All of us have at one time or another experienced a dream state when we are fast asleep. Some of them are pleasant and happy, while some are plain dreadful and horrid. And then there are some that just seem out of place. So, then it’s natural for you to wonder, “What does my dream mean?”
If you asked yourself this question, then reading this article may be helpful for you. Not only are we going to discuss what dreams actually are. But also discuss some common dreams and their interpretations.
Let’s start with the basics!
What is a Dream?
A dream is typically made up of a combination of images, sensations, emotions, and ideas. They are involuntary and there is usually no way for you to control what you dream about when you are fast asleep. Dreams usually occur in your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
The phenomenon of dreams is still a topic of research and is yet not explained completely. Many psychologists have attempted to interpret some common dreams. But there are a lot of gray areas to explore.
When Do You Dream?
Most humans dream when they are in their REM stage of sleep. This is when your brain activity resembles the state when you are awake, even though you are sleeping. You have more probability of remembering your dreams if they occur during this stage. The dreams that may conjure up when you are in other stages of sleep are usually not easy to remember.
The length of dreams can vary each time from a few seconds to half an hour or so. On average, you could have around 3 to 5 dreams each night. Sometimes this number can even go up to 7 in number!
Why Do We Dream?
Many fields like science, philosophy, and spirituality have explored this question. But until now, there is not even one universally accepted answer. Many theories and opinions, but no right answer!
Some dream researchers believe that dreams are nothing but the result of electrical impulses in our brain. Whereas some studies show that dreams have a deep connection with our unconscious mind. That most dreams are related to our psychology and are usually connected to our real world.
Then, some researchers say that dreams are our brain’s way of preparing us for an experience that we are yet to come across in real life. There’s also a study that says that dreams re-enact unprocessed information that we are not consciously aware of.
‘What Does My Dream Mean’ – 31 Most Common Dreams
So let’s explore different types of dreams widely reported by people around the world. If you’ve dreamed one of these, then you might just get the interpretation you needed.
1. Dreams About Falling
Falling dreams are one of the most common ones. Most of us have experienced the feeling of falling when fast asleep. Sometimes it feels so real, we wake up with a jolt. So why do we dream about falling?
Some dreams interpretations suggest that you dream about falling when you are experiencing a lack of control in certain aspects of your waking life. If you are currently feeling overwhelmed by the happenings in your life, you may dream about falling.
Another possibility is that you are currently facing some stability or security issues in life. It could be about your job, your relationships or your home. This also mean that you are moving in the wrong direction in your daily life. And a reminder for you to course-correct before it’s too late.
2. Dreams About Losing Teeth
If your dream involved losing all your teeth or seeing them rot, don’t worry. It’s a very common dream. It could mean a couple of things depending on what is happening in your actual life.
It can mean that you have been feeling less attractive and have been suffering the fear of rejection. It could also be because you are growing older and feeling sexually undesirable.
You may also see your teeth fall in your dream if you are facing issues in communicating with others. It could also mean that you are feeling unheard. Or are finding difficulty in expressing your feelings or opinions. Sometimes losing teeth can signify that you are feeling powerless in important situations. It may be a reminder for you to be more assertive.
Some other interpretations are that you are lying about something in your real life. It could be a sign for you to turn a new leaf. In a few cases, losing teeth suggests impending ill health or death of a person close to you.
3. Dreams About Dying
Dreaming of dying is not a pleasant experience and can haunt you for days to come. But not if you know what it could signify. Don’t worry, it does not mean you are going to die!
A dying dream usually signifies a self-transformation or the death of your old ways. It can point to the positive changes you have made on your inner journey of self-discovery. It could also mean that a part of you is dead. If you have recently given up on some old habits, then it’s a sign to celebrate your new beginnings.
If the feeling of death in your dream was very scary or jarring. Then it could be a sign that some significant changes are necessary for your life. It could be your brain’s way of scaring you into making the necessary changes. Dreaming about death can also be to signify your quality of self-sacrifice. And how you should focus on yourself to avoid self-destruction.
