If you have a recurring dream about an apple pie that you just can't figure out, don't turn to an online dream dictionary. Instead, follow the advice of psychologist Veronica Tonay, author of The Creative Dreamer, and try to figure out what your own associations are with apple pie. Tonay, who studies dreams, says "individual dream images are always very, very personal." Plus, she says, if you dream about eating an apple pie at night, you'll be less hungry when you wake up.

Dreams tell us most about how we genuinely feel. Our dreams about food are speaking to us in a metaphorical language -- that language that we thought in before we learned how to speak, which is a language of images and feelings. Pay attention to any feelings you have around food in your dreams and ask yourself, "Are those feelings that I need to pay attention to in my waking life?"

Dream images are always very, very personal. A person who has had an experience with an apple, where maybe they reached for an apple and fell off a ladder, is going to have a very different dream about apples than a person who just loves to eat apple pie. I really believe that people can do a lot of work on their dreams on their own. One way to do that is you have an image in a dream -- an apple, for instance -- and you're not sure what it's all about. You can imagine it really, really vividly in your mind, and then watch what it changes into. It will always change into something. What you’re doing when you do that is you're seeing what your own associations are to that apple, your own personal associations, and what its meaning is to you personally.

Don't trust dream dictionaries -- they are creative, but sometimes 'made up from thin air'

There are so many dream dictionaries out there. Dream dictionaries are just somebody who sat down and said, "What would it mean if I dreamed about a table? Maybe it means that I want to table something." They are sometimes pretty creative, and they are basically just being made up from thin air. You don't want to put much credence in dream dictionaries because our own symbology of our own unconscious is so rich and so personal.

If you are hungry before bed, you are more likely to dream about food

Whether or not you are hungry or thirsty when you go to bed has actually been shown in experiments going way back to the late 50s to determine whether or not you have food in your dreams or you’re thirsty in your dreams. So in other words, if you go to bed and you're hungry or you're thirsty, you're more likely to actually dream about food or drink when you are asleep.

Dreaming about food affects your appetite in the morning

The more vividly you have an experience eating or drinking while you are asleep, the less hungry you are actually in the morning. People have actually been found to eat and drink less when they've had a really vivid, gratifying dream of eating or drinking something that they are really enjoying at night.

If you imagine yourself eating something when you are awake, 'you actually want to eat less of it'

The more vividly you imagine food when you're awake, the same thing is actually true. If you can vividly imagine yourself eating something, you actually want to eat less of it; that's been shown as well. Our unconscious doesn't know the difference between reality and fantasy, so the more vividly you can imagine something, you often believe that you actually have done it.