This is What Dreams Are Made of: The Most Common Dreams and Nightmares

Do you ever wonder what your dreams mean? Psychiatrists believe that they are your subconscious thoughts trying to tell you something. However, there are skeptics who think that dreams are just our imagination wandering off and that they don’t actually mean anything. Still, many believe that dreaming happens to be some of the most mysterious and interesting aspects of the human mind.

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I think dreams are so utterly intriguing because we as humans are naturally curious about our subconscious and what really goes on in our heads. For those of you who are dying for some explanation as to why you keep having the same exact dream or why you always find yourself naked in a crowd, now you can get some answers.

By the way, these aren’t my findings! I left it to the psychiatrists, dream interpreters, astrologists, and mythologists to do all the work. I’m just the messenger. So don’t shoot me!

Water: Feeling Overwhelmed and Unsupported

Water is a significant element on earth and represents emotions. A water dream indicates different things. Falling deep in the water, for example, can mean you’re washing/cleansing yourself from past wrongdoings.

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Large amounts of water can indicate deep emotional stress and sometimes even a subconscious reaction to something going on in your life. Drowning in water can mean that you’re overwhelmed in work, relationships, or just in life in general.

Car Crash: Low Self-Esteem and Fear of Loss

Dreaming about vehicles doesn’t necessarily mean anything… UNLESS it’s a dream about a car accident. This kind of dream shouldn’t be ignored because it can indicate feelings of low self-confidence. These dreams are quite common during emotional stress.

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A car crash can also indicate that you’re worried about a loss. Maybe something like your home, job, or relationship. This type of dream can be used as a sign that something needs to be looked at in your life, and it’s important to figure out what is making you worried so you can fix it.

Trapped: Worried

Being trapped typically means that you’re feeling stressed in your current situation. This can be anything from your job to the country you’re living in. You may feel restricted and claustrophobic and want to escape a situation.

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Being trapped in jail can indicate that you feel like you’ren’t in control of your own choices. Trapped in an elevator can mean that you’re frustrated about your progress and success, usually in your profession.

Teeth Falling Out: Low Confidence Due to Stress

If you ever had a dream (or nightmare, rather) that your teeth are falling out, trust me; you’re not alone. This is actually a very common dream that represents your daily confidence and self-esteem. A smile shows confidence, so losing your teeth can mean the opposite.

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Usually, a dream like this means your confidence may be low. Losing teeth is usually a person’s first experience with loss or trauma and so it manifests during stressful times.

Babies: Wanting to Create a Legacy

Having children is another common dream with a pretty straight forward interpretation. This dream means that you want to (maybe even subcionsciusly) be a mother or father figure and to create a legacy.

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However, this dream may also indicate that you’re holding something back. Sometimes dreaming about children can mean that you want to get to know your own inner child and truest self.

Being Chased: Unresolved Issues

Like teeth falling out, being chased is one of the most common dreams. It can mean that you’re worried about an unresolved issue and its nagging at you. It might be something that you can’t fix at the moment.

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However, this dream can just mean that you have just been watching too many horror movies. Chasing scenes are common in horror movies, so you might relive it after seeing the movie. It’s normal to have dreams (usually nightmares) after watching horror films.

Death or Dying: Changing

Dreaming about death isn’t as scary as it sounds. Death in a dream usually indicates that you’re changing. It’s almost like a part of you is dying to make way for the person you’re becoming.

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Everyone goes through changes. The dream just means that your brain is trying to process and, more importantly, accept these changes. Obviously it’s not the most pleasant dream to have, but it’s also nothing to worry about. Phew.

Taking Exams: Feeling Judged

We’ve all had these dreams, even when we’re well in our 50s and exams are a thing of the past! It simply means that you may feel judged by the people around you. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just shows that you’re feeling watched or worried about what people think of you.

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If you’re a student, this dream can literally mean you’re worried about an important test coming up. Dreaming that you’re unprepared for an exam symbolizes that you may be critically analyzing your performance in life.

Clothing: How You Express Yourself

Clothes are commonly a way to express your personality and unique style. Dreams about clothes usually represent how you project yourself. For instance, bright colors say something different than wearing grey.

