Your Partner’s Scent May Reduce Your Stress

The University of British Columbia recently conducted a study which may reveal the reason women enjoy sleeping in their man’s shirt (or even why some men like to smell their girlfriend’s under garments!). According to UBC there is actual a very good scientific reason behind this seemingly innocent urge, a reason that most of us are completely clueless about. Researchers from UBC suggest that the familiar smell of your man creates a calming effect on females, while the scent of a strange man causes the opposite.
Marlise Hofer, the lead study author of the UBC based research suggests that this is more than likely the exact reason which causes so many people to sleep in their partners clothing, or why partners may tend to sleep on their side of the bed in the absence. Apparently the scent alone is enough to reduce the amount of stress that we feel even when not in their physical presence.
The actual research conducted consisted of data being collected from observing reactions in 96 couples. The men were asked to don a clean shirt and wear it for 24 hours while avoiding smoking, eating certain foods, using scented cosmetics like deodorant or cologne that would alter their natural body odor. The shirts were then collected from the men and stored for use in the study. After being put through scenarios to raise stress levels in the women, such as being asked to preform math or sit through staged job interviews, they were then asked to randomly smell one of three articles; a clean shirt belonging to their partner, their partner’s worn shirt, or a shirt worn by a total stranger.
Women were chosen as the main test subjects strictly due to the fact that women typically have literally double the sense of smell that is found in men. Before the smell-testing commenced, cortisol samples from the women’s saliva was gathered. Cortisol being a hormone induced by stress. The end results of the study found that women who were able to accurately identify the shirt worn by their lover, due to the familiar and comforting body odor, also tested out with much lower stress levels, while women who experienced sniffing the strangers worn shirt indicated higher levels of stress. More details can be found as published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
So the next time your partner is out of town on business, or maybe simply working late nights, and your feeling lonely… throw on his PJ’s, or a discarded shirt from the laundry basket, and kick back on his side of the bed with Netflix (or his pillow) and the stress is sure to diminish.

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