Even When Asleep Humans Are Social Creatures

Cadrene Heslop

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Your partner can help you fall asleep faster, even when absent from the bed. According to a 2020 study, your partner's scent makes you sleep better.

The research results proved average sleep efficiency improved by more than 2%. So, the scent of their partner's pillowcase made a difference. Not only did participants fall asleep faster. But their sleep quality also improved.

Marlise Hofer, the study's lead author, said the effects are like sleep aid supplements. That is, the olfactory results were very close to melatonin pills.

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How was the study conducted?

Two psychologists from the University of British Columbia conducted the research. The study included 155 participants split into two groups.

The participants received two identical t-shirts to use as pillowcases. One is either scent-free or worn by a stranger for 24 hours. The romantic partner wears the other t-shirt for 24 hours to capture their scent.

The clean shirt gets exposed only to body order. No perfumes or smoking happens for 24 hours. The t-shirts are then frozen to preserve the scent.

The participants receive a t-shirt overnight but do not know who wore it. For two consecutive nights, they sleep with different t-shirts on their pillowcase. Then, the following morning, they complete a survey about how rested they feel. Their sleep quality gets monitored through the night by an actigraphy sleep watch. This monitoring is for objectivity.

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What does the research reveal?

The evidence suggests participants experienced over nine extra minutes of sleep per night. This change amounts to 1 more hour of sleep per week.

How is this possible? The researchers found that long-term partners have a positive health effect. Their physical presence promotes safety, calm, and relaxation, which causes better sleep.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media. And follow me for more health stories.

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