Aromatherapy: Smell a Rose to Improve Memory

A new study suggests that it may be possible to improve memory and learning capacity during sleep with the scent of roses. (Image: via  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
A new study suggests that it may be possible to improve memory and learning capacity during sleep with the scent of roses. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Many people find it difficult to memorize the things they want to remember. A new study published in Nature suggests that it may be possible to improve memory and learning capacity during sleep with the scent of roses.

Boosting memory

“The study was conducted with two 6th grade classes consisting of 32 (18 girls and 14 boys) and 22 (12 girls and 10 boys) healthy eleven- and twelve-years old German students in their normal school and home environments and contained no invasive measurement. The students had one year of English classes prior to the study,” according to the authors of the study. They were asked to keep rose-scented sticks close by when learning English vocabulary. One week later, they took an exam.

To study the student’s performance, the researchers divided them into four groups. The first group was exposed to the rose scent during their learning period at home and during tests. The second group was exposed to the scent while learning and during every night prior to the test. However, they were not subjected to the scent during the test itself. The third group took in the smell at home, the night before the test, and during the test. Finally, the fourth group was never exposed to the scent.

The participants in groups 2 and 3 performed far better than those in 1 and 4, registering a 30 percent improvement in learning success. Students in the first group were found to not have benefited much from the experiment. The results show the importance of being exposed to the rose aroma during sleep. Back in 2017, a study found that people who had a slow wave sleep in an environment filled with scents performed better in memory tests than those who were having an REM sleep under the exact same conditions. However, the study was conducted in a lab.

(Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

The results of the study show the importance of being exposed to the rose aroma during sleep. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

In contrast, the new study was done in a real-world environment. But the test also has some drawbacks that need to be addressed. “The scientists had to rely on the participants to use the rose scent correctly while at home. The researchers also had no control over the proximity of the rose-scented sticks during learning at home or sleeping, meaning that each student may have experienced varying intensities of the aroma,” according to Medical News Today.

On the positive side, the study lends more weight to the possibility that we might be able to improve our learning and memory skills through rose aromatherapy. Further research on the subject could potentially enable us to create sleep procedures that might benefit students with poor academic performance.

Rose aromatherapy benefits

Boosting memory isn’t the only potential advantage of rose aromatherapy. “The essential oils move deep into your skin and the air in your lungs, regenerating skin while comforting the mind. It slowly relaxes your muscles, relieves spasms, and reduces inflammation. Rose essential oil has been proven to help heal wounds when used topically,” according to Heliotrope.

(Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Boosting memory is only one of the potential advantages of rose aromatherapy. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

When you inhale rose essential oil, it can create a protective barrier in your body that can prevent the skin from losing too much water. It can also lower the concentration of stress hormones in the body. Rose aroma has been found to have antidepressant benefits. This means that if you were to sit in a room filled with rose scents when suffering from depression, it’s possible that the negative feelings would diminish. When interacting with people, it might be a good idea to use a rose-scented perfume as it can create a favorable impression.

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