Can the smell of coffee perk people up?

Imagine getting a good buzz just off the mere whiff of coffee. Is it true? Can you really reverse the effects of sleep deprivation in the brain from just smelling the beautiful aromas of a good cup of joe?

A team of Japanese researchers are beginning to think so. They found that when rats were deprived of sleep (for one day), certain genes important to brain function became suppressed and then reactivated at the smell of coffee. We don’t know, however, if the same genes would be suppressed in sleep-deprived humans, and we also don’t know if we’d feel tired if those specific genes were suppressed. Humans and rats do, however, share similar genetic fingerprints.

Anecdotal evidence alone says people perk up at the drop of freshly brewed coffee. Lots of people agree that the smell is so much better than the taste, and because so many non-coffee drinkers love the smell of coffee, you got to wonder if there’s something in that coffee-infused air that does something to us biologically.

I say, this is all the more reason for businesses like Starbucks to return to the days when they’d grind coffee regularly so you’d experience that oh-so refreshing inhalation when you walked into a store. People need more than a good cup of coffee.

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