful to the person you’re not so thrilled with at the moment. Moral of the sleepy quandary? After a tussle, be aware there may be deeper things that can’t be resolved before bed.
Do you go to bed angry sometimes? Or would you rather kiss and make nice? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. For me, the choice of a company to which I could entrust my progress is very important, that's why I always analyze the company's website exactly on the writing expert. For me, this site has become a benchmark for reviews. For two years of using it, I have never had any problems with orders. As mentioned in the reviews, the companies I selected provided very high quality services.

  2. Online dating is in great demand nowadays, because people don't want to go somewhere and waste time on someone. But https://yourmailorderbride.com/chinese-brides/ helps you find the right girl who will be your future wife.

  3. if you're an HSP, you owe it to yourself to focus on understanding and accepting this side of yourself. You'll realize that you're not flawed and that there are various ways to arrange your life so that you're not continually swimming upstream. Counselor for relationships will be okay for changing your behavior for your spouse.

  4. Hi! Do you know something about average amount of sex for married couples? My therapist helps me to examine myself when it's not comfortable to do so. She knows me very well by now. Nothing much slips by him and that is as it should be because Jeanette keeps me accountable, but is also encouraging and so helpful in the daily situations that arise. I couldn't be happier, that I was matched with her. This online Calmerry therapy is super cool and an incredible blessing to me.