Not going to bed angry sounds great in theory, but in the middle of a knockdown, drag-out fight or extended silent treatment, going to bed is a welcome escape. Falling asleep is another matter. Anger erodes relationships; it resides deep in a person's soul, affecting reactions, the ability to love and even physical health. While anger may seem exceptionally demonstrative and extroverted, anger can also be very introverted and hidden as a person bottles up their bitterness and ill thoughts.
If you are extremely angry and resolution is the last thing on your mind, then it is better to take a step back from each other. Agree to table the discussion, don't just storm off to your separate corners. Make a conscious agreement that says you are not going to resolve this right now, let's table the discussion until tomorrow. You can table it till the weekend if you want to, but make sure that you set a specific time for revisiting the argument.
This helps on two levels. The first is that it gives you both time to cool down and let rational thought re-enter into the equation. The second is that by making the appointment and setting a time aside for when you will come back to the disagreement you are avoiding letting bad feelings fester and you are taking proactive control of your lives.
What About Sleeping?
It's hard to sleep when you are angry, so once you've found a way to set the argument aside then it's important that you find something positive the two of you can do together. Maybe you need to just compliment each other or sit and hold hands and recount the reasons why you love each other. When you take even five minutes to emphasize your positives, you are letting go of the anger and the tension. You are letting it seep out and in a way, you are reconnecting on a more positive level.
It may sound silly, but just sitting there, face to face, holding hands and breathing passively either with your eyes closed or your eyes open, gazing at each other - the tension can wash away and while the meat of the argument may still exist - it's not going to be stewing the two of you and your relationship along with it while you are trying to go to sleep.
How do you cope with disagreements with your spouse?
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA