Common Dreams & What They Mean

Common Dreams & What They Mean

As soon as you hit the pillow for shut-eye, there’s no telling what type of nighttime adventure your brain is going to take you on. The mind creates some seriously bizarre scenes as it enters the deeper stages of sleep. If you keep having dreams about falling, for instance, it can reveal some interesting things about your psyche.

Most Common Dreams:


These dreams, which are particularly common, tend to feature the dreamer (you) falling from high places — like off a cliff or building — or just falling forever through the sky for no reason. “The exact meaning and relevance of falling dreams depend upon the context of the dream, the waking life issues of the dreamer, and the emotions they might have felt after waking up from such a dream.

In general, a dream about falling tends to signify a loss of control over an important situation. It also indicates fear, terror, and anxiety that comes out of losing grip over significant things. The feeling of falling may represent a sense of helplessness. But again, you’ll be able to interpret your dream more accurately if you take a few other clues into account, such as where you’re falling from, why, and how it makes you feel. 

So there are a lot of falling scenarios like falling from the sky, off a cliff, down an elevator--but I’m going to discuss three today.

From the sky:

Ever have a dream where you’re falling helplessly through the sky? This one’s most likely to happen when you’re going through a major life change. It can be interpreted as “falling into the unknown” or feeling out of control.

It’s also common to have a sky-falling dream but in slow-motion — kind of like a movie. A slow fall from a high place can indicate that you are between crossroads and can’t make a decision. It means you’re essentially in limbo as you fall.

Tripping & Falling:

Another common falling dream is that weird one where you trip over something and lurch forward or put your foot down but nothing’s there. This dream may indicate that you’re worried about falling behind, possibly in your career. You may even be so stressed about tripping up or making a mistake that you end up manifesting the literal interpretation of that in your dream.

Falling Off A Cliff:

A falling dream that’s definitely on the nightmare end of the spectrum involves those where you lose your footing and fall, perhaps off the side of a cliff. This could mean you’re worried about “losing contact” with an important area of your life. Your friends might be drifting away and making new friends or maybe you are losing sight of that promotion you were hoping for.

A dream where you fall off a cliff can also represent anticipatory fear. 

Being chased

Dreaming about being chased generally means that you are "being told by your unconsciousness that you're avoiding an issue or a person. In such dreams, context is important, which includes identifying the chaser. "Who is chasing you matters. Is it a male, female, animal, or an unknown being in the darkness?

A person could learn that he or she is running from his or her emotions, a common belief about being chased in dreams. "You may be avoiding something painful, annoying or fearful.” But don’t avoid it - "It could be a wake-up call. Trying to avoid the issue could lead to more recurring dreams."

Dreaming about being chased is "not usually literal,". A person's culture can influence details of the chase, however. If it's a car, that's a symbol of the West while someone from another culture might be chased on horseback or by rickshaw.  

What if you dream of chasing someone else? Dreaming about chasing someone else has a lot to do with the person you are chasing. "It could be libidinous, in the Freudian sense -- chasing someone attractive. In the Jungian sense, libido is defined as life energy."

Teeth Falling Out

A particularly vivid dream of teeth falling out may naturally raise concerns about your health, well-being, or sleep quality. But whether you’re feeling alarmed after your own unsettling teeth dream or simply curious about why these types of dreams occur, it is important to know that teeth dreams likely do not mean anything serious.

So some interpretations are as follows:

1. Personal loss

One of the most common interpretations for having your teeth fall out in a dream has to do with deep personal loss. This can be related to the:

  • death of a loved one
  • loss of a marriage/partnership
  • loss of a job
  • losing a home

There’s also a belief in some religions that dreaming about tooth loss can mean there’s about to be a death in your family.

3. Stress

Stress, whether related to work or home, is a normal part of life. However, uncontrolled stress can evolve into physical reactions. Dreams about your teeth falling out are certainly a possibility if you’re under more stress than normal.

4. Anxiety

While stress and anxiety are sometimes mentioned together, anxiety is a more long-term condition where you experience excessive worrying and insecurity that can interfere with your daily life. Anxiety can cause teeth grinding at night, which is one cause of dreams about your teeth.

