Characterization of the Relationships Between Sleep Duration, Quality, Architecture, and Chemosensory Function in Nonobese Females

Chem Senses. 2018 Apr 23;43(4):223-228. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjy012.


Little is known about the relationship between sleep and chemosensation. The purpose of this study was to characterize the relationship between chemosensory function and sleep duration, quality, and architecture. A total of 56 nonobese (body mass index <30 kg/m2) female participants who denied having diagnosed sleep disorders completed testing. Sleep was measured for two nights using a single-channel (A1-A2) electroencephalogram (Zmachine). Sweet taste threshold and preference as well as olfactory threshold, recognition ability, and pleasantness ratings were evaluated. Sweet taste preference was correlated with total sleep time (TST) (P = 0.0074) as well as with the sum of rapid eye movement (REM) and stage N3/slow wave sleep (SWS) duration (P = 0.0008). Participants who slept more than the average TST or more than the average REM + SWS time preferred lower concentrations of sweetness (P = 0.041 and 0.049, respectively), than those whose sleep times fell below the means. Multiple linear regression revealed that REM and SWS predicted ~18% of the variance of sweet taste preference. These findings suggest that scientific and consumer studies related to sweet preference might benefit from screening participants for short sleep duration prior to testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Olfactory Perception / physiology*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM
  • Sleep, Slow-Wave
  • Sweetening Agents / chemistry
  • Taste Threshold / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Sweetening Agents