Sleeping With Your Partner’s Worn T-Shirt Could Help You Sleep Better

Sleep News

Talk about a cheap and easy sleep fix. According to a new study, sleeping with an old t-shirt worn by your romantic partner could lead to better quality sleep.

The University of British Columbia undertook a study with 155 participants to examine how solo sleep was impacted when the scent of a romantic partner still lingered.

For the study, the participants were given two identical looking T-shirts to use as pillowcases. One shirt had been worn by their partner and the other was either clean or had been worn by a stranger.

The romantic partners of the participants were asked to wear a clean T-shirt for 24 hours while also refraining from using any deodorant or scented body products. They were also asked to not exercise, smoke or eat any foods that could affect their natural body odour. After 24 hours, the shirts were frozen to protect the embedded scent.

The participants were then asked to sleep with the two T-shirts as pillowcases over two consecutive nights and rate how well rested they felt the next morning.

“One of the most surprising findings is how a romantic partner’s scent can improve sleep quality even outside of our conscious awareness,” said Frances Chen, the senior author of the study and associate professor in the UBC department of psychology.

“The sleep watch data showed that participants experienced less tossing and turning when exposed to their partners’ scent, even if they weren’t aware of whose scent they were smelling.”

The average sleep efficiency improvement in the study was just over two per cent.

“We saw an effect similar in size to what has been reported from taking oral melatonin supplements – often used as a sleep aid,” said Marlise Hofer, the study’s lead author.

According to the study, sleep was improved when surrounded by the scent of a romantic partner because it induces a sense of safety, calm and relaxation.

The researchers are now recruiting participants for another study to investigate whether the scent of parents can improve their children’s quality of sleep.

Next time your significant other is out of town, reach for their old tee for a better quality snooze.