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How a lack of sleep can hurt your relationship

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

No sleep =
no relationship? Maybe

Can skipping on eight hours of sleep ruin your love life? A new study says it can.

Tired woman in bed with spouse

We already know that a lack of sleep can mess with our health — and waistline — but can it ruin our love life, too? Yep. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that even one bad night's sleep can damage a relationship.

For the study, researchers asked 78 couples to track their activities for two weeks. Each day, the couple made notes about sleep quality and the fights they had with their partners.

Even one partner's bad night's sleep spelled trouble for the relationship. The reason? Tired couples were less likely to show empathy to their partners, were more selfish and had less desire to work out problems.

Basically, their lack of sleep sapped away all of their willingness to work together as a couple. Keep it up long enough, and bye-bye goes the relationship.

No one wants that, so we asked JJ Virgin, nutritionist and author of The Virgin Diet, to give us a few lifestyle tips to help us get a better night's sleep and save our love lives.

"Turn off electronics about an hour before bed. Prepare for sleep: Take a hot bath with a relaxing novel. Try melatonin or other sleep aids if you need them. Trust me, it's worth the effort, whatever it takes," Virgin told SheKnows.

Diet and exercise also play a part in getting a good night's sleep.

"Make every meal a combo of lean, clean protein, leafy and cruciferous veggies, healthy fats and slow-release, high-fiber carbs," Virgin added. "Keep exercise to morning hours — too late in the day and it can keep cortisol levels cranked up, impeding [falling asleep]. And monitor your caffeine. If a morning cup of coffee keeps you revved up throughout the day, you could have a slow metabolism — so switch to green tea."

So, this is all it takes to stay happy and healthy? Sign us up — and something tells us a good night's sleep can amp up our sex lives, too.

Tell us

Do you fight more with your S.O. when you're tired?

Sound off below!

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