Dreams are fascinating when you really investigate them. Why and how do we experience this stream of apparent consciousness while fast asleep? And, more importantly, what does it mean?

We dream during the most active REM stage of sleep, and it’s estimated that we dream between four and six times per night. Many of us don’t remember most of the dreams we have, and the dreams we do recall often leave us confused. Some dreams can be so ridiculous and nonsensical that they probably bear no resemblance to reality whatsoever. Others can be oddly specific, and some people experience the same dream on a regular basis.

Why do our minds conjure up this information? There’s no objective evidence that dreams reflect our true state of mind and reality. But there are some general themes in dreams that may indicate a deeper meaning. It could be the case that your dreams are reflecting any struggles, stresses or concerns that you’re experiencing in real life. Whether you’re experiencing this consciously or subconsciously, it can be beneficial to acknowledge and face these head on. In this article, we explore what the most common dreams are and what they might suggest.

Dreams of falling

Falling is a very common feature of dreams, and usually the dream is brought to an end as you hit the ground. You may wake up in shock as you snap back to reality and realise it was merely a dream. But this doesn’t mean you should disregard the experience as completely meaningless.

Falling can signify that you’re feeling insecure or anxious about a situation in your waking life. It also depicts a lack of control: as you fall in the dream, there’s nothing you can do to stop or break your fall. If you find yourself experiencing this dream on a recurring basis, ask yourself, ‘Is there anything in my life that I wish I had more control over?’ Asking yourself this question can be extremely cathartic, as it can help you to identify the source of your anxiety or stress induced dreams. This may even allow you to identify an underlying issue in your life that you were unaware of.

Dreams of being naked in public

Dreams of this sort usually occur in a similar manner. You’ll be going about your normal day-to-day routine – whether this be going to work or the shops – only to look down and in horror, realise that you have no clothes on!

The fact that you’re normally in public in these dreams, is important, as it represents the fear of having a flaw revealed to those around you. Nudity in dreams is believed to signify feelings of vulnerability or shame. Naked you’re completely exposed, and so it’s possible that this type of dream is representative of a less literal form of exposure in real life. Perhaps you’re trying to cover up a deep secret, and you’re afraid of being seen through by your fellows. Or it could be in relation to a personal insecurity or shortcoming that you’re afraid of revealing?

Nudity dreams could also signify that you feel unprepared for something. This could reflect a lack of preparation for a task in a certain area in your life such as an exam at school or an important presentation in the office.

Dreams of being chased

Dreams where you’re being chased can be particularly fearful. They may even be classed as nightmares in some cases. Your chaser could be someone you know, an animal or an unknown figure.

Dreams of this type may indicate that you’re avoiding a particular issue or person. Being chased, represents the fear of having to eventually face that issue or person in the future. Your chaser may even depict an internal issue rather than an external one. Perhaps you’re running from a personal emotion or issue that you can’t bring yourself to face?  

Pay attention to the when you have these dreams and this could give you some further clarification as to what events or feelings may be causing you to have them.

Dreams where your teeth fall out

This is one of the most common and more bizarre dreams on this list. Individuals who have this dream will usually find themselves desperately checking that their teeth are still intact upon awakening.

Many feelings have been proposed as eliciting these dreams. The first is transition – perhaps you’re moving into a new stage of your life, whether that be a change in job, moving house or simply growing older. The loss of teeth can be seen to represent the uncertainty and feelings of loss that you may be experiencing during this periods of change.

Another is insecurity. You may have some concerns about your self-image and how you’re viewed by those around you. If this is the case then losing your teeth in real life would probably be your worst nightmare, and this is reflected in your dream.

Alternatively, the loss of your teeth could reflect a more personal loss of something or someone that was important to you. Evidently, there are a number of explanations for this particular dream, so consider how these themes may apply to your current situation. Awareness of any subconscious feelings you’re harbouring can help you to relieve yourself of them.  

Dreams that your partner has been unfaithful

Dreams can be so vivid and realistic, that having this type of dream can be incredibly stressful and upsetting. It may even have a negative impact on your relationship. While a dream of this nature definitely doesn’t mean that your partner has been unfaithful, it may signify a more general problem of trust in your relationship.

One other possibility is that this dream comes as a result of your own insecurities. You may feel as if you’re not good enough for your partner, which in turn results in you fearing that your partner may leave you for someone else. In addition, it could be born out of your own impression that your partner isn’t happy in the relationship.

By contrast, you may dream that you’re the one who’s cheating in the dream. In this case, this may suggest that you’re looking for something exciting and new. Any dreams of infidelity, whether it be on your partner’s part or your own, may show that there are certain issues that need to be addressed in your relationship. Talk about these dreams before you act on them.

Dreams that you are flying

Unless you have a fear of heights, dreams of flying can be exhilarating and enjoyable. Mostly, flying represents a sense of freedom, as you’re soaring through the sky away from the world and your responsibilities. And this is exactly the point.

Dreams can often be synonymous with our aspirations, therefore a dream that you’re flying  may indicate that you’re yearning for some form of escape or freedom from the constraints and pressures of your day-to-day life. This can be the case for those with a busy lifestyle and limited free time. Your flight dream may encourage you to create more time to relax and give yourself more freedom to do as you please.

Also, there may be some specific aspects of your flight that might give you some further clarification as to the dream’s meaning. If you’re having trouble flying, this could suggest that someone or something is preventing you from moving onto the next stage in your life. If your flight is more of a nightmare than a dream, this may indicate a lack of control in your life – similar to that of falling dreams. Are you trying to control too much in your life?

At the end of the day, dream analysis is extremely subjective. Despite this, there are certain common themes in dreams that can suggest the existence of issues and troubles in real life. The best thing to do is to consider your dream, and see how it might relate to your life on a symbolic level. Your subconscious could be trying to tell you something, and dreams can act as a wake-up call for the issues or feelings you need to address.

Dreams can help us to understand any stresses, worries or issues we may be experiencing in our life. However, sometimes we need further external help to tackle these problems head on and get them resolved.

Exploring your dreams is good practise in terms of self-awareness and mindfulness but also remember that they’re dreams and shouldn’t be taken at face value.

To talk to our trained and qualified psychotherapist about your dreams, and the deeper issues that may be fuelling them, get in contact with us today.