Coffee! It’s the smell of victory in the morning!

By Moniq A.

The aroma surrounding your nose is enough to coax you out of your bed and wake you up, without even having a sip.

Let me paint a little picture for you. Let’s imagine that you are all snuggled up in your bed, dreaming about your next vacation when all of a sudden *BEEP BEEP BEEP* your slumber is rudely ripped from your sleeping body as your alarm clock wakes you up at 6:30 am for work. You hit snooze as fast as you can and just lay there, staring at the ceiling, half asleep, contemplating if maybe you could just get 10 more minutes and feel a little less tired. When all of a sudden your nose is engulfed in the magical aroma that is coffee brewing in the kitchen, and instantly you remember how you set a timer on the coffee machine to start making it, promptly at 6:30. So, even though you would love more sleep, just the thought of being able to enjoy a morning cup is enough to get you out of bed and get a head start on your day.

I’m confident that most people have had this experience at one point or another, and can agree that coffee is one powerful, delicious drug. But why is it that even just smelling coffee while still laying in bed is enough persuasion to get you out of your safe haven and into the kitchen, to actually drink it? Caffeine can’t be the only reason you’re convinced. According to a study conducted by Yoshinori Masuo at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan, they “deprived rats of sleep for a day and found reduced levels of mRNA, messenger molecules that would indicate when a gene is being expressed --for 11 genes important to brain function in the rats brains. However when they introduced the aroma of coffee to the rats the mRNA for 9 of these genes were restored to near normal levels, and two were pushed to be above normal.” So basically all 11 of these crucial genes were put back to normal just by the rats inhaling the smell of coffee. They estimated that even though humans are not quite made like rats, there must be similar human equivalents with these “special genes”. So when these certain genes are suppressed in our brains we feel sleep-deprived and very tired in the morning. However, just smelling the aroma of coffee is enough to express these suppressed genes in our brains, and that is simply enough to wake the human mind up and get started on the day, without even having a sip of coffee...although obviously we will ;)