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Not Getting Peaceful Sleep at Night? Blame Your Family, Say Researchers

Update Date: Jun 01, 2012 11:39 AM EDT

No matter how hard we try to stop thinking about events or people who cause stress to us, it never really happens that we can completely stop thinking about them. If you are not getting a good night sleep, this may be the reason.

A recent study has revealed how our relationship with our family affects our sleep.

Apparently, people get restless at night if they have had fights with their family members. It is the stress and the worrying that prevents them from catching a peaceful night sleep.

The sleep study, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior  was led by Jennifer Ailshire, PhD, from the University of Southern California and Sarah A. Burgard, PhD, MD, from the University of Michigan.

For the study, National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States was used by the researchers to determine the role played by social situations or families on the sleep habits of individuals.

The research results showed that who we meet during the day affects how we sleep during the night. The survey studied individuals with sleep problems, how often they met/contacted their families, how well they got along with their families, how well they received social support from their families, etc.

The study results revealed that people who contacted their families most often and those who had troubled family relationships were the ones who faced daily or weekly sleep problems the most.

It seems, it is the stress due to the problems an individual faces with his/her family, for example a fight with a member of the family, that can lead to a troubled night of sleep. Also, if there is not enough emotional support from one's family, it can affect the sleeping pattern of an individual.

According to Corinne Reczek, PhD, from the University of Cincinnati, spousal relationships and young children mold sleep patterns in the individual because of the needs and demands of these relationships.

The report further suggests that some people may not be even aware as to how and to what extent their relationship with their family is affecting their sleep patterns.

Recent studies have revealed links between disruption or lack of sleep to risks of diabetes and obesity.

The sheer knowledge of how family stress is affecting one's sleep pattern might be beneficial for those who seek sleep aids and medication for the same.

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