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If you’re wearing clothes in your dream that you would never wear in real life, it can mean that you’re not showing your real personality to the world. Your brain wants you to be more expressive and confidence, so it’s telling you subconsciously.

Having Sex: A Nautral Inclination

Naturally, humans need food, shelter, love, and sex to survive. Our brains are biologically inclined to think about sex pretty often. Being reminded of how desirable and pleasurable sex is, is a very important factor for evolution.

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So dreaming about sex is perfectly healthy and normal! Much like food, if you think about it before bed, you’re likely to dream about it. This is already a good dream, but turn it into a lucid dream to make it even better!

Falling: Insecurities, Instabilities and Anxieties

Everyone feels stressed and insecure at times. That’s why falling in dreams is super common for people of all ages. According to the Dream Dictionary, a dream of falling happens more frequently than any other dreams we experience.

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It usually means that something in your life is spiraling out of control. It’s normal to feel a lack of security and control at times. However, if you have this dream often, it can represent feelings of hopelessness and sometimes depression.

Being Naked in Public: Shame and Vulnerability

We all have a fear of being embarrassed, so it’s no surprise that The Naked Dream is another common one. Since childhood, we’re told to cover up our bodies and not expose ourselves. So dreaming of being naked can represent humiliation, insecurity, shame, and vulnerability.

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You may be worried about what others think or about how you’re portrayed in the world. However, it’s important to note that some psychiatrists say that The Naked Dream can also be a sign of freedom and liberation.

Killing People: Repressed Anger or Rage

Dreaming about murdering people is usually some kind of subconscious rage that you have towards yourself or others. If you dreamed that you witnessed a murder, it means that you have deep-seated aggression towards someone.

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If you dream that you were the one killed, it suggests that something significant in your life was ruined, such as a relationship. The dream symbolizes a disconnection from yourself and your emotions.

Being Cheated on: Past Memories

If you have ever been cheated on, you remember those intense feelings of sadness and betrayal. Heartbreak is an intense feeling and can be traumatic. Your brain remembers it and fears it will happen again. Therefore, when you get into another relationship, it can cross your mind.

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It doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t trust your current relationship. You can have the most loyal partner in the world, and it won’t make a difference. We dream about being cheated on because of the feelings and fear associated with it.

Being Late: Common Fear

Similar to many of these common dreams, being late is another one that manifests from subconscious fears. When important events happen, you worry about getting there on time. Whether it’s a promising first date or a job interview, nobody likes being late.

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Since you can miss out on major events and even ruin a job opportunity by being late, it’s a common fear. Therefore it makes sense that it’s a common dream. This dream usually happens on nights leading up to a significant event. It can also indicate that you’re scared of doing something.

Being Pregnant: Ready for a Change

Pregnancy in a dream usually symbolizes a part of you or your life that is growing and developing. This dream means you’re ready to “give birth” to something new and exciting. Maybe an idea, a project, or a direction.

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However, children are also associated with a high level of responsibility, so this dream can indicate that you’re scared to take on new responsibilities. If you’re already pregnant, the dream is more about the nervousness and anxiety that comes with pregnancy.

Being Lost: Feeling Like You’re on the Wrong Life Path

Like many common dreams, getting lost can indicate being anxious or scared. Sometimes you feel like you don’t have a direction in life or that you’re not on the right path. This dream induces strong feelings of frustration, confusion, or that you don’t fit in.

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If in your dream, you’re looking for something that got lost, it indicates uncontrollable fears. For example, if you lose your wallet in a dream, it may suggest you have a fear of losing your identity.

Finding an Empty Room: Feeling Like You’re Not Moving Forward

An empty room indicates a part of your life where you feel like nothing is changing. For example, if in your dream you’re working in this empty room, it can mean that you feel like you’re not progressing in your work life.

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Some psychologists say that dreaming of empty rooms represents family, tradition, and beliefs. If the emptiness feels exciting, it symbolizes the beginning of something new in your life.

