Being able to control your temper is one of the hallmarks of having your act together. But life is hard, and deadlines won't wait, and commutes are stressful, and it's not so unreasonable to want your colleague to be just a little bit less annoying—!
If you're getting angry more easily and more frequently, either at work or in your personal life, new research suggests that what could help you most is a little more sleep.
This is, in fact, advice for grown-ups. Psychologists at Iowa State University have just published a study that, for the first time, definitively links lack of sleep specifically to anger. It may seem self-evident: After all, kids of all ages get cranky when they're tired. But until now, we haven't been able to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship.
Of course, this may seem infuriating if you have trouble falling asleep. That's a major sign of stress (or of drinking too much coffee, but the two aren't mutually exclusive). One of the best ways you can help yourself is to practice good sleep hygiene. That means giving yourself the best environment possible to fall asleep. It's not just physical either: Sleep hygiene can include using tricks to stop your mind from racing and setting boundaries that separate work from home life. It also means moderation — too much sleep can mess your body up too, though no word on whether that makes you angry as well.
Finally, if you're having trouble kicking the caffeine habit, you're in luck: Just the smell of coffee can boost your brain in the same way drinking it does.