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Psychologist Explains The Most Common Dreams And What They Mean

A psychologist helps interpret your most common nighttime meanderings.

If you’re the kind of person who experiences a lot of vivid dreams that you can remember upon waking, it can be a puzzle to try and come up with explanations about the meaning of the images you see and experience while asleep.

More often than not, dreams send us messages that our conscious minds are unable to fathom while awake, and these messages help us understand what to do.

Such is the wonder of our minds.

Receiving instructions from our subconscious while deep in R.E.M. sleep.

122915 dream 2

Photo credit: Jesse for Council

Psychologist Ian Wallace who has interpreted over 150,000 dreams during the course of his 30 years of experience as a practicing dreams analyst, has assembled a list of nine common dream occurrences, and what they may mean in our lives:

#1. Falling

falling-dream

If you are frequently visited by dreams of falling, where it seems as if you have lost control of your circumstances and you cannot stop your downward drop into danger or a dark unknown, it may point towards your holding on to a certain person, situation, or position too tightly in real life…and you need to let go to release your anxiety over keeping the object of your concern in your life.

#2. Discovering an unused room

122915 dream 3

Photo credit: Fine Art America

In your dreams, if you often encounter a room with an air of abandonment or a feeling of never having been used before, it may mean you are on the verge of discovering, or have recently discovered a heretofore unknown talent or skill. Examine your own gifts in real life and determine whether you have just come upon an aptitude worth exploring.

#3. Unpreparedness for an exam, presentation or speech

122915 dream 4

Photo credit: Lee Jessup

A lot of us have had this anxiety-riddled dream at one time or another. No matter how much preparation you put into a major upcoming event, fear of failing will always beget dreams like these. It is our subconscious telling us we are putting so much pressure on ourselves to succeed that the worry has spilled over into our dreams.

#4. Flying

flying-dream

Dreams of flying are one of the most common dreams people have, and they indicate freedom or liberation after making a major decision during waking hours, particularly over a matter that has been causing concern and anxiety. Flying dreams also signify being spiritually ready to take on challenges upon waking.

#5. Trapped in an out-of-control vehicle

driving-fast

Whether the vehicle be a car, boat, plane, or train, the feeling of being shut inside while in the middle of the wildest ride of your life indicates a waking concern of being out of control in a certain situation. It can also signify a worry over being unable to take charge over your own path to success.

#6. Nakedness in public

naked-public

Nothing can be more mortifying than finding yourself naked in public. The dream points towards a worry over being vulnerable during your waking hours, and a lack of confidence in your own abilities.

#7. Wanting to relieve yourself and finding no toilets anywhere

person-quickly-walking-to-find-the-toilet

Being unable to relieve oneself and finding no toilet in sight can bring on panic and desperation during waking hours. Imagine it happening in the dream state. One particular psychological interpretation of this recurring state in dreams points toward being unable to express one’s feelings and needs in real life.

#8. Dreams of teeth falling out

122915 dream 9

Photo credit: Brain Jet

Taking on the shape of a nightmare rather than a pleasant dream, experiencing your teeth falling out in while in REM sleep signifies a feeling of weakness or failure during waking hours. Teeth symbolizing confidence, teeth falling out in a dream means a loss of self-assurance and vitality.

#9. Being chased by something or someone

being-chased

This is another common dream theme, which can also take on nightmare proportions, point towards certain issues plaguing you during your waking hours that you need to confront but don’t know how to. These issues manifest themselves as the entities chasing you in your dreams.

What have you been dreaming about lately?

342 Comments

  1. Pilong Lex Taliones Ranger

    December 30, 2015 at 3:32 AM

    Daryl Lucero Prangos

  2. Izuka Hoyle

    December 30, 2015 at 3:26 AM

    John Lumsden

  3. Mohammed Afzal Khan

    December 30, 2015 at 3:05 AM

    I dream a lot about sex I really wanted to know what it meant to be, there’s a picture of couple having sex in your post but I didn’t find anything related to it in your article, but thanks I found the meaning of falling and flying in dreams.

  4. Juviell Villanueva

    December 30, 2015 at 2:34 AM

    Rea Andrea Jimenez

  5. Vivian Calvo

    December 30, 2015 at 2:29 AM

    Rianne Clarizze Rivera bessie

  6. Mary Joy Yabut Juan

    December 30, 2015 at 2:25 AM

    Pier

  7. Rajbir Singh

    December 30, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    I often dreamed, see to the people who passed away, that’s are my relative and friends…….what this mean…..please reply……

  8. Prince Yuri Osian

    December 30, 2015 at 2:03 AM

    Sometimes sex hehehe

  9. Samuel Jonathon Antoniadis

    December 30, 2015 at 2:00 AM

    Kelly Bougas

  10. John Mary Bulagner

    December 30, 2015 at 1:53 AM

    Tammy

  11. Akihito Sato

    December 30, 2015 at 1:34 AM

    Jejomar Binay is running for president of the Philippines and it is a big nightmare to all Filipinos!

