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Effect of Anger on Sleep

By: Wendy Jacob - Updated: 26 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Anger Management Hostility Response

We all experience anger at some time in our lives. We may be on the receiving end of another's anger at a real or perceived wrong doing - or have feelings of anger that arise from time to time. Usually these are justified and short-lived as we learn to accept and come to terms with the injustices in the world. Without anger there would be apathy and tolerance of all that we see is wrong in the world.

When anger becomes more than a reaction to life's events it is known as the Hostility Complex. We are all familiar with the anger that is the result of 'road rage'. People who are affected by anger often show signs of competitiveness, lack of tolerance, irritability and impatience. They will frequently 'explode' even over minor events and may have feelings of being pressured by time and other people.

Expressing Anger

Many people control their anger but feel frustration and impatience that expresses itself as irritability and moodiness. For others, venting anger has its own dangers. Relationships with family, friends and work colleagues may suffer. Anger that develops into threats and violence may result in social isolation and even criminal action.

Expressed, or internalised, anger causes physical and mental problems. Constant hostility may result in High Blood Pressure, Ulcers, Headaches and other physical problems. Sufferers may resort to alcohol and drug misuse to ease their stress and their sleep will suffer.

Anger and Sleep

If you are unable to get out of the grip of anger you are at risk of accidents as you are likely to 'personalise' events. Feeling angry at a driver's failure to indicate will only affect you and your driving ability - not theirs! Although many sufferers will be aware of the futility of their response they will be unable to stop their reaction. The knowledge of their loss of control will only make them more frustrated...

Going to bed angry and exhausted it is easy to stay in this 'revved up state making it impossible to relax and fall asleep. You may even be angry at yourself and your inability to switch off!

Steps to Sleep

Learning relaxation techniques will help control some of the physical symptoms of this stressful response. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will help identify the causes of the problem and encourage a more rational reaction.

Anger is a dangerous weapon and has no place in the bedroom. Learning how to manage anger will help you direct this valuable tool towards defeating the unacceptable and tolerating the merely irritable...

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