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Q: the connection between smell aborbed during sleep and dreams ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: the connection between smell aborbed during sleep and dreams
Category: Science > Social Sciences
Asked by: orenva-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 13 Aug 2002 00:53 PDT
Expires: 12 Sep 2002 00:53 PDT
Question ID: 53949
I would like to establish the existance of a connection between smells
absorbed while sleeping and the effect it has on dreams.
I was told this was once stated by froid, but couldn't establish this
Subject: Re: the connection between smell aborbed during sleep and dreams
Answered By: alexander-ga on 13 Aug 2002 02:48 PDT
It's well known that stimuli from all of our senses can be
incorporated into our dreams. For example, it's common to hear that a
ringing telephone, for example, causes someone still sleeping to dream
of a buzzer or siren.

Freud has a whole section on this (Chapter 1, section C, subsection 1:
"External sensory stimuli") in his "The Interpretation of Dreams":

"...a strong light may fall upon the eyes, a noise may be heard, or an
odour may irritate the mucous membranes of the nose. In our
unintentional movements during sleep we may lay bare parts of the
body, and thus expose them to a sensation of cold, or by a change of
position we may excite sensations of pressure and touch. A mosquito
may bite us, or a slight nocturnal mischance may simultaneously attack
more than one sense-organ. Observers have called attention to a whole
series of dreams in which the stimulus ascertained on waking and some
part of the dream-content corresponded to such a degree that the
stimulus could be recognized as the source of the dream."

"3. Eau de Cologne was held to his nostrils. He found himself in
Cairo, in the shop of Johann Maria Farina. This was followed by
fantastic adventures which he was not able to recall." (Farina was a
cologne manufacturer.)

(transcribed at , click on
the "Chapter I" link and scroll down)

In fact, there is a commercial product that leverages this phenomenon,
the Lucidity Institute's NovaDreamer. ( ) When you enter REM sleep,
the NovaDreamer can flash red lights or make a beeping sound to alert
you that you're dreaming without waking you up. The idea is that this
signal is then incorporated into your dreams ("I'm surrounded by the
popping of flash bulbs with afterimages of orange circles...") and you
recognize this cue to "become lucid".

If you are looking for recent evidence in the literature, I suspect
that the following article will be of use to you. Ask your local
university library if you need assistance in locating it:

PSYCHIAT J U OTTAWA 13 (2): 94-96 JUN 1988

Search terms: dream stimuli, dream stimuli freud

Request for Answer Clarification by orenva-ga on 03 Sep 2002 03:01 PDT
dear alexsander,
thanks for your help, it was helpfull, however i cant yet seems to be
able to locate the artilce you referred to, could you e-mail me a copy
or direct me to where i can locate the source ?



Clarification of Answer by alexander-ga on 03 Sep 2002 13:19 PDT
I assume you're referring to the "OLFACTORY STIMULI AND THEIR EFFECTS
ON REM DREAMS" journal article. As far as I can tell, it's not
available in electronic form. You're looking for the June 1988 edition
of the "Psychiatric Journal of the University of Ottawa". Again, your
local university library's reference department should be your first
contact -- if they don't have this journal, they should be able to
contact a library that does, and have it photocopied for you -- the
article is only 3 pages long. Your local public library may also be
able to help in locating the article, but I don't know for sure.
There are no comments at this time.

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