Many of us can suggest that we dream in pictures, sometimes waking up in our unconscious heads after a wild, terrifying, cinematic adventure. With voices or lyrics, there might be a soundtrack too. So what happens to smells?
Some very odd situations in my dreams could probably have smelled like something. Yet they haven’t. Not at all. What does it mean to smell things while sleeping?
Looking at a Bunch of Smelly Dreams
In 1956, psychiatrist Peter H. Knapp reviewed 544 dreams for his research “Sensory Impressions in Dreams” reported in The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. Eighty percent of the visions were those of his own patients; two other outlets provided the remaining 20 percent.
According to the study, sensory dreams were classified as those that include at least one of the four (arbitrary) categories. These include color, movement, sound, or smell-taste. Only the mention of scent or taste (which proved to be quite crucial to certain dreams) was the criteria for identifying smell-taste dreams.
Knapp’s work showed that most dreamers indicated that they had color in 15 percent of their dreams. “According to Knapp,” smell-taste dreams “is decidedly unusual. In the whole sample, just ten of them appeared” ( pg. 343).
Dream Logs vs. Retrospective
Experts used dream metrics in another analysis, this one conducted in 1998: a historical report and home dream logs. The essay “Prevalence Of Sensory, Olfactory, And Gustatory Perceptions In-Home Dreaming,” reported in Visual and Motor Skills, paints a more complex image than the previous research.
Writers Zadra, Nielsen, and Donderi disclose that about 39 percent of 164 dreamers claimed they smelled at least once in a dream per retrospective report (that is, long after the dream took place).
The research also called for the home recording of dreams over a 2 to 3-week span, in addition to the retrospective questionnaire. After waking up each morning, dreamers were asked to write down anything they could remember from a dream. In general, 3,372 dreams were recorded; these related to smelling something at all were stated by only 0.86 percent (34 dreams).
It is a fascinating note, but it is a discovery for only a tiny proportion of a group of people that is already thin. Have you ever smelled something in a dream?
Indeed, in our dreaming state, there are certain hunches as to why smells surface so infrequently.
“There is abundant evidence that smell and taste, linked to the midbrain, are deeply repressed. We may be hungry but we seldom smell the dinner until we enter the kitchen,” Knapp said.
What he is looking at is the scent, like a feeling of discomfort, even though awake, is very challenging to conjure up. Go ahead and do this. Can you make up the scent of a mental picture, as you can? It is complex. Mental imagining is not the same as dreaming; we are mindful that the visions are internally produced in the latter situation.
In nature, another idea is developmental. Some scholars speculate that the meaning of dreams does not involve the use of smells in dreams (which is still strongly debated). Because of our natural past, our unwillingness to use our sniffer in a sleep condition, or at least our inability to recall smells in dreams.
Hence, like the dreams they can occur in, smelling senses exists out of our conscious control. So, in your dreams, you might not be as consciously mindful of the scent as you are of the light.
How do dreams smell like?
Here’s how to know how do dreams smell like:
When you are sleepy, go to bed and remain compliant with your routine for sleep.
This tip is all about priming yourself in the first place to be in the proper frame of mind for dreaming. Better sleep may indicate more dreams.
If you can, try to ease yourself out of bed.
Many people get a few seconds of a sense of sleep amnesia as you wake up from a dream in the morning. Every morning, try to sit with those emotions more and more to find information about the dream.
Drink a lot of water.
I didn’t try this one at all, so take it with a grain of salt. Apparently, you can cause urination during the REM phase by consuming a few glasses of wine. You would more definitely have to stand up to urinate during each period, because because of the body’s hormonal circuitry. This makes for further REM processes to be studied, and future visions.
Keep a dream journal.
Write down all your dreams as soon as you wake up. Don’t assess your dreams; write it down whether you felt a certain thing happened. When you practice journaling, you can grow stronger and better at dream reminders. And, it could help you attempt a lucid dream with your hand.