Quite possibly, new research suggests.
German researchers are reporting that when people smelled the scent of rotten eggs while sleeping, the nature of their dreams turned decidedly negative, while those who got a whiff of the scent of roses had more positive dreams.
"We were able to stimulate the sleeper with high concentrations of positively and negatively smelling odors and measure if the stimuli were incorporated into the dreams and changed the emotional tone of dreams," said the study's lead author, Dr. Boris Stuck, a professor of otorhinolaryngology at Heidelberg University.
"We found that the sleeper hardly ever dreamed of smelling something. Nevertheless, the emotional tone of the dream did change depending on the stimulation," he said.
Stuck said that previous research had shown that other types of stimulation, such as sound, pressure or vibration, could influence the content and the emotional tone of dreams.