Do smells really help you fall asleep?
Homemade bread, sizzling bacon and a freshly cut lawn. These are Britain's 3 favourite smells according to a 2015 investigation reported by The Daily Mail. Whether our favourite smells are helpful in the bedroom, however, is a different matter altogether...
The emotional, physical and mental impact which scents can have on humans has a long-documented history. If you're feeling peckish, a whiff of bacon is enough to make your mouth water and your tummy rumble. Catch the scent of a sewer, however, and your face is sent into contortion. It's a powerful sense, there's no denying that. But do smells have the power to put us to sleep?
Lavender slows your heart rate
A scientific study led by Sayorwan found that the smell of lavender oil decreased blood pressure and heart rate considerably. These two rates are naturally at their lowest when you're asleep, so by reducing them lavender makes you relax and encourages you to drift off.
Chamomile calms nerves and anxious thoughts
Regarded as a mild sedative by many, the power of chamomile is not to be underestimated. The 2010 scientific report Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past with a Bright Future suggests that a chemical within the chamomile plant binds to your brains receptors and relaxes your mental state.
Vanilla relaxes the startle-reflex and reduces anxiety
Stepping off a curb, bumping into a car, falling over ... we've all experience the startle reflex which abruptly jolts us out of dreamland. A German study found that the smell of vanilla reduced the startle-reflex in both humans and animals - plus it has long been suggested that the association of vanilla with childhood memories further enhances the comforting power of the vanilla scent.
The science seems to prove it - but what do you think? Do these scents help you to drift off? Comment below and share your fragrant wisdom.