Exploring the senses and sleep: TASTE

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Taste is one of seven senses (yup, there are seven, not five, your school lied!) and it emerges surprisingly soon after conception. The first connection between brain and taste bud occurs at 8 weeks gestation. By 16 weeks, the fetus starts swallowing amniotic fluid and processing a variety of tastes.

As adults, our taste buds are 'wired' to find certain tastes calming and others alerting. Have a look at this list and answer if you find these calming or alerting:

  • vanilla
  • milk
  • honey
  • chamomile
  • malt
  • mint
  • lemon
  • salt
  • paprika
  • chile

You may have noted a pattern... the list starts with calming tastes and moves towards more and more alerting ones.

Taste and smell are inseparable room mates and so often if you think of a particular taste you remember how it felt in your nose.

If you're keen to ease into a great state of slumber, you may want to use the power of taste to your advantage. Why not introduce some warm milk dosed with vanillla essence into your pre-bed routine? Or how about some chamomile tea with a dollop of honey?

Whatever your bed time hit I bet this pattern goes a long way back... to your childhood bedtime drink or maybe even longer than that... to perhaps what your mother was drinking to calm her nerves each night whilst you were an infant.


Sweet dreams.


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