Sometimes dying dreams are not about you, but someone you know. If you watch someone close to you die, it could mean that the quality that you associate with this person is dead. It means you are reinventing your relationship with this person. Or giving up certain difficult emotions you are harboring against this person.
If your death dreams are about a person who has already passed away, it can mean a whole lot of other things. It could mean that you are trying to cope with their loss or trying to say your final goodbye. Or it could also mean that you are trying to understand the reason for their death so you can move on.
4. Dreams About Infidelity
Dreaming about infidelity can be a harrowing experience even though it’s not real. You may dream about your partner cheating on you. That is if you have not been receiving enough attention lately. That does not mean they are actually cheating on you!
This can also happen if you have abandonment issues. Your fear of being alone in the future could be manifesting in this form. Another reason could be if you have been in a relationship for long. And are waiting for your partner to commit.
An unfortunate reason why you could be dreaming about this is also if you suffer low self-worth. The feeling of being not good enough could make you feel like you don’t deserve your partner’s love. Causing you to dream about your partner cheating on you. You may also dream about this if you have a hard time trusting your mate.
In the worst-case scenario, your partner may be in fact cheating on you and you missed the signs. It could be your brain’s way of processing this missed information to cue you in.
If you dreamed about you being the cheater. Then it’s possible that you engage constantly in self-betrayal or self-sabotage. Or if you have a tendency to be dishonest. The dream may be a sign that you should change your ways for the better.
5. Dreams About Pregnancy
Dreaming about being pregnant can be an interesting experience. If you wake up and find yourself happy. Then it could show that you are delving into a deeper relationship in real life. Or it could also mean that you are birthing a new chapter in your life. It could be a new job or exploring a new opportunity you have been waiting for.
Pregnant dreams can also mean that you are changing yourself. It could be a reminder for you to embrace the new you!
The flipside of this dream could be that you are not prepared for new challenges coming up in your life. Or that you don’t want to take up certain responsibilities that are coming your way.
6. Dreams About Being Chased
Being chased in your dream can be exhausting and you may wake up not knowing why. This dream symbol mostly signifies your avoidance in real life. If you have been avoiding some deep-seated issues instead of confronting them. Then you may have chase dreams.
Another possible explanation is that you are close-minded. And do not wish to listen or understand other people’s opinions. It could be a reminder for you to be more open.
It could also mean that you are so busy solving others’ problems, you have been running away from your own. This may be a wake-up call for you to pay attention to your problems. And sometimes it could suggest that the thought of an attack scares you. Be it physical or mental.
If you are in the middle of such situations in real life, it may be good if you took some self-defense classes. Or consult a psychologist if the fear is in your mind and get rid of it.
Whereas if the person dreamed of being the one chasing others, it could mean that they are ambitious. Or it could mean that they have a lot to catch up on and are trying hard to make the deadline.
7. Dreams About Flying
A flying dream is one of the best dreams you can have. It feels great and you are on top of the world! The best interpretation of flying is that it could represent hope and freedom. And endless possibilities! Waking up after your dream of flying can be an exhilarating experience. And hence, motivating you to make the best out of your daily life.
If you dreamed of flying, it could mean that you have a strong will power to achieve anything life throws at you. It could be to remind you not to give up on anything and persevere. It could signify that you are in good control of everything in your real life and are leading a peaceful life. It could also be a reminder for you to look at things from a bigger perspective. And gain new ideas if you’re stuck in a situation.
Dreaming of flying also has a spiritual connection. You may have evolved to a higher and deeper spiritual plane. And this may be a sign of confirmation you were looking for.
The negative connotation of the flying dream is that it may suggest that you are an escapist. You avoid thinking about your problems and distance yourself from reality often. It can also suggest that you think too much of yourself and feel like you have the power over everyone else. And that you look down on others.
8. Dreams About Being Naked
If you’ve dreamed of being naked in public, you may have woken up feeling aghast. There are many ways to interpret this in the dream dictionary. The most common interpretation is that you are feeling vulnerable about something in real life. It could be opening up about something very personal to a confidant.
