Never go to bed angry – study finds evidence for age-old advice

Dec 1, 2016

By Hannah Devlin

Never go to bed angry, the old saying goes, or bad feeling will harden into resentment. Now scientists have found evidence to support the idea that negative emotional memories are harder to reverse after a night’s sleep.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that during sleep, the brain reorganises the way negative memories are stored, making these associations harder to suppress in the future.

“In our opinion, yes, there is certain merit in this age-old advice,” said Yunzhe Liu, who led the research at Beijing Normal University and is now based at University College London. “We would suggest to first resolve argument before going to bed; don’t sleep on your anger.”

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2 comments on “Never go to bed angry – study finds evidence for age-old advice

  • 1
    Cairsley says:

    As is written in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Even if you are angry, do not sin: never let the sun set on your anger, or else you will give the devil a foothold.” (New Jerusalem Bible)

    These seem to become even wiser words, when, prompted by the article, one understands “the devil” to be a product of our own brain-processes.

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  • In the days long ago when I was young, beautiful and in love, we used to settle angry rows, by going to bed early. However, a psychologist informed us that such behaviour was only reinforcing anger, the reward being hot, like hell, but much more pleasurable and rewarding.

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