Go to bed angry or worried

Go to bed angry or worried

Going to bed angry or submerged in an ocean of worries doesn't just lead to bad rest. Often the burden of negative emotions over time leaves a mark on our brain, preventing us from thinking clearly.

Go to bed angry or worried

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

Going to bed angry or worried is a bad habit that we all have in common. We do it almost without realizing it, and when emotions take over, we find ourselves with our heads on the pillow thinking that, perhaps, the next morning the fog will have cleared. However, the new day is seldom decisive in itself; and in the end, the problems continue to be where we left them.

It happens a little to all of us. We argue with the partner and instead of resolving the conflict, we use reprimand, unhappy word or silence. We carry all this under the covers, falling asleep back to back, wrapped in childish pride and discord. Thus, to the disappointment is added the bad rest, if not a long sleepless night.

Bad sleep almost always results in a bad day, with the exhausted body and the clouded mind. In such a state, it is difficult to find the courage and resources to resolve the conflict with the partner. Going to bed angry is therefore not the most desirable condition.

Recent studies report that while being able to rest for a few hours, sleeping with the weight of negative emotions affects our brain. Certainly a curious fact to take into consideration. Let's go deeper into this topic.

“Those who can't sleep are because they believe they have to be vigilant”.

-Bert Hellinger-

Why shouldn't we go to bed angry or worried?

It's not just about waking up in a bad mood: a good part of the cognitive potential is also lost. That is, certain processes are limited such as memory, reflexive capacity, creativity and inner calm with which to face problems in an active and proactive way.

As Sherlock Holmes said, the solution to any problem is a good rest. However, according to experts, we can only fulfill that advice if we can go to bed and leave worries behind. Rest your head on the pillow with a calm, clear and goal-oriented mind, that is to reconcile a regenerating sleep.

If we go to bed overwhelmed by pressure, clouded or devoured by stress, anxiety or anger towards someone, we end up amplifying that malaise. This because the negative emotional state not only makes it difficult to sleep, but also affects the brain.

The brain and the impact of negative emotions during rest

Dr. Yunzhe Liu of Beijing Normal University conducted a collaborative study with University College London on this topic. The most important aspect in this regard is the ability to manage their emotions and worries so as to sleep more relaxed.

Through magnetic resonance imaging, it was possible to observe how the effect of sleeping with a high load of anger, anguish and stress alters different brain areas. Moreover, it has a cumulative effect. We won't notice if we fight with our partner and go to bed angry on occasional occasions; vice versa, these changes will be noticed when this habit is configured as a common practice.

The same happens with work stress and constant worry. Going to bed with such a negative imprint, week after week, contributes to altering the brain in several ways:

  • The hippocampus, a structure linked to memory and emotions, reduces its size.
  • When we are angry, the activity of the frontal lobes, responsible for rational thinking and executive tasks, is significantly reduced. The mind therefore assumes the classic vision of the tunnel, that is, we only see a part of reality, the most negative one, we become unable to relativize and we are unable to effectively implement all the resources to solve problems in a reflective and creative way.
  • Memory begins to fail. The brain is unable to perform its tasks effectively during the night and shows some difficulty in consolidating new memories.

Go to bed without carrying problems

Many say: going to bed angry or worried is not good at all. However, there are times when problems overwhelm us more than they should, and the mind fills with knots and cliffs where we risk getting stuck. What to do, then, to avoid taking these tensions to bed?

First of all, one must avoid accumulating tension and anxiety. When problems arise, they must be resolved as soon as possible, conflicts with a partner or any other person must be addressed in the moment. Because everything that is postponed does not always resolve itself, but, on the contrary, ends up becoming even more complicated.

The ideal is to rest your mind and body in bed, keeping negative emotions away. Some techniques such as relaxation, meditation or deep breathing can help us. As well as a warm bath, or a good book in bed until sleep runs its course. A calm mind sleeps better and therefore also helps you to live fuller and healthier.

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