Another possibility is that anxiety can make you worry about something going wrong at an extreme level, hence your teeth falling out.

5. Major changes underway

Both stress and anxiety can correlate to upcoming major changes in your life. Whether you have a new job or promotion coming up, or you’re making a move to a new city or getting married and having kids, all of these scenarios can affect your subconscious.

You might worry about things that can possibly go wrong with new changes in your life, which may lead to dreams about tooth loss.

6. Depression

Depression consists of experiencing long-term feelings of extreme guilt, hopelessness, and sometimes loneliness. When you have low self-worth, you might start envisioning things wrong with your physical well-being, too.

You might consider bringing up your dreams to your doctor at your next appointment if you think you might be depressed.

7. Jealousy

If you find yourself jealous of your partner, a friend, or a co-worker, the pent-up negative energy can affect your subconscious as you sleep. Such feelings may lead to delusional dreaming, such as those involving your teeth.

Being naked in public

Fears and insecurities are represented by dreaming of being naked in public. Clothes are a representation of self-worth and confidence when with other people. Whenever the clothes are taken off, fear arises about your self-worth or lack of confidence getting exposed to others. It means that you are putting more energy into creating a strong image for the public at the expense of your happiness. In most cases, you are not true to yourself, which will end up working against you when it will become known.

Dreaming of being naked in public can indicate that you are feeling vulnerable in front of people. People are staring and judging you for some actions done, making you feel tensed or defenseless against them as they criticize you. This brings the feeling of embarrassment due to the judgment made upon you that was not expected. You were involved in making decisions for a certain project that didn't go as planned, making you feel embarrassed. Upon waking up, solutions should be made to ensure corrective measures are put into place to avoid failure and liberate the situation at hand. This will help eliminate dreams concerning being naked in public since the major problem will be solved.

In some cases, dreaming about getting naked in public represents the state of being unprepared for a certain situation. Facing a task that was not in your schedule can pose challenges on how to go about it. It may require extra energy or knowledge, which is insufficient, leading to a disturbing situation. A clear indication is that extra effort is to be put into conducting various research on topics that pose problems. By doing this, being naked will be eliminated since the problem is fixed, and new tasks can be faced without fear.

Having dreams about being naked in public doesn't entirely represent negative meanings in a person's life. If the dream was experienced without you feeling embarrassed, it means that on waking up, you shouldn't have any fear. A positive feeling about nakedness means that a person can freely express themselves in the open without changing their personality. This boosts the confidence since it encourages doing this willingly without having to impress the public. The honesty and openness built are important in giving out ideas that will help other people to improve in different sectors.

Experiencing dreams about being naked in public could also mean that relief will be obtained after keeping something a secret for long. There could be something hidden that has been exposed or a personal decision made to tell the public what was happening. The secret is known did not mean the end of your life, making you stronger in facing life. As a result, it brings the freedom to do things according to your thoughts without caring what others will say. The dream helps in encouraging you always to be yourself and do what you think is right.

Depending on the place a person is, a dream about being naked could mean insecurity concerning a specific area. Experiencing the dream while you are at work or school means that an individual is afraid of not being qualified for the work at hand. There's a feeling that other people's expectations may not be met, and you may let them down or disappoint coworkers. This means that you need to work on specific areas that you are weak in to enable your performance to be high to get rid of the fears.

Generally, dreams about being naked in public are experienced to reflect what's happening in life. Through looking back to see the events happening, embarrassments will be avoided, and more knowledge will be gained in specific areas that need to be addressed.


Some people might interpret these dreams as meaning that you’re anxious about starting a family, or feeling like you have a lot of pressure to start one.

It’s true that some people experience these feelings before they get pregnant, but it is possible for dreaming about being pregnant to happen at any point in someone’s life.

