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19 Common Types of Dreams and What They Mean

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Have you ever woken up puzzled, scared, or immensely happy because of a dream? You are not alone! Our dreams come in various forms, sometimes exciting, sometimes mysterious, and even horrifying, but do they have any meaning, or is it just our subconscious playing with us? 

Throughout history, dreams have fascinated people, seeing them as omens, divine messages, or reflections of our desires and fears. Even today, this interest in dreams hasn’t faded.  

Experts suggest that our dreams indicate our emotional and mental states, giving us glimpses into our subconscious mind.

According to Freud, every dream has a meaning, even if it seems nonsense or we don’t remember much. However, certain dreams are so common that nearly everyone experiences them multiple times. Let’s explore 18 common dreams that we all had and try to understand what they mean.

1. Falling 

Girl falling in Dream
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It is the most common dream. You feel like you are falling from a great height and suddenly wake up panicked and scared.

It happens because of a muscle movement called a hypnic jerk. When your body transitions from awake to light sleep, your brain can misinterpret this relaxation as falling, so it jerks you awake to keep you safe.

While falling in a dream is not a dream but a reflex, it might also symbolize feeling out of control, unsupported, or fearful of taking risks. 

But don’t take the dream as proof of how you feel; instead, think about your emotions and situation. Are you worried about something? Do you need help from others? Is there something you’re afraid to try?

Understanding your feelings in real life can help you know what your falling dream might be trying to tell you.

2. Missing Exams

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This dream often occurs when you have an upcoming exam or interview. In the dream, you might run late, feel rushed, and miss an important event. It reflects your anxiety about the exam or interview and the fear of failing.

If you have this dream after you’ve graduated and are doing well in life, it could represent your fear of being judged by others and feeling unsure about yourself.

It also indicates concerns about missed opportunities or regrets about things you did or didn’t do in the past.

3. Going Unprepared for an Exam 

Female student Going Unprepared for an Exam 
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In this dream, you made it to the exam hall but realized you didn’t study for it. This dream haunts students and many adults who fear going unprepared and failing. 

The meaning of this dream is quite simple. Maybe you’re facing a challenging situation or decision in your waking life, and the dream highlights your worries about not being ready or performing well enough. 

It could also reflect stress from past exams, which sticks in your mind and resurfaces when you’re stressed again.

Additionally, it might relate to a recent failure that you’re feeling bad about. Dreams often show what we’ve been thinking about and how we feel. 

4. Naked in Public

frustrated woman in red hands on face
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The most embarrassing dream you can have is going naked to your job or school while surrounded by people, which can evoke feelings of shame. 

You suddenly wake up from this dream feeling embarrassed but relieved that it was just a dream. But what does it mean? Are you going to get exposed in real life? Well no! 

This dream shows that you’re conscious of how people see you. You might worry about others seeing your flaws, or you’re anxious about being exposed for who you truly are. 

You see this dream when you feel in the public eye, like when you have gotten a promotion or started a new job and suddenly get a lot of attention.

5. Losing Teeth

Close Up Photo Of Young Woman With Missing Tooth
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Seeing your teeth falling or being pulled out, even in a dream, causes much distress. It’s a nightmare. 

Some people believe this dream usually happens to those who talk a lot without thinking and is a sign that you’re saying things you should keep to yourself.

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found a link between dreams about falling teeth and dental irritation when waking up. 

It means people who dream about their teeth falling out are more likely to feel pain or tension in their teeth, gums, or jaws when they wake up. This study shows that dreams can reflect your psychological processes and what’s happening in your body.

6. Cheating Partner

cheating couple caught in bed guilty man
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Being cheated on in a dream can make you doubt your partner’s loyalty, and you start to think, what if it’s all true?

You start fighting with them, but it’s not their fault. Your dreams might trigger your sense of insecurity and jealousy. 

It could happen because of your lack of trust in romantic relationships because your exes cheated. 

Instead of avoiding talking to them, try communicating your needs and insecurities. You might need some reassurance to feel better and improve your relationship.

7. Being Chased 

Side View of Young Woman with Headache Lying in Bed
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You might’ve found yourself running away from someone who may be a snatcher or murderer and woke up with heavy breathing and sweating. 

It is an intense dream that leaves you feeling scared. It might mean that you are trying to avoid something in your life. 

The meaning of a dream about being chased depends on who’s chasing you. If it’s an animal, you might be avoiding your own emotions, such as anger or passion.

