THE INFLUENCE OF ODORANTS ON RESPIRATORY PATTERNS IN SLEEP
To assess the feasibility of using odors as a potential mechanism for treating sleep apnea, we set out to test the hypothesis that odorants delivered during sleep would modify respiratory patterns without inducing arousal or wake in healthy sleepers.
ODORS ENHANCE SLOW-WAVE ACTIVITY IN NON-RAPID EYE MOVEMENT SLEEP
Most forms of suprathreshold sensory stimulation perturb sleep. In contrast, presentation of pure olfactory or mild trigeminal odorants does not lead to behavioral or physiological arousal. In fact, some odors promote objective and subjective measures of sleep quality in humans and rodents.
HUMANS CAN LEARN NEW INFORMATION DURING SLEEP
During sleep, humans can strengthen previously acquired memories, but whether they can acquire entirely new information remains unknown. The nonverbal nature of the olfactory sniff response, in which pleasant odors drive stronger sniffs and unpleasant odors drive weaker sniffs, allowed us to test learning in humans during sleep.