It Turns Out 'Never Go To Bed Angry' Is Woefully Outdated Advice

Maybe your well-meaning albeit incredibly old-fashioned grandmother wasn't right after all. Couples have been practically told since the beginning of time that they should not go to bed while angry at one another. But the times, they are a-changin', and some experts are now advising against the antiquated adage. 


In their book "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff in Love: Simple Ways to Nurture and Strengthen Your Relationships," Dr. Richard Carlson and his wife Kristine Carlson instruct couples, "Don't fight unless the mood is right." And "Millionaire Matchmaker" star and entrepreneur Patti Stanger also disagrees with the not-going-to-bed-angry advice. "I actually think it can be good for your relationship to go to bed angry every now and then," she writes (per her official website). But why, exactly, is it okay for couples to go to bed when they're angry at each other? As it turns out, there are a few reasons.

Bedtime as cooling-off time

For starters, you may be too tired to resolve the conflict. "Lack of sleep can greatly exacerbate conflict. When couples are exhausted, they are more irritable and snippy," psychologist and dating coach Samantha Rodman told HuffPost. "Going to bed mad can often mean that you wake up feeling okay, especially if the conflict was exacerbated or even entirely caused by two irritable, fatigued people sniping at one another." And the same goes for an argument after one too many glasses of Chardonnay. It's a much better idea to wait until tensions have died down and all alcohol has left the body before attempting to hash out any relationship issues.


But that's not all. Sometimes one or more parties may need some cooling-off time, and what better way to do that than while getting some much-needed sleep? "Sometimes taking a break from conversations can help de-escalate the situation, give you a moment to self-soothe, and allow you to take in someone's perspective," sex therapist Jesse Kahn told Well+Good. Self-soothing while staring at the backs of our eyelids ... what's not to love?

All couples are different

Still, there are times when staying up as a couple and coming to a resolution is perhaps the better choice. Does going to bed angry mess with you or your partner's sleep? Then perhaps you really should stay up and duke it out! But don't just take our word for it. "Sleep happens when your body is calm and relaxed, and if your body is anxious and tense with catecholamines racing around your body, then you will be physically unable to fall asleep," Dr. Lindsay Browning told Stylist.


And as it turns out, one study suggests there is, in fact, a correlation between people going to bed angry and having a harder time putting negative emotional memories out of their minds later on. "In our opinion, yes, there is certain merit in this age-old advice," researcher Yunzhe Liu told The Guardian about the findings. "We would suggest to first resolve argument before going to bed; don't sleep on your anger," he cautioned.

Perhaps the best advice is simply to do what's best for you and your partner — whether that means going to bed angry or staying up until the wee hours of the morning to come up with a solution. As the old saying goes, different strokes for different folks!