People with sleep-related issues know how troublesome this problem can be. Not getting enough sleep can lead to an array of issues including mood swings, chronic tiredness, and headaches. A number of physical and mental health issues are caused by lack of sleep. From medication to sound machines, people resort to various tricks and solutions to help them get a good nap!
Now the researchers have found an easy (but weird) way that can help people improve their quality of sleep.
A study published in the Psychological Science states that the scent of your romantic partner can aid in improving your quality of sleep. That is, you can sleep better if you lie on a pillow wrapped with a piece of clothing, which is carrying your partner’s scent.
Frances Chen, who is the co-author of this study from the University of British Columbia (Canada) said, “A growing body of evidence has shown that close relationships are essential to our health and wellbeing. But far less is known about the role of scent in relationships and social support processes. The current study provides new evidence that the mere scent of a romantic partner improves sleep efficiency.”
An interesting experiment was conducted by the researchers in order to establish a link between the quality of sleep and a lover’s scent. Heterosexual couples took part in this study. One partner of each couple was asked to wear a t-shirt for 24 hours (continuously). Certain guidelines were given to them to follow. They were not allowed to wear cologne or eat smell inducing spicy meals while they were wearing the t-shirt.
After 24 hours, the other partner from each couple was given 2 t-shirts. One t-shirt was worn by their lover while the other was from a stranger. The partners had to sleep with a pillow wrapped in the t-shirts.
It was found that those who slept with a pillow that was covered with their partner’s t-shirt slept for nine minutes more.
The participants were also asked for self-reported measures of quality of sleep every morning. Apparently, the sleep quality increased on the nights they thought they were asleep with the t-shirt carrying their partner’s scent.
Study researcher Marlise Hofer said “The effect we observed in our study was similar in magnitude to that reported for melatonin supplements–a commonly used sleep aid. The findings suggest that the scent of our loved ones can affect our health in powerful ways.”
According to this research, simple tricks like travelling with your partner’s shirt or scarf can affect your sleep!