  12. Sheila Pablo

    December 30, 2015 at 1:28 AM

    i dreamt twice of how the Father look like in the bible(revelation) without face, holding me up to the heaven, then when i woke up i cant move like my soul is floating..

    i dreamt of dogs running for me and wants to bite me but i always found a way to go on a higher wall or place..

    im also walking/running to dark place with no one..some dreams of mine are coming back..

    • Darwin Green

      December 30, 2015 at 3:39 AM

      actually GOD YHWH doesnt have a face cause any man see his face ,he will die forever
      even the face of GOD is holy

    • Sheila Pablo

      December 30, 2015 at 5:47 AM

      i knew that they d0nt have face but why people glorifying statues its a sin

    • Rose Faelga

      December 30, 2015 at 6:08 AM

      nope it is not a sin according to my religion we are just acknowledging our saints because of what they did and because of helping us spread the word of god until at the end of their lives

    • Sheila Pablo

      December 30, 2015 at 6:27 AM

      its in the ten commandments

    • Juana Nana Toh

      December 30, 2015 at 7:06 AM

      Thou shalt not judge or you will be judged. Sister Sheila if you think that what we Catholics are wrong please pray for us instead of judging us. God bless you.

    • Sheila Pablo

      December 30, 2015 at 7:32 AM

      i am catholic i d0nt judge u and other people,thats what u thnk..im just telling its in the commandments but why the book of revelation says the opposite?when they say everythng thats in the scriptures are true, why people do the wrong way instead of living the word of our Father In Heaven

    • Myo Kg Htet

      December 30, 2015 at 7:39 AM

      No wonder we christian have so many branches

    • Sheila Pablo

      December 30, 2015 at 7:49 AM

      they made people confused of everythng..now the truths are revealed and might be late for our salvation..the true scripture were hidden somewhere and people are deceived

    • Juana Nana Toh

      December 30, 2015 at 9:23 AM

      I apologised that I hv misunderstood you. We r not taught to glorify the statues at least I m not, our churches in Singapore r not. Everyone need to answer what we misdoing in this life when the day we r to facing God. Pray for them as what we r doing now. God bless you sister Sheila. One suggestion why don’t you join a closed group called message of garabandal which I m in. The day is soon to come.

    • Sheila Pablo

      December 30, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      its fine sister Juana i do apologize also on what ive said to my comments..didnt realize other poeple’s beliefs..by the way thank u , ill search for that group

    • Mimi Torres Batad

      December 30, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      Some are worshipping directly to the statues..and some really not…it depends on the way a Catholic is taught or might be misunderstood either directly unto it or a veneration of it to be remembered that we have someone to look up into our amazing heavens. 🙂

    • Abraham Cases Congson

      December 30, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      same here :3 i dreamt twice of how the Father look like in the bible(revelation) without face, holding me up to the heaven, then when i woke up i cant move like my soul is floating..

  13. Rhÿzå Delcarmen Erpëluå

    December 30, 2015 at 1:24 AM

    I usually dreamed water? Ocean. Tidal waves. Trying to escaped, Struggling to swim. I’m not a nightmare believer . Can anyone tell what it’s mean?

  14. Shiki Creampie

    December 30, 2015 at 1:08 AM

    I had a nightmare where I was lost and injured with a pus-and-maggot filled wound on the heel of my feet. In that dream, I desperately did my best to always clean and drain the pus from the wound. However, that scenario kept on repeating and I felt so helpless that there was no one around to help me. I think I died in that dream (I woke up at this juncture).

  15. Odilon Bernardo

    December 30, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    i had a nightmare a giant spider grabs over me what is that mean

    • Ethan Tan

      December 30, 2015 at 12:45 AM

      Spiders normally refer to manipulation or being manipulated of sorts

  16. Odilon Bernardo

    December 30, 2015 at 12:17 AM

    i had a nightmare there is a giant spider

  17. Michelle Jihye

    December 30, 2015 at 12:11 AM

    #1 & 8? Now I know (sigh)

  18. Satparam Bernard

    December 30, 2015 at 12:08 AM

    Jacinto Cosa

  19. Danilo Bauto

    December 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    Many times my nightmare has many more snakes, i’d to kill but i did’nt… then i run and i woke up!

    • Evelyn Adalia

      December 30, 2015 at 12:11 AM

      Dreaming snakes, you have enemies want to hurt you .. As old people saying!

    • Danilo Bauto

      December 30, 2015 at 12:19 AM

      Thank you very much Ma’m!

    • Hanjin Thoy Autentico

      December 30, 2015 at 1:44 AM

      Snakes means traitor friend

    • Bhérnä Bérnädétté

      December 30, 2015 at 2:01 AM

      I just dream of snakes last night

    • Bam Garcia

      December 30, 2015 at 4:37 AM

      Same as yours

    • Hazel Quizada-Solante Tecson

      December 30, 2015 at 4:46 AM

      Sabi naman ng kakilala ko,pag ahas at Hindi naman nanuklaw sa panaginip mo swerte dw un.pero pag nanuklaw or may kaaway di dw magandang pangitain.

