Should You Really Never Go To Bed Angry? Why It Might Be Better To Sleep On It

You’ve probably heard the old adage that you should never go to bed angry after a fight with a partner or other loved one. And while it’s a well-intentioned saying meant to encourage peace, love, understanding, and all that groovy stuff, it may not actually be good advice. In fact, sometimes pulling the duvet over your head for some shut-eye when you’re still full of rage is the best possible thing you can do. Here’s why.

What does “never go to bed angry” really mean?

It’s pretty self-explanatory, of course, but let’s talk it out. The phrase “never go to bed angry” is a piece of advice often given to couples, friends, or family members who are fighting/caught up in some kind of drama or conflict. It suggests that it’s important to resolve any issues before going to sleep rather than allowing negative feelings to linger and potentially escalate.

In essence, the phrase encourages people to work through their issues and reach a resolution before going to bed. In theory, by not sorting things out that night, you risk letting the conflict fester and potentially causing more harm to the relationship. By resolving the issue before sleeping, people can wake up with a fresh start and move forward without lingering negative emotions. Seems pretty straightforward, right?

Why should you never go to bed angry?

If you’re someone who thinks the whole “never go to bed angry” thing is good advice, you probably believe so for these reasons.

  1. It can make it hard to sleep. When you’re angry or upset, your mind can be preoccupied with negative thoughts. That can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. This can lead to a restless night and leave you feeling tired and irritable the next day. If you’re someone who’s naturally anxious or tends to replay conversations/scenarios in your head, this can definitely hold true.
  2. It can damage your relationship. When arguments are left unresolved, they can fester and build up over time, causing resentment and damage to the relationship. By addressing the problem and making up before going to bed, you can prevent things from getting out of hand.
  3. It can lead to physical health issues. Our emotions can have a major effect on our physical bodies too. Holding onto anger or negative emotions can lead to headaches, muscle tension, and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. These symptoms can have long-term effects on your health and well-being. Obviously, that’s a bit extreme and unlikely to be an issue once or twice. However, if fighting before bed and leaving it to fester is commonplace in your relationship, it could be a problem (in more ways than one).
  4. It can impact your mental health. When you go to bed angry, it can impact your mood and overall mental health. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. Having hours to lay there thinking things over and getting yourself wound even further up can exacerbate this. You know it’s true!
  5. You might regret it. When you wake up in the morning after going to bed angry, you may regret the things you said or did the night before. This can make your relationship even worse. There are some things you just can’t take back.

Why it might be healthier not to resolve things right away

While it’s generally recommended that you never go to bed angry, there may be situations where it could be healthier than trying to resolve things too quickly.

  1. It gives you time to cool off. Sometimes, trying to resolve a fight too quickly can make things worse. Emotions can be high and rational thinking can be difficult, which may cause things to escalate. Taking a break and going to bed angry may allow both of you to cool down and approach the situation with a clearer mind the next day. You can have make-up sex in the morning!
  2. It can provide space for reflection. Going to bed angry can give both of you time to reflect on what happened and how you can approach the situation differently. This can lead to a more productive conversation the next day. Of course, if you’re extra stubborn, it might piss you off even more and make you even more sure that you were right, but that’s the risk you run…
  3. It keeps you from saying hurtful things. When emotions are high, it’s easy to say things that we don’t mean or that we’ll regret later. Taking a break and going to bed angry can ensure that doesn’t happen. Sometimes the less you say to each other, the better. You never know what might come out of your mouth in the heat of the moment.
  4. It promotes healthy self-care habits. Sometimes, focusing on self-care and caring for our needs is necessary before we can approach a conflict. Going to bed angry may allow us to prioritize our own mental health and well-being before trying to resolve the issue. Sometimes you just need to get your head around something before you’re able to confront it head-on.
  5. It prevents you from brushing things under the carpet. Making up simply for the sake of it isn’t always a good thing. There’s nothing worse than brushing an issue under the carpet when it hasn’t actually been resolved. Give yourselves time and space to sleep on it. This way, you have a better chance of actually working things out.
  6. It can encourage active listening. When emotions are high, it can be difficult to truly listen to the other person’s perspective. Going to bed angry can give both parties time to calm down and approach the conversation with a more open and receptive mindset. Whether or not you think you’re “right,” you should still respect your partner enough to hear them out.
  7. It’s all about healthy boundaries. Sometimes, going to bed angry may be necessary in order to set healthy boundaries. If the fight is really upsetting you or causing you harm in any way, it’s important to prioritize your own well-being and take a break before attempting to resolve the issue. Your partner needs to respect that. If they don’t, you have a bigger problem on your hands.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia