Going to bed angry is bad for your health, science says

Going to bed angry is bad for your health, according to science

A study conducted by Peking University seems to show that going to bed angry or with negative thoughts in mind is bad for your health. The research, published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, indicates that during sleep, the brain reorganizes the way in which the negative thoughts are stored. The researchers also explain that “during the night of consolidation, the memory is more resistant and more reluctant to erase memories” and therefore suggest to solve problems before the end of the day to avoid falling asleep upset.

The study

The research was conducted on 73 students male academics and was directed by Yunzhe Liu, researcher at Peking University.

In the first session, some participants were asked to associate neutral faces with dramatic images, such as dead bodies or mutilated corpses, and after a night’s sleep, they were asked to recall or suppress these stimuli by playing the same images again. In the second session, the remaining participants were still shown neutral faces and dramatic images, but the same images were only shown after 30 minutes instead of 24 hours. Results showed that suppression efforts were 9% more effective when the images were replayed after 30 minutes.


Thanks to brain scanners conducted during the experiment, researchers found that neural activity in people who tried to recall or suppress the memory of images after 30 minutes was concentrated in the hippocampus. On the other hand, after going to bed, the memories had spread throughout the cortex. However, the sample used for the study was quite small, as the participants were a small group and were all men.

In any case, this could be the beginning of a path to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder, especially those who do not have major traumas to overcome.