Today's award for "study most likely to be used to reinforce hackneyed gender stereotypes" goes to...

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A new study which shows that wives' sleeping problems have negative impacts on marriages, where husbands' do not. The study was presented at the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, and it showed that when women in the relationship suffered insomnia, both members of the couple reported more negative and fewer positive interactions the next day. Contrarily, if the male had trouble sleeping, neither side reported worsening interactions the next day.

By the way, "marital interactions" doesn't mean sex, despite sounding excruciatingly euphemistic.

This research is important because most adults sleep with another human being — and insomnia hits a lot of people. Figuring out how this influences those around you, and how their sleep patterns effect you, can have a major influence on quality of life.


Unfortunately, when research like this gets released, it almost immediately gets spun into reinforcing stereotypes like that of the "nagging housewife", leading to shoddy headlines, poor use of stock photography, and Daily Fail comments.

I'd also be interested to see if these numbers hold up for LGBT couples.

On a final note, the study also found that positive marital interactions over the course of a day lead to the husbands sleeping less that night. We'll leave that one to your imaginations.


Abstract available here [PDF].

Completely gratuitous cat picture via Shutterstock