- They claimed that it almost has the same effect as melatonin.
- Studies are still being conducted regarding more relation between the power of scent and people’s sleeping habits.
Other people sleep next to their significant others to get comfort and security. While for others, they wouldn’t want to be next to someone who keeps on tossing, turning, or snoring. That may lead to restless nights.
But according to a recent study, sleeping with your partner’s clothing may actually help you with sleeping the same way melatonin does.
Research from the University of British Columbia studied participants who were exposed to their partner’s scent overnight. It showed that they experienced better sleep quality even if the said partner is not next to them. The 155 participants were given two identical t-shirts to use as a pillowcase.
One of the shirts had been previously worn by their romantic partner while the other was worn by a stranger. The participants have no idea which one is which.
The shirt was worn by their partner for 24 hours and they were asked to refrain from using scented products, smoking, exercising, and eating certain food that might affect their body odor.
Participants spent two nights with the shirts and filled up a survey the following morning regarding the quality of their sleep. They were also monitored by an actigraph sleep watch which tracked their movements throughout the nights.
The results showed that the night they spent next to their partner’s clothing resulted in a night of better sleep.
“At the end of the study, participants guessed if the shirts they had been sleeping with had previously been worn by their partner. Participants reported feeling more well-rested on the nights when they believed they were sleeping with their partner’s scent. Moreover, regardless of their beliefs about scent exposure, data from the sleep watches indicated that objective sleep improved when participants were actually exposed to their partner’s scent.”
According to the study’s lead author and UBC department of psychology graduate student Marlise Hofer, the average sleep efficiency during that time was more than two percent.
“We saw an effect similar in size to what has been reported from taking oral melatonin supplements—often used as a sleep aid,” she said.
“One of the most surprising findings is how a romantic partner’s scent can improve sleep quality even outside of our conscious awareness,” added the study’s senior author and associate professor at UBC Frances Chen.
“The sleep watch data showed that participants experienced less tossing and turning when exposed to their partners’ scent, even if they weren’t aware of whose scent they were smelling.”
The researchers then revealed that they’re still further exploring the relation of scent to the quality of people’s sleep.