Wednesday, February 19, 2014

6 Surprising Things That Can Influence Your Dreams

An abridged version of this article on Mental Floss.
1. Sleeping on your belly gives you erotic dreams

People who sleep on their fronts are way more likely to have erotic dreams compared to those who go to sleep in other positions. According to a study, people who sleep on their tummy tend to get short of breath at night, and because of that, they often get dreams of wild sex.

2. Nightmares can be shared

Identical twins may usually have the same interests and habits, but scientists have discovered that they can even experience nightmares at almost the same frequency. In a study of nearly 2700 identical twins and 4200 non-identical twins, scientists found that identicals are twice as likely as fraternals to have frequent nightmares.

3. Earth’s magnetic field triggers weird dreams

It's possible that the Earth’s magnetic field has a profound effect on dreams in people. Psychologist Darren Lipnicki has been recording his dreams for over eight years and concluded that low geomagnetic activity caused weirder dreams.

4. Black and white television gives you black and white dreams

Trying to think of a world in black and white might sound impossible, but some people actually do so in their dreams. A study published in 2008 found that respondents aged 55 and over had colorless dreams 20 percent of the time, suggesting that children who were exposed to black-and-white film and TV are more likely to dream in greyscale throughout their life.

5. Different cheeses affect your dreams

A study has found out that different types of cheeses can affect your dreams. All cheeses contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which is helpful in normalizing sleep and reducing stress levels. A 2005 study conducted by the British Cheese Board found that the subjects who normally ate cheddar cheese dreamt more about celebrities; the people who ate blue cheese experienced bizarre dreams.

6. Sound and scent influences your dreams

Our mind interprets the noise occurring around us while we’re asleep and makes it a part of our dreams. In one study, researchers found that there was a significant difference between the dreams of the people who were exposed to music in their sleep and those who weren't. Smells can also influence dreams and be incorporated into dreams. For example, the scent of rose gave people pleasant dreams while the scent of rotten eggs resulted in bizarre dreams.

(Full article here)


  1. I have had dreams influenced by sounds around me where the sound I hear becomes part of my dream like in number 6.

    I've also found I can't take some cold medicines like Nyquil because they make me have terrible nightmares!

  2. Having to pee often affects my dreams. I often dream of peeing in different houses, plants, sinks, etc.

  3. So interesting! I never remember my dreams, so I'm not sure if any of these are true for me.

  4. The having to pee thing, yeah, that results in some really annoying (and gross) dreams.

    My dad used to ask if I dreamed in B&W or color. I thought it was weird that he sometimes dreamed in B&W. Now I have a potential explanation. Interesting!

  5. "Sleeping on your belly gives you erotic dreams"

    They left out the rest of that sentence; "unless you're a dude, in which case you just wake up with a sore pecker."

  6. Dreams are weird. I wish I could remember if I ate an abnormal amount of cheddar cheese during the time period when I had recurring dreams about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston being my best friends.



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