  • In most cases, these dreams are not a result of something physical. Pregnancy dreams can be caused by a powerful need to have children, or an instinctual desire to protect oneself and the future of one’s family. It is not uncommon for women who are pregnant (or who are considering becoming pregnant) to experience these types of dreams.
  • Pregnancy dreams could be a sign from your subconscious that you are ready for motherhood.
  • Such a dream can also symbolize new beginnings for someone who is longing to become a mother.
  • Dreams of being pregnant can also represent anxiety about starting another life and the responsibility that comes with it.
  • If you’ve been pregnant before, and in your dream you realize that you’re pregnant again, this could mean that your subconscious is preparing your body for the next pregnancy.

Pregnancy dreams are very common for expecting mothers. This is because the hormonal and physical changes that happen during pregnancy can make the environment in your body feel different.

Sex or Cheating

When you're single, sex dreams are kind of the best. Your unconscious mind gets to go on sexual adventures your awake self might never be brave enough to try. But, when you're in a relationship, those sexy dreams can turn tumultuous because they don't always feature your partner in the starring role.

Often, we wake up from dreams about infidelity drenched in sweat and guilt. What do these dreams mean? Even if you know that your sexual thoughts haven't strayed from your partner, and you'd never cheat in real life, having sex dreams about someone else can make you feel like there's something majorly wrong in your relationship. 

But having a cheating dream doesn't necessarily mean that you want to cheat on your partner. Dreams don’t necessarily reveal repressed wishes. Instead, it's meant to be used as a symbol of something going on in your life. "A cheating dream may not suggest cheating at all, but instead suggests looking deeper into what the symbol cheating means to you. The "symbol of cheating" could mean many different things, depending on what your culture and upbringing taught you about cheating.

For some, cheating might be a symbol for breaking promises. Maybe there's some other commitment you've made that you now want to take back, like wanting to quit your job or skip the group hang you said you'd show up for this weekend. Subconsciously, if you've been thinking about breaking a promise of sorts, that could show up in your dreams as infidelity. "If we think about cheating on a partner, that's a place where you gave your word but you're going back on your word," she says. So breaking any other kind of promise is the same theme, and your worries over that are showing up in a different (and sexier) storyline.

So maybe your sex dreams aren't about sex at all. But then again, maybe they are. Dream interpretation isn't a solid science, so a dream about cheating isn't going to mean the same thing for everyone who dreams it. For some, an infidelity dream might come from real flirting with or attraction to someone who isn't their partner. "If your sex dreams are about a particular person, especially someone you know in your real life, you should consider whether there is a real life attraction (not a problem) and any sort of dalliance or flirtation with them (a problem)," she says. Maybe your dreams are playing out the same fantasies you're having when you're awake, and that might call for a conversation with your partner.

Being paralyzed or unable to speak

Have you ever had a weird dream where you felt awake but couldn’t move?

If you have had a dream like this before, you may have experienced sleep paralysis--the sensation of being paralyzed that occurs while you sleep. For most, it is just the inability to move during a dream. But some have reported having nightmares or feeling helpless.

Whether you have experienced sleep paralysis or not, here are some facts that help explain this mysterious phenomenon:

It only occurs at certain times of the night. Sleep paralysis happens during transition points in your sleep cycle. This means it can happen right as you are falling asleep or when you are first waking up. Your mind is simply making the transition to dreaming faster than your body. The sensation only lasts a few seconds to a minute. In a dream, the sensation of paralysis may seem to last much longer.

If you do experience it, don’t panic. Not being able to move around while in a dream can be scary. Luckily, the sensation of paralysis will wear off. If you are worried about past sleep paralysis episodes you have had, don’t. “Sleep paralysis is not a sign of mental disorders,”. “It is common – most people will experience it at least once in their lifetime.”

It can happen to anyone. “Sleep paralysis occurs at all ages, but is more common for people with irregular sleep schedules,” High school or college students and people on-call for a job (such as nurses, doctors, and firefighters) are more likely to experience sleep paralysis due to sleep deprivation.

As for not being able to speak or scream:

If you are emotionally blocked, you might not even be consciously aware that you're not expressing yourself. But when you're asleep, your brain is processing this information and storing it in your memory. If you haven't dealt with your emotions IRL, it could be why you can't scream in a dream no matter how hard you try.

