Do Your Dreams Have Meanings?

woman sleep on grass

Humans have been fascinated by our dreams for many thousands of years. We often have strange, ethereal experiences in dreams—fragments that feel significant yet hazy, symbols half-remembered. Archaeologists have found ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics about how to interpret one’s dreams, and the namesake character of the Epic of Gilgamesh often has prophetic dreams. The foundation for modern dream interpretation—as messages from your subconscious—is Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, published over one hundred years ago. Since then, dream analysis has become a sophisticated art. Read on to learn what your dreams might mean and how you can better remember them.

Common Dream Symbols


Each person’s dreams are unique, but there are some common images or scenarios that tend to appear in most people’s dreams. Since they are somewhat universal, experts who have learned to speak the language of dreams have offered general explanations for common dream symbols. Some are:

·      Being Chased. If you dream of being chased, you might be feeling vulnerable or unsafe in your life. The threat you’re running from could be a person, a situation, or even your own suppressed emotions.

·      Exams. It’s the day of an important test and you haven’t studied at all, or can’t find the classroom. You might wake up in a cold sweat, heart racing. Having dreams about exams could mean that you are in the process of reevaluating something in your life, whether this is a relationship, an idea, a job, or something else entirely.

·      Falling. Most people have experienced the visceral sensation of floating through the air and suddenly landing, only to open their eyes and realize they’re safe in bed. They often occur early in your sleep cycle, just a few minutes after you’ve drifted off. Falling could signify that you are struggling with failure, a lack of control, or a loss.

·      Nudity. Dreams about suddenly being naked in an inappropriate environment are so universal they’ve been regularly featured in movies and television. Dream interpreters suggest that nudity might indicate your fear of vulnerability or inability to accept your authentic self.

·      Water. Often a part of your dream’s environment, water can tell you a lot about your current mental state and subconscious self. A turbulent ocean with crashing waves could reflect angst or conflict, while still lakes might be a sign of tranquility and stability.

·      Teeth. Many people’s dreams have to do with their teeth. Rife with symbolism, the state of your teeth in dreams can mean a variety of things. For example, if your teeth are beautiful and white in your dreams, you might feel satisfied with your life and appearance, while dreaming of cavities could reflect subconscious insecurities.

This is by no means a complete list of popular dream images, but considering how these common symbols might relate to your life could help you discover more about your inner self.


Remember Your Dreams

Of course, to find meaning in your dreams, you first have to remember them. Most of us have experienced having a vivid, detailed dream, only to awaken and remember only glimmers of it. To remember your dreams, make sure you keep a pen and paper close to your bed so you can write down everything you remember as soon as you wake up. You can also set alarms for every few hours in the night to document your dreams between each REM cycle, which typically lasts between two and three hours. Once you’ve made the decision to keep a dream journal, you should try to learn your unique sleep patterns so you can determine when to set your alarms. Also, try to avoid taking medications, drinking alcoholic beverages, or eating right before you go to bed, as these could hinder your ability to remember your dreams or disrupt your sleeping patterns.

Find Out What Your Dreams Mean

Visit our dream analysis page to learn more about dream interpretation or schedule a session with one of our dream psychics. We look forward to helping you learn more about yourself by decoding your dreams’ hidden messages.

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