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Rudeness And Sarcasm May Affect Your Sleep--And Your Partner's

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Sarcasm might be a sign of intelligence, but if you are on the receiving end of it, there’s a good chance that you might lose sleep because of it. As a matter of fact, there’s a new study that suggests a person’s rudeness can affect your sleep – and your partner’s, too. That’s because every day incivilities – whether it’s in the workplace, at home or even on the playground – has the potential to not only negatively affect a person’s sleep at night, but those around them, too.

While sarcasm can be interpreted in different ways (some people might see it as witty while others might take it as rude), demeaning language, interrupting or talking over someone are becoming increasingly common in everyday life. A study from the Portland State University and the University of Illinois has found that people actually stress out so much over this behavior that they are losing sleep at night from it, too.

Charlotte Fritz, the lead author of the study and associate professor of industrial and organizational psychology in PSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences says that when one spouse experiences this kind of behavior or incivility at work, school, or among their friends or family members, they report more symptoms of insomnia, whether it’s trouble falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night. And as a result, their partner in bed next to them also have a hard time getting a little shut eye, too.

"Because work-linked couples have a better idea of what's going on in each other's work, they can be better supporters," Fritz said. "They probably know more about the context of the uncivil act and might be more pulled into the venting or problem-solving process."

And while you can’t really change another person’s behavior or cut sarcasm and rudeness out of your life, there are ways that you can minimize it. There are several different strategies that can help people cope, including spending time with people that you actually enjoy, mentally detaching yourself from rude individuals, or practicing mediation at work and at home. The same can be applied to your partner or spouse as well.

"Not talking about work or not supporting your spouse is not the solution," Fritz said. "They can talk about work, vent about it, discuss it, but then they should make an explicit attempt to unwind together and create good conditions for sleep."

Missing out on your sleep can not only affect your physical health, but your mental well-being, which can make things even more difficult in your daily life. And as anyone who has tried to function on as little as 4 to 5 hours of sleep at night will tell you, that’s no laughing matter.

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