8 Common Dreams and What They Really Mean | Sleep Hub

Posted by Rhys Edmondson on 1st Jul 2021

8 Common Dreams and What They Really Mean | Sleep Hub

Everyone has dreams while they sleep. These often take the form of stories or images which are created by our minds during slumber. Often mimicking real life situations, they can be scary, fun, romantic or weird – or all of the above!

You may not always remember that you’ve had one. Some mornings you might wake up thinking that you haven’t dreamt at all.

When you do remember, you might wake up feeling confused or wondering what your dream was all about.

Here we investigate eight of the most common dreams to find out what they really mean.

1.Dreams about being chased

The dream: You’re walking, and you get the feeling that someone or something may be watching you. You then realise that they’re walking behind you and you get the feeling that you need to run away. You may feel that whatever’s chasing you is gaining on you and will catch up to you.

Being chased in your dreams can be really frightening and leave you breathing heavily and possibly even sweating when you wake up.

This is one of the most reported dreams around the world. It’s thought that the anxiety we feel during the dream, thanks to being chased by someone, feels so real that it’s much easier for us to remember this one once we wake up.

When you’re being chased in your dreams, this can suggest that you are running away from something that’s causing you to worry or feel anxious in your waking life. Maybe there’s something with work, your family or your love life that is niggling you.

You might find that this dream is recurring until you find and resolve the issue that is causing you these anxieties. Need a hand? Here are some useful tips for managing stress.

2.Dreams about teeth falling out

The dream: You have a weird feeling in your mouth. You reach in and find that your tooth is loose. You pull this one out and then another feels loose so you pull that one out too. Before you know it you’ve lost several teeth.

Other variants include feeling your teeth crumbling away and bits of your teeth breaking off.

Dreaming about your teeth falling out, breaking or simply rotting away is another common dream reported by people across different countries and cultures. In fact, 39% of the population has experienced these types of dreams. [1]

Dreams about losing your teeth are thought to be linked to anxieties that you have about your personal appearance or how you feel that other people perceive you. This can stem from low self-esteem, fear of rejection or feeling powerless.

Ignore the saying “dreams can come true” with regards to this dream. There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that dreaming about your teeth falling out has any link to our oral health. Although, it may just remind you to book that dentist’s appointment that you keep putting off!

3.Dreams about flying

The dream: You’re flying above the world that you know, feeling the wind in your hair and a sense of freedom. You can look down on the rest of the world as you loop and glide through the air.

Flying dreams are usually a form of lucid dreaming. A lucid dream is one where you’re asleep and very aware that you’re dreaming. When you’re lucid dreaming, you may even be able to take control of what happens in the dream, choosing your actions and manipulating the narrative – cool, huh? [2]

A lucid dream about flying is usually a euphoric experience and you might feel a sense of happiness and joy afterwards.

Being able to control your dream flight indicates that you currently feel in control of your life and your emotions. You may feel powerful and confident in your abilities at work and in your private life.

Flying dreams may also signify freedom, hope and gaining new and better perspectives or opportunities. Maybe you’ve recently started a new job or met a new partner and you’re feeling excited about what’s to come.

4.Dreams about being naked in public

The dream: We’ve all had this one! You’re walking down the street, waiting at the bus stop, shopping at the supermarket or on the stage at school. Suddenly you look down and realise that you’re not wearing any clothes. That’s right, you’re completely and utterly, stark-naked in public.

Dreaming about being naked in a public place can mean that you’re feeling a little insecure, vulnerable or self-conscious, according to dream analysts. [3]

Being without your clothes is a situation where you are at your most vulnerable, simply because we aren’t normally naked with anyone except those we trust. Without our clothes, there’s nothing to hide behind.

Dreaming about public nudity can also symbolise being caught off guard. Finding yourself naked in a school or work environment can equate to a fear of being caught out in your real life.

Perhaps you have recently had a career change or a promotion and you’re suffering from imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is when you think that you aren’t as good at something as other people think you are. You tend to worry that they’ll find out that you aren’t. [4]

5.Dreams about falling

The dream: You’re walking along and suddenly you plunge over an edge into nothingness. You’re falling towards the bottom and you can’t find anything to grab onto to save you. You hit the floor and…you wake up!

You might find that you’ve fallen from a cliff, off the top of a tall building or that you’re just falling through the sky, with no idea how you got there.

When you dream about falling, this can symbolise a situation in your waking life where you feel as though you have a lack of control or you’re losing control. You might be feeling overwhelmed in your job or personal life.

Dreams of falling might also be caused by something physical, rather than psychological. Sleep myoclonus is the involuntary muscle jerks or spasms that can sometimes occur during sleep or when we’re drifting off to sleep. This can sometimes make it feel like we’re falling in our dreams. [5]

6.Dreams about snakes

The dream: A snake slithers into your dream. There are lots of variations of dreams with snakes in them. The snake may be attacking you or it may just be basking in the sun and you’re observing it.

Dreaming about snakes can be unpleasant if you’re not a fan of these slithery creatures but it can be a fairly common recurring dream, with snakes being the third most dreamt about animal, after dogs and cats. [6]

Interpreting a snake dream will depend on how you felt about the snake during your dream. Your dream could have either a positive or negative meaning, depending on the context surrounding the snake.

Snakes are unpredictable – you don’t know what they’re thinking and they can strike out and bite at any time. If you’re feeling fear during your dream then it may be that you’re afraid of the unknown in your waking life.

Perhaps you’re feeling that work is a bit unpredictable at the moment or one of your close relationships feels out of your control. [7]

On the positive side of the coin, dreams about snakes could represent transformation in your life. The snake is a powerful symbol of regeneration as it sheds its skin to reveal a new, shiny skin underneath. [8]

Your dream could reflect a change that you’re going through at the moment in your waking life.

7.Dreams about dying

The dream: You might dream about the death of a loved one, or you might even dream you’re dying yourself.

Another unpleasant dream to make our list is dreams about dying. This can (obviously) be scary or worrying and it can represent a fear of the unknown. If you’re going through a change in your life, you’re not sure what’s on the other side of that change.

Dreaming about a loved one dying can also represent the change in their life, for example when a child turns into an adult. [9]

Contrary to the horror story urban legend, when you die in a dream you do not die in real life!

8.Dreams about taking a test

The dream: You’re taking an exam, either at school or at work. You might find that you don’t know the answer to any of the questions, that your pen runs out of ink while you’re writing or that the test is in a foreign language that you can’t read. You might arrive late, be surrounded by people chatting or run out of time during the exam.

Dreaming about a test can reflect you feeling as if you are being tested or scrutinised in your waking life. You may be lacking in self-confidence and you’re worried that you won’t meet expectations of you.

Dreaming about exams can represent you feeling unprepared for a challenge that you’ve got coming up in your waking life. [10] Perhaps you’ve got a job interview coming up or you’re taking on a physical challenge and you’re nervous about how it will go.

Find out more about dreams with our 10 fun facts about dreams article .

[1] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/dreams/dream-interpretation/teeth-falling-out

[2] https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-lucid-dream-5077887

[3] http://www.dreammoods.com/commondreams/naked-dreams.html

[4] https://www.verywellmind.com/imposter-syndrome-and-social-anxiety-disorder-4156469

[5] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/sleep-myoclonus#causes

[6] https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/dreams-about-snakes-interpretations

[7] http://www.dreammoods.com/commondreams/snake-dreams.html

[8] https://www.wellandgood.com/dreams-about-snakes/

[9] https://www.verywellmind.com/understanding-your-dreams-2795935

[10] http://dreammoods.com/cgibin/examdreams.pl?method=exact&header=dreamid&search=examintro