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Should You Go to Bed Angry?


When stressed out, it is far too easy to get into an argument with a significant other, family member or friend. What is the best way to approach sleep when you are riled up from a conflict? Is it better to “sleep on it” and talk

the issue in the morning or another time when you are calm or should you push through to settle an argument before heading off to sleep? How should you approach conflict and emotional upset when it is time to get a decent night’s sleep? Weigh your options and your ability to de-stress as you decide on your best course of action.

Expert Advice

It appears that when individuals get angry the prefrontal lobes of the brain shut down and limit our abilities to be reasonable. It then becomes far too easy for the fight or flight response to take over. We look to prove our point and for good measure, add additional issues into the mix. The rise of heated emotions

it difficult to address the real problem. Before coming to some sort of resolution, the parties involved need to calm down. Interestingly enough, it takes men three times longer to cool off when compared to women. The first step is to step away and focus on turning the emotional temperature down. Psychologists advise:

    • To take a walk;
    • Sit in the bathroom or a separate space; and
    • Perform some deep breathing.

This will help to

tension, bring your blood pressure down and steer you back to your rational mind. You can then come back to the individual, sincerely talk and listen and take measures to solve the problem. Depending on the time of the argument, it is possible to come back and smooth over the issue and get a full night’s rest. If the event occurs late at night and it appears next to impossible to take the time needed to come back to the argument to calmly talk, it is better to head to bed with the understanding that a discussion on the topic will take place the following day.

an angry couple in bed

How to Calm Down

There are a number of ways to calm down after an argument with a partner, family member, colleague or friend. An argument does not mean that your relationship is unhealthy but opens a door for communication on sensitive topics. Trying to sleep when you are upset can be close to impossible. If time allows, try to take a few steps to come to a resolution or find another time to discuss the concern. Ways to get into a calmer frame of mind include:

    • Disengage from the conflict and allow time for reflection;
    • Begin to take 5 deep belly breaths to return to more normal breathing patterns;
    • Visualize a peaceful place with eyes closed;
    • Listen to relaxing music;
    • Play with or pet companion animals;
    • Take a warm bath;
    • Perform some yoga sequences;
    • Put on some music and dance;
    • Talk with an objective yet sympathetic friend; and
    • Do some self-massage.

While a few suggestions may appear to be contradictory, your physical and emotional response depends upon if you are the type to become angry or to feel sad or withdrawn in reaction to conflict. The first suggestions work better for those that feel angry. The others may be better suited for those that experience sadness. Learn how to disengage and get into a calm state in order to resolve an argument and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

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