When you can't yell or scream during a dream, "You are having a hard time vocalizing your opinion, standing up for yourself, or calling for help in waking life. Maybe you feel like no one hears you when you do," 

Being unable to call for help in a dream means you feel helpless in your waking life. It might be a sign that things like pride, shyness, or self-sabotage are keeping you from asking for help when you need it most. Dreaming that you've lost your voice and can't talk or scream means that you feel that you don't have control over your life, you feel ignored, or you're afraid to stand up for yourself.


Flying dreams fall under a category of dreams known as lucid dreams. Lucid dreams occur when you realize that you are dreaming and then take control of the dream. Many dreamers describe the ability to fly in their dreams as an exhilarating, joyful, and liberating experience.

Flying represents control:

If you are flying with ease and are enjoying the scene and landscape below, then it suggests that you are in charge and on top of a situation. You have risen above something. Flying dreams and the ability to control your flight is representative of your own personal sense of power.

Flying represents a new perspective:

When you are flying, you have the ability to look down and get a wider perspective of things. As a result, your flying dream is telling you to look at the broader picture. From your higher vantage point, you can gain a new and different perspective on things. 

Flying represents freedom:

Your dream flight may be sending you a message that nothing is impossible; you can be anybody and do anything. Your ability to fly signifies hope, possibilities, reality and freedom of expression. It may also reflect your strong will and is a reminder for you not to give up. Nobody can tell you what you cannot do and accomplish. Such dreams can provide great motivation and renewed sense of freedom.

Flying represents spiritual connection:

In some cases, flying dreams indicate that you have reached a higher spiritual connection. You are growing more in tune with your spirituality and your dream of flight is a reflection of this. 

Flying represents escape:

To dream of flying can also function as an escape from the stresses and pressures of your everyday life. Instead of confronting your daily problems, you take flight and try to get away from it all.

Flying represents inflated sense of self.

When you are flying, you may feel like you are a superhero. You feel invincible. Perhaps you think you are better than everyone else and have a tendency to look down on others. After all, when you are flying, you are actually looking down on them. 

Being unprepared for a test or event

Unpreparedness is a state when a person is not prepared or confident for something that is on the anvil. A person feels he may not succeed in his attempt if he goes unprepared and hence out of the fear, he may decide not to do it at all. Also, a person may doubt his capabilities and think that the result may not be in his favor. Such a state of mind or lack of confidence could stem out of unpreparedness. A person thinks of the failure, and hence, he might not feel confident enough.

Such a dream may also mirror a situation in your life where you stand incapable of resolving an issue at hand.

So if such a dream recurs, it could tell you to be more prepared in life to face the unexpected. After all, life is all about uncertainties. Nonetheless, if you have the right attitude, you can seek happiness by seeing the silver lining around the dark cloud. If you see yourself turning up for an exam unprepared, then you may realize that you have the courage and determination to deal with anything that comes your way uninformed.


Water in a dream may symbolize emotions that run deep, or perhaps (if the water is muddy) feelings that are confused and unclear. Water may be cleansing and healing, or water could swallow you up and threaten to drown you much like an overwhelming emotion such as anger or pain (via Everyday Health).

In order to determine what role is played by the water that flows through your dreams, you'll need to take into account not only what you've got going on in your life just now, but also the type of water it is and your position in relation to it (such as being immersed, swimming, or just wading ankle-deep).

If you dream of flowing water from a river or stream, the Psychic Library indicates this might symbolize changes in your life, which are occurring either peacefully (smooth-flowing water) or too quickly (a swift-running or turbulent flow). If you dream of the ocean, this could symbolize either the unknown or the limitless horizons that lie ahead of you. 

Dreaming of water in the bath or shower may indicate a need to attend to personal care, while a swimming pool dream may stem from a desire to relax — or else, perhaps, if you're just standing beside the pool, a need to dive right in and "take the plunge," no matter the initial shock. A dream of rain may mean sadness, with raindrops standing in for tears, but rain could also symbolize cleansing and healing from sorrows that are now passing from you.

If the water in your dream comes out of your own body (ahem, pee) — well, the Aunty Flo dream dictionary blog says that a bed-wetting dream might have a positive meaning such as good health or good luck, but... uhh, you still might just want to wake up and check the sheets, just in case.