This can also be symbolic of your fear of exposure. If you have been hiding something from the world, the fear of getting exposed can result in naked dreams. Another reason why you could have dreamed this way is if you are insecure about your appearance.
It could also be if you have not prepared yourself for the upcoming event in your life. And that you may have set out to fulfill an impossible task that requires you to invest everything.
Another possible explanation is that you believe you are better than your peers in real life. And look down upon others. The naked dream could be a reminder for you to remember that we are all humans. It could also be because you seek attention from others constantly.
A positive interpretation of being naked in your dream is that you aren’t ashamed or embarrassed about anything in life. You are an open book and an honest person.
9. Dreams About Taking A Test
Most people who dream of taking a test suffer from anxiety and stress. You may have dreams where you are unable to write the test or that you can’t remember any answers. Or that time is running really fast and you are panicking. Or that your pen is not writing!
All these instances signify that you are not ready for something important in your life. It may be a reminder for you to invest time in preparation. This could also mean you have a fear of failure. You may be well equipped to succeed. But the what-if statements cripple your performance.
It could also be because you have low self-confidence. You may also be afraid that you will not meet a close person’s expectations. You doubt your abilities and have low self-esteem. In such cases, these dreams may be a wake-up call that it’s high time you worked on these things.
10. Dreams About Animals
A dream of an animal may imply different things, depending upon whether a specific animal was seen in your dream or animals in general. Most people dream about animals at least once in their entire lives.
Dream of a specific animal is most often a depiction of your own characteristics, primal instincts, sexual nature, needs, and desires depending on the qualities of the specific animal. Animals are easy to associate with a personality trait; for example, you might associate an owl with personality traits like introversion, intuitive, observant, and so on. You might link a tiger to someone who is brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident.
To dream about running away from a particular animal can be interpreted as you are denying accepting the traits that you share with that animal. If you are dreaming of saving the life of an animal, it mostly indicates that you are effectively acknowledging certain characteristics represented by the animal. If in your dream, you are letting go of an animal or setting them free, it suggests a release of your own primitive desires.
Thus, we can conclude that dreams about a specific animal are oftentimes easy to analyze. Sometimes the actual animals we dream about can just mean we’re thinking about our own behavior in the waking world.
11. Dreams About Food
If you are dreaming about food, your stomach may actually be grumbling, that is, you may have gone to bed hungry.
If you wish to have lucid dreams, you may use this technique where you actually go to bed hungry because the mind is then so focused on finding food that keeps you aware even while you are dreaming.
Sometimes if you crave something before going to bed and then fall off to sleep thinking about it, you might also dream about the same food item. This is often the case when you are thirsty and go off to bed, you may drink water in your dreams to satisfy your thirst. Even sex dreams occur for the same reason.
12. Dreams About Water
Dreaming about water can imply several things, depending upon the amount of water in the dream, the behavior or course of the water, and the dreamer’s distance from the water. They generally represent your emotions in waking life.
For instance, if you have a dream where there is a large amount of water, it can be implied that an event in your life is having a strong emotional influence on you. Most often it indicates being either trapped or free from those emotions caused by an influential occurrence of an event in life.
If you are dreaming about water, it can also mean you feel discouraged or unsupported by your loved ones, which is emotionally overwhelming for you.
Sometimes, dreaming about water can simply mean uncomplicated things like you are thirsty and your body wants you to drink a glass of water!
13. Dreams About Sex
According to Maslow’s theory of needs, food, water, and sex are placed together under the basic needs as our bodies are wired to need food, sleep, security, love, and sex. So, our brains are bound to desire sex and find it pleasurable, unless a person is asexual. Often, seeing an attractive person triggers the desire to consummate.
If you are having sex dreams, it is likely indicating that like any other healthy adult, you are having sexual desires. Most sex dreams result in actual orgasms in both men and women. Sex dreams can be both emotionally and physically rewarding.
Dreaming about sex with someone unknown or inappropriate does not necessarily suggest that you are cheating on your spouse. It could simply be a reflection of an embryonic desire for something new in our lives, for example, having another baby.
Sex dreams in which we feel dishonored may be a depiction of actual past experiences of ill-treatment.
