The Pros and Cons of Going To Bed Angry

There’s no denying that going to bed angry is never a good idea.

But is it always avoidable?

There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, so let’s take a look at them. On one hand, you might be able to avoid fights and resolve issues by simply communicating and working through them before bed. On the other hand, sometimes all you need is some time apart to cool down and then you can talk things through without any resentment.

So, what’s the best strategy for avoiding sleep-time blow-ups? Let’s take a closer look.

Why You Should Not Go to Bed Angry?

the pros and cons of going to bed angry

You must never go to bed angry. This may seem like common sense, but we don’t really pay heed to “why” we should not go to bed angry. The repercussions of going to sleep angry could be more long-lasting and debilitating than you think.

Going to bed angry could have a variety of adverse effects. Making sleeping while still angry a habit leaves a severe negative impact on your mental health. You may have noticed that when you sleep with a negative emotion such as anger, you get a highly disturbed sleep. You often experience a lot of nightmares and wake up exhausted only after a few hours of sleep.

Unsurprisingly, this is not good for your mental health. You require sleep to rejuvenate yourself, and not being able to do that eventually affects your physical health as well. We will now discuss some more disadvantages of going to sleep angry. Read on to see if there are any advantages as well.

2 Pros of Going to Sleep Angry

While making going to sleep angry a practice causes adverse effects on your mental and physical health, sometimes it is recommended. Let’s now come to the pros of going to sleep angry.

  1. Saves You From Reacting Impulsively
  2. Allows You to Feel the Emotion

1. Saves You From Reacting Impulsively

You must have friends who recommend that you must never let your girl go to bed upset. Well, sometimes friends are wrong. Our well-wishers often suggest to never go to sleep on an argument, but the truth is that sometimes Sleeping over an argument is often needed to not let things escalate.

You can’t always expect to be in hold of your anger and to calm down immediately after an argument. You and your partner can choose to remain silent when an argument happens, sleep over it, and then talk about it the next day. Forcing yourself and your partner to communicate that night is not the best thing to do in many situations. Be sensible. Don’t blow things up, but also allow yourself to think about it so you can talk it out in an appropriate manner the next day.

2. Allows You to Feel the Emotion

Remember that the goal is to resolve conflict, not to avoid it. The goal is not to avoid emotion, it is to manage and express it appropriately. So, your aim should not be to suppress anger as soon as possible.

If something has hurt you, bothered you, and made you angry then feeling these emotions is valid. You must allow yourself the time to feel them. You should be equally comfortable feeling both positive and negative emotions. When you have processed the emotions, you should move on to the next step: resolve the conflict. Addressing the root cause which led you to feel anger is a must.

3 Cons of Going to Sleep Angry

You must have an idea about the ills that going to bed angry causes, but let’s get into its details.

  1. You will have a Disturbed Sleep
  2. You will be Exhausted the Next Day
  3. You will have a Sour Mood the Following Morning

1. You Will Have a Disturbed Sleep

No surprises here. You must have noticed that your sleep gets affected when you go to bed when still angry or when you are stressed. The quality of sleep you get is extremely poor and the quantity is reduced too. You are likely to be up after a few hours of restless sleep. Even worse, all you could remember of sleep is having a tirade of nightmares or senseless dreams.

2. You Will Be Exhausted the Next Day

Why do you sleep? To rest your mind and body of course. When all you have in the name of sleep is a few hours of turning and tossing in bed and a bunch of nonsensical dreams, then you are bound to wake up exhausted.

Sometimes, it also causes a brain-hammering headache. All you can think about the next day is how you didn’t think your mood could get worse than last night, and yet here you are, proven massively wrong. Of course, it is coupled with the regret of going to bed angry. If only you did something that would have let your anger loose, distracted and calmed yourself down.

3. You Will Have a Sour Mood the Following Morning

Imagine you argue with your spouse just before both of you go to bed. It was something silly, but as both of you were exhausted and both of you equally wanted to have the last word, you went on and on spewing things that turned more mean than you had intended.

You turn your backs towards each other, or one of you takes the couch and you both go to sleep angry. All night, your brain repeats the conversation and you think about what you and your spouse said to each other, what you could have said, what they should not have said, and all kinds of related scenarios. After hours of doing this, you eventually doze off. How is your mood when you wake up the following day?

Of course, it’s sour!

You don’t like anything. Every little thing annoys you. You don’t look forward to your work commitments. Every little thing that gives you joy does not do so this morning. It’s a domino effect. Sleeping angry at night makes you wake up angry in the morning and it goes downhill from there. So, isn’t it better that you resolve your anger and don’t go to bed angry?

How to Overcome the Problem of Going to Sleep Angry?

  • Journaling: Penning down your thoughts allows you to vent without projecting your anger on someone else. Research shows that journaling is one of the constructive ways of managing anger. It gives you an opportunity for positive self-talk and to recognize negative thoughts and behavior. Moreover, writing angry thoughts helps you calm down and look at the situation in a subjective manner.
  • Prioritize having a good night’s sleep: Do what you can to have a good night’s sleep. If you are angry or upset, distract yourself. Watch a comedy show, talk to a friend on the phone, listen to a podcast – anything that will help you loosen up.
  • Communicate to understand: When you decide to talk it out, make sure that you intend to communicate to listen to your partner. Open yourself to the possibility that you could be wrong too. Both of you should place your points on the table and then come to a mutual understanding. Remember to respect and validate your feelings, but also remember that you won’t lose anything with an apology. If you have hurt your partner, be quick to offer a genuine apology because that is how you can manage anger in a relationship.
  • Make an effort to find a resolution: Your aim should not be to offer or accept an apology and to just talk about the issue. Get to the bottom of the issue and make sure it does not happen again. Change behavior, attitude, mindset – do whatever needs to be done to resolve it at the grass-root level.
  • Sign-up for anger management class: If you feel that all your pep talk and anger management tactics fail when you land yourself in an anger-inducing situation, then you can seek professional help. Some experts have designed online anger management courses to help individuals who face difficulty in dealing with anger. You can check them out as well and see if you are one of the several people who benefit from them.
Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC

Dr. Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC specializes in anger management, family conflict resolution, marital and premarital conflict resolution. His extensive knowledge in the field of anger management may enable you to use his tested methods to deal with your anger issues.


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