Going to bed feeling angry is bad for your health: here’s why

A study carried out by Peking University suggests that going to bed angry or with negative thoughts on your mind is bad for your health. The research points out that as you sleep, the brain reorganizes the way negative thoughts are memorized.

Researchers further explain that: “During night sleep, memory seems to be more resistant and more reluctant to erase memories“. They therefore suggest resolving any problems before the end of the day to avoid going to sleep upset.

The study says that going to bed angry is bad for your health

The research was conducted on 73 male university students and led by Yunzhe Liu, a researcher at Peking University. Two sessions took place. In the first one, scientists required a group of participants to associate faces with dramatic images, such as dead or mutilated bodies. Then, after a night’s sleep, they asked them to recall or delete those triggers while replaying the same images.

On the second session, the other participants were always shown neutral faces and dramatic images. But these were replayed only after 30 minutes instead of 24 hours. Results showed that suppression efforts were 9%; more effective when replaying the images after 30 minutes.


Thanks to some brain scans performed during the experiment, the researchers could see that the neural activity of people who tried to recall or suppress the memory of the images after 30 minutes was concentrated in the hippocampus.

Conversely, after going to bed the memories had spread throughout the cortex. The sample used for the study, however, was quite small, as the participants were a small group and all males. Whatever the case, this could be the beginning of a way designed to help people with PTSD. Especially those who do not have major trauma to overcome.

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