Tip #812: A Rose is…A Memory?

“Nothing brings to life again a forgotten memory like fragrance.”  Christopher  Poindexter

Have you ever thought how nice it would be if you could learn while you were sleeping? Not only learn, but retain what you learned? And no, we’re not talking about listening to tape recordings to learn a language or something else.

What we’re talking about is a finding in a recent study, since confirmed by other studies, that the strategic use of fragrances while learning and during sleep might improve learning retention.

At some point in your life, you have probably experienced when a certain fragrance immediately prompted a memory of a person, a place, a feeling or an event. This is not surprising, since the sense of smell is one of the oldest senses, with a close link to the parts of the brain that deal with memory and emotion.

“Learning anything new relies on the conversion of details from the short-term memory into the long-term memory, which occurs through a process called consolidation. Earlier studies have demonstrated that consolidation during sleep is vital for building memories.” Scientists wondered if fragrance during sleep would also build memories.

This study involved 54 students in a sixth grade class in Germany who were learning English vocabulary and were expected to take a test in a week. They were split into four groups:

  • Group 1 with no exposure to any odor cues;
  • Group 2 with exposure to rose scented sticks while learning and while taking a test;
  • Group 3 with exposure to the rose scent while learning and every night before the test, but not during the test; and
  • Group 4, with exposure to the rose scent while learning, every night before the test and during the test.

The participants in Groups 3 and 4 performed significantly better on the test than the other two groups, demonstrating the importance of aroma exposure during sleep. As a matter of fact, according to first author Franziska Newmann, these students showed “a significant increase in learning success by about 30% if the incense sticks were used during both the learning and sleeping phases.”

The difference between these two groups’ performance was minimal, indicating that exposure to the aroma during sleep was the important factor.

I don’t know why they chose rose as the fragrance to test. That would be worth exploring.

However, I still plan to purchase a rose incense stick and try this out for myself. How about you? If it works as they say it does, I’ll probably buy the incense sticks in bulk and hand them out to every class participant!

May your learning be sweet.



Related Posts

Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You!

Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST

Over the river to grandmother’s house- we have an idea in our mind about how the holiday should be. But planning, shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, and preparing the house all take a toll. It’s easy to become anxious, worried about creating a perfect, memorable holiday. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or some other winter holiday. There are traditions to keep, favorite foods to prepare, and decorations to put up. It’s exhausting.

Then there’s the actual day. You will want everyone to feel happy and get along, but you know that the stress of the day can easily result in overexcited and grumpy grandchildren and irritable adult children. You imagine that all the time and effort you put into creating a lovely day could end up being wasted and unappreciated.

Holidays are supposed to be a joyful time. Let us help you get clear about what is not worth worrying about- and give you practical coping strategies that will help you stay calm when things don’t go the way you want them to go.

Join us for this highly interactive half-day virtual workshop on how to Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You on Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST. Your investment is $120. We guarantee that you will have a much less stressful holiday.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to Deal with Difficult People.

In this course you will define the behavioral characteristics and underlying needs of difficult people, assess situations in which you effectively handled a difficult person, review five steps for handling difficult people Laurel & Associates now offers courses through Teachable. Learn at your own pace.
Popular Post

Share This Post