Running in Place: Control

The dream interpretation for running in place revolves around control or lack of control. When you’re running but not going anywhere, it can mean that you’re not feeling in control of your own life.

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No matter how hard you work or how much effort you’re putting into something, it feels like nothing is moving or changing. This isn’t always negative. Depending on what you’re running towards; this dream can symbolize your ambition.

Snakes: Deception and Lies

Snakes are very strongly associated with lies and deception. That’s why it’s not very surprising that snakes are common in dreams. The snake can symbolize a fear that you’re too scared to face.

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Dreaming about a snake can also mean that you’re worried that someone close to you is lying. If you dream about a wild snake, then maybe something in your life is spiraling out of control.

Wetting Yourself: Warning

This dream actually has two different meanings. One is that you’re literally peeing. It’s common to pee in real life when you dream about it, often occurring among young children. Since wetting yourself is embarrassing, our brain dreams this to “warn” us to stop doing something that can be shameful.

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It also has a straight forward interpretation, simply meaning that we feel pressure or are being judged. This dream can manifest when we’re worried about making a fool out of ourselves.

Reading a Book: Need for Knowledge

Reading in dreams means that you want to learn. Books are associated with learning and intelligence all over the world. When you read in dreams, it can mean you want to learn new things and have new experiences.

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If you have reoccurring dreams with books, it’s a sign that you’re thirsty for knowledge. Try reading every night as reading before bed can even help you with lucid dreaming!

Flying: Freedom

Another common dream is flying. This dream indicates that you’re feeling or want to be feeling free and powerful! It can also mean that you were recently released from a certain situation, causing you to feel free.

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Flying can symbolize an opportunity you have created for yourself. However, flying in an airplane can mean that you feel unhappy or out of control in life. If you know how to lucid dream, I highly recommend flying! It’s super fun!

Fire: Destruction, Passion, and Transformation

Fire is a powerful element that represents passion, enlightenment, and anger. The dream can bring up some negative feelings because fires are considered dangerous and uncontrollable.

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But a fire dream can be positive as well. It can symbolize a ‘fiery’ personality trait, such as creative energy and motivation. Also, if you have positive campfire memories, for example, your brain can want to resurface them to make you feel safe, warm and happy.

Seeing a Dead Relative: Coping Mechanism

It is commonly believed that seeing someone who passed away in a dream means they are trying to tell you something. However, dreaming of the dead is usually your brain trying to cope and accept a certain loss. It helps you get closure to see them one last time, even if it’s just in a dream.

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If in your dream the person comes back to life, it can indicate positivity and that something you lost will soon be returned. Maybe a job, money, or even a lover. But that interpretation is from the psychics.

Ex-Lover: Warning

If you have ever been in a serious relationship, you probably remember the strong feelings associated with that person. Unfortunately, you remember the strong traumatizing feeling of heartbreak as well.

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Seeing your ex in a dream is common when you have just entered a new relationship. It’s your mind reminding you what happened so that you won’t get hurt again. If you’re not in a relationship, however, this dream can indicate that you have some unresolved feelings or need closure.

Food: Health, Wealth or Hungry

Food symbolizes our health and overall well-being. Sharing food in a dream might indicate that you have something valuable to share with others. Eating quickly or a lot in a dream can mean that you feel like you’re not getting enough attention.

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Another reason for dreaming about food can mean you just went to sleep hungry. Maybe you’re feeling limited or restricted. When I went on a diet, I had a reccurring dream that I ate pizza!

Buildings and Houses: Love and Security

Dreaming about houses or buildings might symbolize your childhood home. It represents safety, security, warmth, and love (for most people). If you’re dreaming about someone else’s house, it could be that you miss them.

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Dreaming about buildings and houses is usually really positive. Whether you’re buying a house, building a house, or even just inside a building is a sign of bigger and better things coming up.

Money: Power, Comfort, and Security

Money represents power and wealth. If you dream about finding the money, it indicates material gain and happiness. Money is also associated with self-worth, so you might be feeling extra confident.

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Money is essential for comfort and survival, so dreaming about it represents feelings of security. Overall, this is a positive dream. However, if negative feelings are associated with the dream, it might mean you’re worried about money.

