What Can Influence Our Dreams?

Who Am I?

My name is Shirley Thao and I am currently a sophomore student attending at F.L. Schlagle High School. My interests are to draw and have fun during my free time and my goal is to finish high school and college so that I will become successful. Sometimes I question a lot of things that happen in life. When a question comes to my mind and I get an answer, I can learn a lot from it.

Essential Question

I think that some time in our life we wonder why we dream what we dream. Sometimes I wake up from a dream and I wonder why I had that dream. It came to a point where I wondered "Is it because of how I felt today that I had this dream?". It also occurred to me that it might be something else like when you can hear background music in your dream because someone in real life played that same song. All these questions led me to think that there are many factors that influences our dreams.

Explanation of Topic

By the time I was questioning these things about dreams, I came to find some answers. All I know is that when you are dreaming, it depends on what you did before or during your dream. For example, listening to some type of music while your sleeping can influence what you dream. You can also dream about how you feel in real life such as being on a diet, then you dream of eating all these food that you crave but you won't have it. What I hope to gain from this research is how dreams are influenced. I hope that people can learn that your dreams can having meanings and it would be valuable way to learn about yourself, but sometimes your dream doesn't always have a message for you.

-My Proccess-

Dream Theories

There are several theories for why we dream. One is that our dreams help the brain sort through everything it collects during the day. Another theory is that dreams typically reflect our emotions. Our brains work hard to make connections to achieve certain functions. There's another theory that our dreams doesn't serve any function at all. Based on Dr. Freud's theory, dreams allow our unconscious mind to act out unacceptable thoughts and desires that we don't express.

What Influences/Affects Our Dreams?

  • Smells and Sounds

Unpleasant smell can cause us to have unpleasant dreams.

  • Sleeping Positions

Sleeping on your stomach can make you have erotic dreams and sleeping on your left side gives you more nightmares and bizarre dreams. Sleeping on your right gives you a more pleasant dream.

  • Playing Video Games

The more you play video games, the more control and awareness you'll have in your dreams

  • Psychological State

It can impact the color we see in our dreams and affect weather patterns in your dream. When you are abstaining from something you will probably see it in your dreams.

  • Food

Cheese, spicy food, or big meals can cause you to remember more of your dreams. Eating before bedtime may cause you to have bad dreams. Not only what kind of food, but also how much you can consume can give you vivid dreams, sweeter dreams, or nightmares.

Meaning of Dreams - Common Dreams and Dream Symbols
Top 10 Facts - Dreams

Psychoanalysis focuses on the unconscious aspects of personality.

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Psychology is the study of behavior and mind, embracing all aspects of human experience.

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Famous Psychoanylysist & Pyschologist

Michio Kaku on the Science of Dreams

Survey Responses

Future Steps

I plan to continue my research because we still don't know the function of why we dream and there plenty of different theories as to why we dream. I will probably have to study psychoanalysis and update myself with new information about dreams.


There are many factors that influences our dreams because there are so many theories and we do a lot of things during the day for our brain to collect those information. It is possible that your dream is giving you a message or a symbol about you. When you pinpoint the symbol your dream is trying to relay it can be a valuable way to understand yourself more. But it is possible that your dream meant nothing. This research helped me understand why I have dreams that I have and that dreams could be confusing.