The Loh Down On Science

Stink Bed

What we SMELL can influence our dreams.

Got nightmares? Hey! Have you tried sleeping in a bed of roses?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

and a bedtime story with a happy ending.

Sleep researchers know dreams can be influenced by things we hear or feel while sleeping. You know--you dream you're in the shower, wake up to find your roof is leaking.

So Boris Stuck and Michael Schredl of University Hospital Mannheim in Germany wondered: Can sweet smells give you sweet dreams as well?

They recruited fifteen volunteers to. . . nap. As their subjects snoozed, the researchers administered one of two scents through a tube--either the pleasant bouquet of roses, or the nasty stench of rotten eggs.

Then, the sleepers were awakened and asked if their dreams were positive or negative.

With the scent of roses wafting through their nostrils? Snoozers reported pleasant dreams. Rotten eggs? Dreams were downers.

Conclusion? What we smell while asleep can affect the emotional content of our dreams. Scientists hope the technique can help people who suffer from nightmares.

Now if only the new cat would stop peeing in my bed! Uh oh! Was that TOO much information? Never mind.


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