    • Lovelie Mae Zea

      December 30, 2015 at 6:57 AM

      Snakes are traitor

    • Charle Magne Gagni Daclan

      December 30, 2015 at 8:42 AM

      Snakes that don’t hurt you in your dreams means good health or good luck.
      Snakes that hurt you in your dreams mean there is someone who you trust that will hurt or betray you.

  20. Darwin Green

    December 29, 2015 at 11:56 PM

    im dreaming about going to inside a door into other dimension ,it makes me sick cause some of my dreams turns reality
    but in the other way

  21. Richard Lee

    December 29, 2015 at 11:47 PM

    Yan Yan

  22. Dafydd Beattie

    December 29, 2015 at 11:43 PM

    Elin Williams

    • Elin LW

      December 30, 2015 at 7:05 AM

      Or just watching too much Luther??

  23. Dee Bryan

    December 29, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    Also I got a bad dreams about Im being naked and the other one is Im running cause i cnt escape with snakes

  24. Dee Bryan

    December 29, 2015 at 11:38 PM

    I had a nightmare that someones stepping my chest and i cant move even im awake

    • Ethan Tan

      December 30, 2015 at 12:44 AM

      That’s sleep paralysis bro, go read it up on google. Dont worry its just your body still asleep but your mind awake.

  25. Em Gomez

    December 29, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    Ruth Deluyas

  26. Lilian Alipio Del Rosario

    December 29, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    What about I usually dreaming my parents who’s passed away…

    • Ethan Tan

      December 30, 2015 at 12:44 AM

      … Why?

    • Jay-r Wycoco

      December 30, 2015 at 1:06 AM

      Bcos u might never come back to waking up… not joking.

    • Lilian Alipio Del Rosario

      December 30, 2015 at 2:55 AM

      Actually we’re just had conversation. ..nothing to scared. ..thanks for the comments…God Bless Us 😊

    • Maity Espiritu

      December 31, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      Maybe u miss them, so much.

  27. Caragh Cremins

    December 29, 2015 at 10:59 PM

    Debbie O’Brien

  28. Jennifer Weber

    December 29, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    Haven Dao

  29. Jhan Gie Amacna Clarion

    December 29, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    Jhen Nnycoline

  30. Sonny Colina

    December 29, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    I want to dream that kind of dream

  31. Dairo Restrepo

    December 29, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    Savanna Jane Coiner

  32. Macoi Edison

    December 29, 2015 at 10:20 PM

    I saw my grandfather alive

  33. Sue Adlh Sue

    December 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    Falling

  34. Marrero Cels

    December 29, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    i being dreaming that i can fly since i was a kid until now

    • Wilson Ramos Dotarot

      December 29, 2015 at 11:43 PM

      Same here

    • Icel O. Farma

      December 30, 2015 at 12:41 AM

      Me too!!

    • Marrero Cels

      December 30, 2015 at 1:08 AM

      one time i dream i fly very high searching for god i was in the space all around was dark, before i was having does flying dream i wake up scare but I got used to the feeling of flying dream

    • Wyn Santos

      December 30, 2015 at 2:15 AM

      Same here.

    • Malin Mercado

      December 31, 2015 at 2:18 AM

      in the old times…. flying above means ur trying to succeed on something…..that eventually, if u go on….u will achieve it….thats a good dream!!

  35. Joseph Gerard

    December 29, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    A psychologist’s rendering…what a hoot! jg

  36. Xtin Masquerade

    December 29, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    Hanna Ira

  37. Kristine Laya

    December 29, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Jhocelyn, try u bsahin ang article bka mka relate k eh.. 😜😜

  38. Jay Henrique

    December 29, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    Kirthi Kumar

  39. Em Em

    December 29, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    Free data here…

  40. Callan Woodcock

    December 29, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Christine 😳

    • Christine Cantrell

      December 31, 2015 at 10:51 AM

      (Un)fortunately my dreams don’t fit in any of those categories! #theweirderthebetter !

  41. Tygan Paul

    December 29, 2015 at 8:04 PM

    Bla bla bla, bla, bla bla bla! Pretty much sums those whole thing up.

  42. Bobby Trep

    December 29, 2015 at 7:37 PM

    Angela Bursiel Trepanier

  43. Etchoy Dacuma Bacarra

    December 29, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    Marianyoj.. basahin mo. 😊

  44. Sally Dixon

    December 29, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    Emma LOOPЧ Watkins

  45. Irish Mendoza

    December 29, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    Gianna Liana

  46. Megan McHugh

    December 29, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    Ryan Hegarty

  47. Alex Ajiguna

    December 29, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    how about wet dream????

  48. Angelyn Goh

    December 29, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    Dayang Zalmiza tok ckp kmk syg…

  49. Traniel Venagiam

    December 29, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    Yakira Venagiam

  50. Jasmijn Kremer

    December 29, 2015 at 6:13 PM

    3 is you and I don’t see why 6 would be a nightmare Victoria Palser

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