Hiding From Something: Secrets, Security or Guilt

Hiding in a dream is usually linked to confrontation, secrets, or hiding the truth. If you’re hiding in your own house, it could mean you don’t feel safe and secure. This insecurity can be in yourself, and you may be lacking confidence or direction in life.

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Sometimes this dream can manifest when you’re feeling guilty about something. You may even dream of hiding from yourself. You might be avoiding confrontation or keeping a secret that you want to let out.

Being Kidnapped: Fear and Manipulation

A dream (nightmare) about being kidnapped means that you’re scared of change or losing control. From a psychological perspective, this dream represents feelings of being manipulated by someone close to you.

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Being kidnapped is a scary thought, but children don’t normally think this can happen to them. This dream is way more common for parents. Worrying about your children can manifest in dreams.

Prison: Restrictions, Freedom, and Discipline

Prison is usually associated with a loss of freedom and strict restrictions. However, if you’re escaping from prison in a dream, it means you’re getting ready for a big and amazing change in life.

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Unfortunately, if you’re dreaming about being in prison, you probably feel like you’re stuck in a situation that you don’t want to be in. Dreaming of going to jail can surface feelings of discipline and consequences.

Quitting a Job: Seeking Change

It doesn’t shock me that quitting your job is a common dream. Unfortunately, most people are not happy with their job and think about quitting quite frequently. Of course, they don’t do it in real life.

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This dream just indicates that you want or need a change. Creating change isn’t as hard as it is scary. Maybe you should quit your job, get out of an unhealthy relationship, or just take a vacation!

Rollercoaster: Challenges and Transformation

Dreaming about a rollercoaster usually indicates a challenge in life. Your life might feel like a “bumpy ride” right now, and you may be experiencing ups and downs more often than usual.

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There is probably a lot going on in your life if you’re dreaming about a rollercoaster. You might be in a transformation period in life. On the bright side, if the dream gives you a positive feeling, your life is full of excitement. You know how to appreciate the good and except the bad.

Tattoo: Permanence, Self-Expression, and Transformation

Dreaming about getting a tattoo can be a strong indication that you want to stand out more. Tattoos are unique and creative, so you might be feeling like you want to express yourself. You’re probably feeling ignored.

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However, there is also a positive spin on this dream. Tattoos represent permanence. Maybe you’re finally ready to make a greater commitment. This could be about anything in life, from a job to a relationship.

Being Abducted by Alien: Wisdom, Self-Awareness or Fear

Aliens symbolize different things for everyone, so this dream can have various interpretations. For a lot of people, they represent higher intelligence and dreaming about them means you’re seeking knowledge and wisdom.

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For other people, seeing alien in their dreams means they are looking into their own psyche without knowing it. They may feel ‘unfamiliar with this part of themselves. Aliens can be scary for others, and seeing aliens in their dreams feel more like nightmares.

Dreaming of Work: Difficulty Letting Go

Sometimes people dream that they are working at a yard sale, market, or even at restaurants. If you’re selling something in a dream, it might indicate that you have trouble letting go. This can mean letting go of physical possessions or feelings and emotions.

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If you’re the one buying, the interpretation is different. It might mean that you’re not addressing something about yourself. Dreaming of a financial transaction may mean you’re trying to convince yourself of something. Try to pay attention to what you’re buying because it can change the dream’s meaning.

Keys: New Beginnings

Keys in dreams represent finding solutions to problems. Dreaming of a key can mean that you need to be ready and open for an exciting change in your life and in your personality.

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A key is a way to unlock a door and create new beginnings. If you use a key to open a door in your dream, it can lead you to past memories that will help create new opportunities. You might get engaged, a promotion at work, or anything that will progress your life.

Ants Crawling on You: Annoyed

Do you remember stepping in an ant pile and being covered in little bites? Ants are one of the most annoying insects out there. They are very rarely, if ever seen as cute little creatures.

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Dreaming about ants crawling on, you probably means you’re annoyed by something. Think about where in your life you may be experiencing stress and irritability because that’s most likely the source of the dream.