I have no doubt that someone has to do these vital investigations for human survival, but it seems to me useless.
The researchers found that study participants who were exposed to their partner’s scent overnight experienced better sleep quality, even though their partner was not physically present.
For the study, the researchers analyzed sleep data from 155 participants who were given two identical-looking t-shirts to use as pillowcases — one had been previously worn by their romantic partner, and the other had either been previously worn by a stranger or was clean.
To capture body odour on the t-shirts, the participants’ partners were given a clean t-shirt to wear for 24 hours, and were asked to refrain from using deodorant and scented body products, smoking, exercising and eating certain foods that could affect their body odour. The t-shirts were then frozen to preserve their scent.
The researchers say the physical presence of a long-term romantic partner is associated with positive health outcomes such as a sense of safety, calm and relaxation, which in turn leads to better sleep. By signalling recent physical proximity, the mere scent of a partner may have similar benefits.
The researchers are currently recruiting participants for a pilot study to investigate whether the scent of parents can improve their infant’s sleep quality.
For Valentine’s Day it must be the obligatory gift, a sweaty and filthy blouse!