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10 Seemingly Harmless Factors That Affect Your Dreams

Factors That Affect Your Dreams
There are many factors that affect our dreams. If you were exposed to black and white television as a child, your chances of having a monochrome dream increase. Yeah! Many people who are 60 and above claim to get black and white dreams. Now that's a really strong influence!
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2018
Now That's Cheesy!
Cheddar cheese and blue cheese
Think again before going for that big slab of blue cheese, you may get nightmares at night. It's unbelievable, but totally true. Consumption of different cheese types affects your dreaming differently.
According to a study by the British Cheese Board, eating blue cheese before going to bed results in more nightmares, whereas eating cheddar leads to pleasant dreams. In fact, cheddar cheese also makes you dream about celebrities. It's time to gorge on some cheddar!
Movies affect dreams
Remember watching that super-romantic movie and getting mushy dreams of your partner? Scary movies means nightmares for the next few nights for most of us.
Movies influence our dreams, more so if you watch one immediately before going to bed. So, the next time you wake up screaming in the middle of the night, you know what to blame!
Pregnancy affects dreams
Many pregnant women get dreams related to pregnancy and babies. This is pretty natural, considering how much they keep thinking about their yet-to-be born little darling. Some women also get dreams of losing their child in a forest, which probably happens because of anxiety.
Lack of sleep, fluctuating hormone levels, and stress are responsible for such dreams. But there's nothing to worry, it's just a little nervousness about entering an important phase of life.
Sounds affect dreams
You dream that your apartment has caught fire and the fire alarm is ringing, only to wake up and find that it's nothing but your own irritating alarm clock. Sounds do shape dreams more than you think. Soothing music calms the brain and results in relaxing dreams.
You may dream that you are a rock star or attending a concert if some rock music is going on in the background as you nap. The volume matters, as very loud sounds will wake you up, whereas the soft ones won't really make a difference.
Abstinence affects dreams
Quit smoking a year ago, yet dream about taking a drag? You're not alone. Studies have shown that 63% of those who quit continued getting dreams about smoking even after a year.
Nicotine withdrawal enhances brain activity, which is why dreams become vivider. Abstaining from alcohol or dieting can also affect dreaming. Basically, what our body craves, our mind fantasizes about.
Medications affect dreams
Certain medications and drugs can also affect the way you dream. Vitamin B6 is said to encourage lucid dreaming. Of course, that doesn't mean you take too much of it, as it may damage your nerves.
Certain drugs suppress the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which means less dreams, whereas others stimulate it to make you dream more. If you are getting too many nightmares, your antidepressants could be the culprit.
Hunger affects dreams
Dreaming of chocolate cake or French fries too often? You probably just need to eat a light snack before bed. Going to bed hungry leads to food dreams (no surprises there).
Expect dreams of comfort foods or things you've been craving for, as they're constantly in your mind. Dieters tend to dream about food too often. Wonder why!
Mood affects dreams
Our psychological state affecting our dreams shouldn't really come as a surprise. Our dreams are like a reflection of our subconscious, so they are shaped according to our state of mind.
If something has been bugging you for a while, there's a possibility you may dream about it. Whether good or bad, your state of mind will impact your dreams.
Scents affect dreams
Mom baking yummy chocolate chip cookies, and you getting pleasant dreams when you nap is not just a coincidence. The scent of flowers, perfumes, or freshly baked goodies will lead to happy or positive dreams.
Expect some bad dreams when you smell garbage or smoke. You can dream of fire when something is burning. Basically, our mind will associate smell to the events in our life.
Posture affects dreams
Getting a lot of action in your dreams? Well, blame (or thank!) your sleeping position for it. Studies have shown that sleeping on the tummy leads to erotic dreams. The reason being our private part getting stimulated because of the contact with the bed.
A Girl with a Pillow
Studies have found that waking up in the same position helps remember dreams better.