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Psychologists’ latest relationship advice: Never go to bed “hangry”

Author Jacqueline Detwiler

factThere’s a mountain of anecdotal evidence supporting the idea that you’re more likely to be a grouch when you haven’t eaten enough. Take the proliferation of the term “hangry” (hungry + angry) or the Snickers ad campaign that sees the snack-deprived morph into famous curmudgeons like Don Rickles. Of course, science can’t rely on conventional wisdom, so Ohio State University psychologist Brad Bushman and his colleagues set out to prove our collective hunch: Their recently published study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that low blood sugar correlates with increased nastiness toward a spouse. Researchers asked couples to take a nightly blood glucose reading and then, just before bed, stick pins in a voodoo doll representing their significant others. They were also given the opportunity to subject their partners to recordings of sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard, dentist drills and smoke alarms. Predictably, lower glucose levels yielded more pin sticks and louder, longer noise sessions. This was
true even after controlling for overall relationship satisfaction. The takeaway? Don’t have a beef; eat it.

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