Crazy how things in our daily routines can have a huge or no effect at all in our dreams.

Smells, sounds and sensations often become woven into our dream narratives. There are a lot of influences that can shape how our dreams go. We have our natural dreams, which are not at the mercy of what's happening around you in the real world yet can sometimes help you process your thoughts and feelings.

Let's check out some of the things that can influence our dreams.

Real life sounds can make into your dreams. For example, have you ever been sleeping and your alarm rings yet instead of waking up, it is included in your dream? I know its happened to me a bunch of times ... usually I wake up all upset on that annoying sound that is interrupting my sleep!

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Lauri Loewenberg, a Certified Dream Analyst of the International Association for the Study of Dreams attests that soundtracks can influence the content of your dreams (though she does not recommend a habit of this.)

Though I have heard that listening to music helps you to fall asleep and if its your favorite music, its even better! (When I can't fall asleep, I usually listen to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or Paul McCartney and Wings and most of the time I don't even make it through the first track. :) )

Another influence of your dreams are the smells around you. Positive smells like flowers, incense, fresh air help in giving you positive dreams; as negative smells give you negative dreams. That sounds obvious! Although I can't imagine someone who would even consider 'trying' to fall asleep next to their laundry basket or a plate of food that has been sitting on their night stand for days. Euww!

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Your sleeping position has a lot to do with your dreams (and comfort of course). A recent study in Hong Kong found that sleeping on your stomach increases the chances of having a sexual dream (hmm...) or a dream about being persecuted or feeling suffocated. Well, that could be because since your laying on your genitals and they are being stimulated.

Another thing is if you want to remember what you are dreaming, I've heard to stay awake for 10 minutes after you wake up or don't move from that sleeping position. Stay put, just like you laid to sleep, that's how you should wake up ... yeah, that's easy. Considering that sometimes I've been known to sleep walk and talk in my sleep and even have a full on conversation, I'm sure I can lay still through all that too.

Your state of mind has a lot to do with what type dream you have. If you're depressed it might give you shades of gray type dreams or black and white. Anxiety brings tornados, a clear calm mind brings sunny days and sadness brings rain. Also, quitting something can affect your dreams. If you recently quit drinking or smoking or are even on a new diet and are trying to cut down on sweets; sometimes your dreams don't help as all of a sudden you'll dream swimming on an ocean of fudge with sprinkled rain and surf boards made of wafers and ... well, you get the picture!

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So next time you are having problems sleeping or are having some sort of nightmare, now you know some things you can do to make things a little better. :)

Sleep tight!! :D