A Rose-Scented Slumber Might Improve Memory Learning, Study Finds

mbg Editorial Assistant By Abby Moore
mbg Editorial Assistant
Abby Moore is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.
Bouquet of Pale Pink Roses

Image by Kelly Knox / Stocksy

The calming aromas of essential oils have been known to improve sleep and increase focus. And just in time for Valentine's Day, new research has linked the scent of roses to improvements in memory learning. 

A study published recently in Scientific Reports found rose-scented incense can benefit memory learning when burned both during lessons and throughout sleep. 

What did the researchers find?

The study was conducted on more than 50 students from southern Germany who were learning English as a foreign language. Participants were asked to burn rose incense on their desks during vocabulary lessons and again by their bedsides at night. 

The students later burned the incense sticks during an English vocabulary test. Those who were exposed to rose-scented incense during both learning and sleeping phases had a 30% higher success rate compared to students who didn't burn the incense at night.

Article continues below

Is this new information?

While previous studies have linked fragrances to memory learning, the connection was only visible during a sensitive sleeping phase. Those findings also required an electroencephalogram (EEG) to study the brain, making it impossible to study every day. 

The new findings, however, proved rose fragrance can benefit memory retention during every phase of sleep—not just specific moments.

"Our study shows that we can make learning during sleep easier," said lead author Jürgen Kornmeier, Ph.D. "And who would have thought that our nose could help considerably in this?"

So whether you're prepping for a test, learning a new language, or hoping to improve your memory recall, consider sleeping in a rose-scented room. You'll still have to put in the work during the day, but you might wake up with a bit more knowledge.

If you can't get enough of the lovely aroma, try these rose-inspired natural beauty products.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

More On This Topic

The Doctor's Guide To Falling Asleep Naturally
More Health

Popular Stories

Latest Articles

Latest Articles

Sites We Love

Your article and new folder have been saved!