How We Feel is Linked to How We Sleep, The Research Life.

Our perceptions of ourselves and those around us are related to how well we sleep.

Emily Hokett
3 min readApr 1, 2023
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

The world looks different on little to no sleep. It’s something that we’ve all experienced at some point and have had to navigate. Put simply, sleeplessness does not feel good.

How we sleep impacts how we feel about ourselves and those around us. When I don’t sleep well, I don’t feel as good as the well-rested version of myself. Our behavior differs when we’re not well-rested as compared to when we’ve gotten restorative sleep. Operating in a sleep deprived state changes the way in which we feel about ourselves, each other, and our social interactions. In these articles, we’ll briefly discuss some interesting research that demonstrates interrelations between sleep, mood, and interpersonal relationships.

Before we discuss associations between how we sleep and how we feel, we should understand the bidirectionality between sleep and feelings. Sleep loss is related to feeling negative emotions and interpersonal conflict (e.g., arguments), and, vice versa, negative emotions and interpersonal conflict are related to sleep loss. For these articles, we’ll focus on how sleep may impact how we feel (sleep → feelings).

First, our sleep is related to how we generally feel . Not sleeping enough is linked with experiencing more negative emotions, including sadness, anxiety, and anger. For more details on these relationships, read the article linked below.

Second, how we sleep is associated with how we feel about each other . When we don’t sleep well, our ability to understand the emotions of others and with them is lower. Not surprisingly, people who sleep more poorly are also more likely to have higher conflict in their romantic relationships than those who sleep well. In the article below, we summarize and discuss a few interesting studies on associations among sleep, empathy, and interpersonal conflict.

For many of us, sleeping well is not as easy as it should be. There are environmental and systemic barriers that often disrupt sleep. That is not say that we cannot work on our sleep ourselves. Although not a cure-all, there are many tips on how to sleep better, including some that you may find on this blog.

The articles that you’ll find linked above, though, aren’t about sleeping better. The purpose of these articles is to serve as a reminder that how well we sleep may impact the way we feel about ourselves and those around us. During times that we don’t sleep well, we may need to be more attentive to our feelings and our interactions with others.

Originally published at on April 1, 2023.



Emily Hokett

healthy sleep advocate | writer, runner, doodler | learning time management skills to live a balanced, meaningful life