The smell of the partner makes us sleep better

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The smell of the partner makes us sleep better

Sleeping in two is better. This was revealed by research published in the journal Psychological Science by Marlise Hofer and Frances Chen of the University of British Columbia in Canada. In fact, being able to unconsciously smell the partner's smell reconciles sleep, is associated with a less disturbed rest in which you turn and turn less in bed, sleep is deeper and more efficient, and on average you sleep 9 minutes more per night.

This thesis is also supported by another study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry and conducted at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany, which showed that by sleeping together, the partners synchronize the sleep phases and have a REM phase more regular and lasting.

So psychologists involved 115 long-running couples in their sleep experiment and used several white cotton T-shirts all identical to each other. One of them made one of each couple's partners wear it for 24 hours asking them not to spray themselves with perfumes or deodorants and to avoid too vigorous physical activities; while the others either made them wear to strangers or simply nobody.

Why sleeping in two is better

For 4 nights each partner was able to sleep with one of the T-shirts on the pillow, without being aware of the origin and therefore if it had been worn or not by someone and by whom. People had to wear an actimeter, a wrist instrument that records every moment of sleep by measuring essential parameters such as depth, the alternation of the different phases, etc.

Well, it emerged that only when each volunteer slept with their partner's shirt did they rest better, slept an average of 9 minutes more per night, and the actimeter recorded more efficient and restful sleep. Experts said: "We know that intimate contact with the person we love has positive effects on our health.

We were interested in understanding how the partner has these beneficial health effects and if in particular his smell alone could have similar benefits." German experts, on the other hand, involved 14 couples inviting them to sleep in the sleep laboratory and recording every aspect of their sleep simultaneously with two polysomnographers.

It has emerged that when the partners sleep together, the REM phase of each one is longer and less fragmented and all the phases of sleep come into sync, in short, the two partners tend to switch simultaneously from light sleep to real sleep, to deep sleep and to the REM phase cyclically during the night.