We’ve all heard the golden rule – when it comes to arguments, never sleep on it. No matter how late it gets, resolve the issue before your head hits the pillow – or there’ll be hell to pay.
And whether you’ve believed in this sage piece of relationship advice so far or not, researchers now claim there’s quite a bit of truth to the statement.
A new study published in the journal Nature Communication looked at how bad memories are stored in the brain.
While we sleep, the brain apparently reorganises our memory store, and therefore if we sleep on a fight – the negative associations with that person are already recorded in our brains.
Using a two day study model, psychologists looked at the technique called the think/no think task with 73 male students.
What they found was that men were less able to resist thinking about upsetting memories after they’d had a good night’s sleep, than they were on the same day as the bad memories being made.
MRI scans seemed to reveal that memories laid down overnight were distributed evenly acorss the participants’ cerebral cortex, than those that hadn’t been processed overnight yet.
Neuroscientist Yunzhe Liu said that in their opinion, this meant to age-old advice of never sleeping on a fight had some truth to it.
“We would suggest to first resolve arguments before going to bed; don’t’ sleep on your anger.”