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How poor sleep affects your romantic relationships

Narrator:       This is Science Today. The health effects of poor sleep, which can impact learning and metabolism, are well documented. But a University of California, Berkeley, study sheds new light on a hidden role of a lack of sleep. Study leader Amie Gordon, a graduate student of psychology, says poor sleep can impact how you feel towards your romantic partner.

Gordon:          These particular studies that I just presented basically show a link between lack of sleep and feeling less grateful the next day, or if you are someone who tends to sleep poorly in general, then you may be less grateful in general towards your romantic partner.

Narrator:       Gordon says this is very preliminary research, but one theory is that poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner's.

Gordon:          It's harder to be appreciative of a partner because that requires noticing this person and that they're valuable. And if you just don't have that cognitive functioning, you're going to be less able to take that step and do that.  You're going to be again, more in survival mode. So, we're hoping to do many more studies to really get at understanding the role of sleep and relationships.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.