Sweet Smells May Give Sweet Dreams
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to control the types of dreams you have? Well now you may be able to.
A study has suggested that if you want to have pleasant dreams, then sleep with flowers in your bedroom.
German scientists found that wafting the smell of roses under a sleeping person’s nose gave the person pleasant emotions in their dreams.
The opposite effect was had on other volunteers that had the scent of rotten eggs fill their noses while sleeping.
The scientists waited until the volunteers entered REM sleep and then exposed them to high doses of smelly air for 10 seconds before rousing them out of sleep one minute later.
After questioning the volunteers about their dreams, the women hardly ever dreamed of smelling anything, however, the emotional tone of the dream changed depending on the different smells.
Dr Irshaad Ebrahim of The London Sleep Centre said: "The relationship between external stimuli and dreaming is something we are all at some level aware of. This initial research is a step in the direction towards clarifying these questions and may well lead to therapeutic benefits."
Professor Tim Jacob, an expert in smell and taste at Cardiff University, said: "Smell is the only sense that doesn't 'sleep'. Information continues to reach the limbic system of the brain and that includes the hippocampus, or memory area and the amygdala, that is involved with emotional response. Other senses have to pass through the 'gate' of the thalamus, which is closed when we sleep."
The scientists next plan to study people who suffer from nightmares.
The findings were presented Sept. 21 at the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery Foundation annual meeting, in Chicago.