For Sweet Dreams, Smell Sweet Smells
15 sleepers volunteered in a study at the University Hospital Mannheim in Germany to see if smells influence the way we dream. Once subjects entered deep REM sleep, researcher Boris Stuck exposed each sleeper to a concentrated dose of smelly air for 10 seconds and then woke them up a minute later to quiz them about their dreams.
All subjects reported a positive dream experience when stimulated by the rose smell, and most experienced the opposite when exposed to the rotten eggs. Stuck says the smells influence the "emotional colouration" of the dream.
The team are now looking to recruit people who suffer from nightmares to see if exposure to smells can help make their dreams more pleasant.