Are you really unhappy with your boyfriend?
It could be because he absolutely sucks, but it could also be because you just haven't been getting enough sleep at night.
A new study by Maranges and McNulty looked into how sleep deprivation affects our happiness in our romantic relationships.
According to Psychology Today, the researchers recruited around 70 newlywed straight couples and had them complete different surveys every day of the week.
Each survey asked them to first describe how much sleep they got and how good that sleep was. Then, they were asked to rate how satisfied they were with specific areas in their relationship (i.e sex or conversation). Finally, they were asked to describe how satisfied they were with their relationship as a whole.
So what did the researchers find when they looked at the survey results? YEP, YOU GUESSED IT: People who slept more were happier in their relationships as a whole.
Husbands who slept well were more likely to respond that they were satisfied by their relationship, even if something negative, like an argument, happened with their wives that day.
The authors of the study explain that sleep is key for maintaining our brains' "self-regulatory strength." If you're wondering WTF that is, it's the part of your brain that helps you deal with the ups and downs you're inevitably going to face throughout the day and helps shift your focus toward more positive thoughts.
Basically, it's the part that keeps you from letting one off day with your partner turn into breakup central. If our brains aren't getting enough sleep, our ability to override the negative stuff starts to diminish, and we're left letting one stupid fight with BAE define our feelings about the entire relationship.
Obviously, though, getting a ton of sleep isn't always an option. But luckily, sleep isn't the only thing that'll help you stay positive in your relationship.
A 2014 study suggests drinking coffee might not be such a bad idea. Researchers in this study found the caffeine in a 12-ounce cup of coffee can have a similar effect on the brain's regulatory system as sleep does.
So before you go bothering your tired boyfriend about coming to that dinner party he really doesn't want to go to, maybe do yourself a favor and hand him a cup of coffee first.
And before you break up with your boyfriend because you feel like you can't stand him, maybe take a nap and see how you feel afterward.