I read an interesting article that Terry Real wrote disputing the maxim of not going to bed angry. On a certain level, it makes sense to resolve a problem so that your mind can be free and clear to enjoy a hopefully good night’s sleep. However, there are many advances in brain science and we now recognize that going to sleep is in fact a “good circuit breaker.”
We all have ups and downs in our relationships, and our culture tends to glorify the up phase, when we are getting along and all is well with the world. Statements like “never go to bed angry” don’t serve us well because it’s documented that sleep actually helps give us an opportunity to soften our attitudes as it puts a stop on our automatic responses. It’s like a time – out where we give ourselves a break from an overwhelming situation. Often, the lateness of the hour and the degree of fatigue felt by one or both parties make the attainment of a quick and easy resolution a less likely outcome. We stop, sleep, and can have a do over the following morning.
Conflict is intrinsic to our nature and although best addressed, maybe we would be better off, if we just sleep on it!