Water dreams are common, and they carry deep, primal significance. Of all the dream symbols, water seems to be the universal sign of subconscious thoughts and emotions. ... Drowning in the water is one of the most common ways people fear dying, but consuming water is also necessary for life and health

Interpretations of dreams about ocean differ much depending on the water condition and color. Seeing an ocean in a dream is almost always a symbol of serious life changes. In case of ocean images we can even speak about crucial moments in the dreamer’s fate. It is important to pay attention to the signs that life gives you; seeing them on time can help you change your life for the better. Women’s dream book considers that an ocean and small waves predict good and successful time not only for you but also for people close to you.

Swimming in quiet and calm water of the ocean promises success, which will follow you in all your beginnings. If you heard waves splashing loudly across the board of the ship close to you while you were swimming, the dream is warning about loud and serious quarrels and scandals in the family, problems at work. If a sea or an ocean was shallowing and filled back with boiling water, this image indicates that your life will not be very quiet, it will be difficult and bitter as well as calm and successful.

Beast or Monster

Dreams of monsters often happen when we are worried or anxious about something in life. The monster is a metaphor that represents unfair treatment. Monsters have long been covered in films and books. From mythological creatures to folkloric images. I believe that this dream could determine the breadth of challenges that are faced in daily life. The dreams could contain fictional creations or monsters that are based on real animals. There is an overwhelming need for opportunities when this dream presents itself. I do feel that this dream can happen when we are stuck in a rut. I’m sure that there are many ways you can get out of this rut and stop obsessing and thinking too deeply into things. It can be easy to ignore people that to engage and generally this dream can mean you are missing out on opportunities in life because something does feel uncomfortable.

The monster is a metaphor for possible problems or pain in life. This dream has a warning with it, that you need to be positive… tomorrow is another day! For clarity, the monster in dreams often connect to legends or historical folklore and can sometimes appear in our subconscious mind. Angels, demons, gods, goddesses, dragons, and monsters all appear in our own mythical mind.

Dreaming of monsters may exemplify our own attitudes to people. Remember the monster does not exist, it only lives in our imaginations. Monsters in dreams can leave us feeling unsettled the next day. If monsters appeared in your dream then this can Dream about nonexistent and undefined creatures are common to everyone. You create your own monsters in your dreams through your subconscious experiences and content. In most cases, it represents something you refuse to confront and acknowledge in your real life. They can also be a representation of something you fail to understand. 

What are important aspects when looking at this dream symbol?

When you are trying to decode a dream about a monster, you will need to remember all the details. How did you feel? Were you threatened, chased or beaten by the monster? I do feel there is definitely an important message in this dream. Having fear or feeling threatened during the dream can trigger the monster appearing. In this case, it symbolizes a person in your life whom you consider to be a threat or one who forces you to do something that you don’t like or you know is overwhelming to you. A situation or a person who presents a threat to your desires and wishes become a monster in your dream.

What does imply to have a dream of a monster?

Dreaming about a monster, in general terms could be connected to a person that has caused you pain and results in your own emotions and feelings. When you have a dream of seeing a mythical creature it could represent your own fears which have been caused by something or someone. So generally, dreaming about a monster represents feelings and emotions which you are bottling up inside you and it is time to release these feelings.

Going nowhere or moving in slow motion

To dream in slow motion represents your attentiveness to the all the details of a waking life situation. Feeling that it’s incredible that you can perfectly notice every single thing happening in a situation or that you reacted flawlessly to a situation.

Alternatively, slow motion in a dream may reflect feelings about a situation you are recalling that happened so quickly. You may be replaying a situation that happened to you in your mind.

Negatively, dreaming in slow motion may represent your frustration or impatience with the degree of progress in a waking life situation.

People have a hard time running in their sleep because of REM atonia. When you are dreaming, most of your voluntary muscles are temporarily paralyzed. It's a safety mechanism that prevents you from acting out your dreams, because you don't want to actually start running in your sleep! It's likely that if you are trying to run in your dream, you may want to use your legs. The fact that your legs won't move gets interpreted in your dream as some problem with running.