If you think about sex before going to bed, consciously or subconsciously, you may dream about it too, just like in the case of dreaming about food. Becoming lucid in sexual dreams is a technique of becoming mindful of our unconscious desires.
14. Dreams About Being addicted
Dreams of being addicted to drugs, smoking or drinking alcohol generally mean that you are trying to run away from a situation in the real world. Addiction dreams may also be a consequence of spending considerable time thinking about how to free yourself from a harmful situation.
Sometimes, these dreams also indicate that addiction to something in life or dependence on someone. In other words, it means there is something you desire in life.
Also, people who are in rehabilitation centers or are trying to overcome addiction may dream of being addicted again for the simple reason that their body that is deprived of the addictive substance wants you to get into that same unhealthy habit, again.
You must build an awareness of the emotional dependence, explore where it comes from, and learn to nurture yourself.
15. Dreams About Being Lost
Dreaming about being lost can be interpreted differently depending upon where you got lost. For instance, being lost in a forest can imply two things; one of them being that you are petrified because you lack control in life.
The other interpretation could be that you want to isolate yourself from the hustle and bustle of life. To find yourself in an unknown place can help a person by allowing themselves to open up to suppressed feelings and rediscover yourself.
Loss in dark can denote frustration and rage, sometimes. It may also mean that you feel helpless and despair about your situation.
If you are dreaming of being lost in a shop, it can mean that you are unable to recognize your actual value in the real world. Thus, the dream is playing the role of a messenger that you are more precious than you think.
You must remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Just have faith in yourself and open your eyes to see the light.
16. Dreams About Ghosts
When you dream about being attacked by ghosts, it generally implies that you are emotionally vulnerable, right now. You can feel this emotion because of several reasons like someone or any circumstance is trying to overpower you that is a threat for you. Therefore, dreaming about ghosts mostly means that you feel crushed by the situation or people who are a hindrance in your path of success.
Sometimes, dreaming about a ghost also means that there is something amiss somewhere and that needs to be corrected.
If you see living human beings as ghosts in your dream, it can mean that you have unpleasant feelings about them which have not been expressed and their presence haunts you. You do not have to worry about their well-being if you see living people as ghosts in your dream.
If you see a dead person as a ghost in your dream, it means that a part of you is unexplored, consequently not understood by you. In a few cultures, if a deceased loved one appears in your dream, it can mean that they are trying to deliver a message to you.
When you have a nightmare of a ghost, you must focus on how the ghosts behave to interpret why you had such a dream. If the ghosts in your nightmare are aggressive and noisy, it can imply that you are losing control of life in the real world.
You need not worry if you dreamt about a ghost attacking you, introspect and take action to overcome your difficulties. Don’t let yourself succumb to the negativity that circumstances or other people in life may impose on you.
17. Dreams About Crying
When you start to repress your feelings in your waking life, these emotions often need an outlet and find a way to your dreams. Thus, when you dream about crying, it’s most of the time a way of letting out your feelings. Not everyone is comfortable in crying, and so dreams are a way to release their pent-up emotions.
18. Dreams About Getting Married
Marriage can simply be defined as an institution whereby two people are united, often because they share a strong connection with each other. If you’re dreaming about marriage, it can imply different things depending upon the phase of life you are in.
One of the possibilities could be that like getting married is a significant event in one’s life, you have committed to embark on an important journey. For instance, you have got a new pet or a new job and your subconscious mind is presenting this responsibility to you in the form of marriage.
If you have decided on a life partner or your wedding is around the corner, then these dreams are usual and just a reminder for the reality in waking life.
19. Dreams About Guilty of a Crime
When you have embarked upon an action that is the right thing for you to do but that violates your moral principles, you may have dreams of finding yourself guilty of a crime. This happens because in the real world, you have let yourself down and that is having a toll on your mental peace.
20. Dreams About Inappropriate Lovemaking
A few examples of inappropriate lovemaking could be being physically intimate in a public place or making love with a person you don’t feel anything for or someone disturbing you while you get intimate with your partner. If you dream of any such inappropriate lovemaking, it may mean that there is something happening in the real world that is astonishing.