"Your legs represent your fundamental drive as you push yourself forward through life," [dream psychologist Ian Wallace] explains [to Mashable]. "If you feel that your legs are moving slowly, then you feel that there is something resisting your progress in waking life."

So, if you're into dream interpretation, you're running so slowly because you're being held back in real life... which is pretty depressing.

Being Lost

"Dreams about being lost or searching for something that is lost usually denote anxiety. They evoke feelings of confusion and frustration, or even a sense of feeling you don’t fit in. "Usually, the meaning has to do with a current situation in your life where you are anxious that you will not find your way -- perhaps a new job where you feel your skills are not optimal, a move to a new city where you are anxious about fitting in and making new friends or perhaps an important task at work with a deadline looming."

Ask yourself where in your life you are feeling lost in some way. Once you identify the anxiety-causing situation, you can work through your feelings. If your lost dream is about a missing object, she suggests you ask yourself what that object symbolizes. "For example, dreaming about losing your wallet can be a dream where you fear losing your identity by trying to conform to outside expectations that don’t reflect who you truly are."

There are many induction techniques that can be used to ask for a specific type of dream about being lost. "The easiest method is to spend a few minutes before bedtime setting an intention to experience a dream in which you are lost. "You might want to induce such a dream if you feel stuck or lack direction in some area of your life right now and need an answer as to why that is happening and how to move forward." As with most dreams, if they are not nightmarish, avoiding them is not recommended in the same way that avoiding your emotions is not recommended in your waking life.

"As with most dreams, the individual dreamer’s current life is usually the source of any dream of being lost or losing something. If emotional outpourings of grief or loss are deemed unacceptable in a certain culture or family, those individuals might dream of being lost or losing something in order to process actual loss that has gone unexpressed," says O'Connor.


When it comes to dreams, there’s almost nothing more unsettling than dreaming about death, whether it be your own or that of a loved one. While death-related dreams might seem like a bad omen, there’s no need to feel too anxious about them. In fact, they could portend a positive transition or change in your life.

“Death in dreams is really about some kind of change or ending you’re dealing with in your real life. “The subconscious will show us this change in the form of a death so we can better understand the finality of it. We can let go of that which we no longer need so we can grow and embrace that which is coming.”

Some examples:

Funeral dreams

“The main element of [a funeral dream] is that your subconscious is telling you there is something you need to lay to rest in your real life, something you need to close the lid on and recognize as no longer being an issue. Of course, whose funeral it is makes all the difference. If it’s your own funeral, what part of yourself is now at peace? If it’s the funeral of a friend, is there some issue between you two that you can now put to rest?”

If you see a dead body in your dream

While most dreams about death have to do with the finality of a life change, the specifics of your dreams can give you clues as to how you’re processing the change, according to Loewenberg. If you see a dead body in your dream, it could be a sign that you’re struggling to let go. “It would also be about something that needs to be buried, isn’t yet — it’s been exposed, something that may have been brought back up.”

If you know you’re going to die in your dream and you can’t escape it

This has to do with a change you’re anticipating and know is going to happen, according to Loewenberg. “That sort of dream is preparing you for this inevitable ending.”

If you wake up right before you die in your dream …

Loewenberg explains that this could just be your body’s physiological response to a fear of death. “Or you can wake up before the death happens because in real life, the actual change has not been completed. You’re on the verge — you’re on the cusp of it.”

If you kill someone in your dream

“If you’re the one doing the killing, then you are the one actively making some kind of change in your real life. So if you are trying to quit drinking, if you are trying to eat better, if you are trying to change careers, what part of yourself or what part of your own life are you killing off, ending?”

“Death in dreams is really about some kind of change or ending you’re dealing with in your real life. “The subconscious will show us this change in the form of a death so we can better understand the finality of it. We can let go of that which we no longer need so we can grow and embrace that which is coming.”

Resources and direct info words: Dreams Mean Metroeve Bustle Quora The Cut Aunty Flo The List Dream Moods Henry Ford Health Refinery29 Healthline

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published