Also, sometimes dreaming of physical intimacy can be about an intimate understanding of your new-found abilities.
21. Dreams About Fire
Dreaming about fire can imply powerful emotions like anger, rage, or passion. Sometimes, a destructive mindset may also consequently trigger fire dreams.
Dreaming about fire can also mean good things like a recall of a happy memory from the past; for instance, sitting around the campfire surrounded by your loved ones, feeling secure, warm, and happy.
22. Dreams About Reading Books
If you dreamt about reading books, it may imply that you have a quest for knowledge. Books are regarded as a storehouse of knowledge and intelligence across the globe.
Dreams about reading can indicate your readiness to learn new things and accepting new challenges. If this is the case, try reading before going to bed so that the likelihood of becoming lucid improves.
23. Dreams About Being Stabbed
Dreaming of getting stabbed by someone can imply different things, but the most common interpretation is betrayal in waking life.
On the other hand, dreams of getting stabbed can be a simple outcome of watching, listening, or reading about crimes on television, radio, newspapers, and so on.
24. Dreams About Losing Your Shoe
A shoe is often symbolized as protection, comfort, and toughness. Therefore, if you have dreamt of losing a shoe, it may imply a feeling of not being protected.
It may also mean that the circumstances of life are forcing you to get out of your comfort zone. Do you remember the old idiom, “as comfortable as an old shoe”?
25. Dreams About Missing a Flight
Dreaming of missing a flight can imply you are worried that your plans might not fulfill your desired goals in waking life. This dream indicates that there are opportunities lying in your way; you just need to focus your energy on your goal-directed actions.
26. Dreams About Prison
You may dream of jail or prison when a life event or sometimes your own thoughts seem to imprison you or limit your personal development. This dream calls for you to fight your own demons by confronting them. You must also examine the reason for limitation or restriction that holds your freedom back.
27. Dreams About Money
Dreaming about money can be both the ends of a spectrum, that is, it can mean that you desire for more money to fulfill your dreams, whereas, on the other hand, you fear losing the money you possess.
Most human beings have a desire to earn more and more money to enjoy the pleasures of life like going out on a holiday or buying a new car. It can sometimes also mean that you just want power, which in your opinion can be achieved through the possession of lots of money.
28. Dreams About Climbing a Mountain
Climbing mountains have always been symbolized as obstacles to overcome. The common expression ‘this challenge is hard; you’ve got a mountain to climb’ tells us strongly about the symbolism of mountains. Therefore, dreaming about climbing a mountain generally implies that your brain is internalizing a difficulty and preparing itself to conquer the challenge.
If in case, you are dreaming about the inability to climb the mountain, it mostly depicts your low self-confidence in dealing with the challenge that’s coming.
29. Dreams About Amputation
If you dreamt about amputation or missing a limb, it can imply that you are anxious about losing someone or something that is essential in your life. You fear that life would not be the same without that someone or something and it would be difficult for you to walk ahead in life.
30. Dreams About Natural Disaster
The interpretation of dreaming about a natural disaster differs on the basis of the type of natural disaster you dreamt about. Dreaming about an earthquake often implies that you feel that your world is falling apart and you are unable to control it. Dreaming about a tornado or flood often implies that you are overwhelmed with emotions.
31. Dreams About Crashing Car
If you dreamt about a car crash, it usually means that anticipating the future is worrying you. For instance, say suppose you have a very important project submission tomorrow and your mind gets trapped in self-doubt.
Sometimes, it might be just a recall of a dreadful memory of a car crash you experienced that has impacted you, adversely.
While dreams come and go, and could be pleasant or disturbing, it’s up to you whether you want to go deeper into them. If you want to understand your dreams, then try to remember your dreams as much as you can. Write them down or record it on your phone as soon as you wake up before you forget. Every detail, every dream symbol is of great value if you want to interpret your dreams.
The same dreams can mean different things for different people. It usually depends on how you felt during the dream and what is happening in your real life. With the right context, dreams can help you understand yourself better. And help you in leading a peaceful life!
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favourite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.