If it’s a stranger, it could represent something from your childhood or past trauma. And if it’s someone of the opposite gender, it might show you’re scared of falling in love or bothered by a past relationship.

Being chased in a dream means that you need to confront a problem or issue that has been causing anxiety or distress. It has been noted that women more commonly report this dream than men. 

8. Dying

sad couple in black at a funeral cemetary
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These dreams cause both emotional and physical reactions. You wake up with a racing heart and a surge of adrenaline, which shock you awake before the dream’s story can finish.

 While it is a painful experience to see your death, remember it’s just a dream. Such dreams cause an intense feeling of fear where you might think you’re about to die. Thankfully, it’s just a myth. 

Instead, the dream might indicate that it is not your life but a certain chapter in your life that is ending, like a job or relationship. You can also take it as a sign to start something new and begin a fresh chapter in your life. 

9. Flying

Man flying in dream
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Seeing yourself flying and soaring through the sky makes you feel exhilarated and free. Flying dreams often come with joy, excitement, and adventure. But what do flying dreams mean?

Flying dreams usually have two meanings. It could show feelings of freedom and independence. But they can also mean that you want to run away or flee from your problems. 

One author suggests that dreaming about flying suggests it’s important to stop stressing about present problems and let them unfold naturally.

It might also symbolize a situation that feels overwhelming or uncontrollable. So, instead of trying to control everything, it might be a sign to trust the process and go with the flow, even when things seem chaotic.

10. Seeing an Old Friend

Friend Sharing Food in Restaurant
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Throughout our lives, we meet new friends, and some stick around longer than others, while with some, we lose touch. Dreaming about an old classmate or colleague can bring nostalgic memories. You feel like reconnecting with them in the dream and recalling your shared experiences. 

However, it can also be saddening because things have changed now. After that dream, you keep thinking about them, wondering where they would be now and what they might be doing. But dreaming about a friend is more about you than them.

According to Psychology Today, we connect with people we meet and how they make us feel or our relationship with them. So, if we’re thinking about a recent situation with someone, we might dream about another person who made us feel the same way.

This means these old mates connect with your past experiences and feelings. When something similar happens to you in the present, it might remind you of how you felt when a similar thing occurred in the past.

11. Can’t Find a Restroom

Public toilet. men bathroom doors in restroom in restaurant or hotel or shopping mall, empty interior decoration design
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.com.

These dreams are packed with emotions like embarrassment, urgency, and confusion that stick to our memory even after waking up. These dreams sometimes happen when we do need to go to the bathroom in real life. 

Additionally, this happens when you’re holding in too much frustration. The toilet reflects your need to release and let go of frustration. 

Your subconscious signals that you’re keeping too much inside and must find a way to let it out.

12. Dreaming About Someone’s Death 

sick dying old man with his sad kids
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Dreaming about a loved one’s death sends shivers down the spine. 

Such dreams are not only unpleasant but super scary. You might wonder if it’s a prediction. But it’s likely not. 

It simply means you are missing them and fear losing them. Maybe you haven’t seen or talked to them in a long time, so you dream about them. 

It might be a signal to connect with them again. So, treat it as a silver lining on the dark cloud. You’ll feel happy that your loved one is alive and your relationship with them is being revived and strengthened. It’ll help you build an even closer connection with them.

13. Paralysis

Girl dreaming about Paralysis
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Dreaming about being unable to move, also known as sleep paralysis, can be terrifying. It feels like you’re awake but can’t move. You’re fully aware of your surroundings, breathing, rolling your eyes but unable to move or speak, feeling trapped and paralyzed. 

But why does it happen? When falling asleep, your brain tells your muscles to relax, which keeps you still during REM sleep. This muscle relaxation, called muscle atonia, helps your body stay calm while you dream. But with sleep paralysis, you become aware while your muscles are still relaxed, so you can’t move even though you’re awake.

These dreams happen when you need to do something in real life but can’t or won’t. It could be anything like ending a relationship or talking to someone important, but you feel powerless and stuck. 

14. Snakes

Mozambique spitting cobra
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You might’ve dreamed about snakes in different scenarios, like being chased by them, seeing them slither around, or even being bitten by them.

It’s okay if you see a random snake in your dream once in a decade. If you have recurring dreams about snakes, you should pay attention to them. Dreams about snakes aren’t meant to frighten you. Instead, they might be trying to point out something you’re neglecting, something you should address to make positive changes.

Every aspect of your snake dream is significant. Where the snake is, what it’s doing, and its type all matter; if a snake is chasing you, it might indicate an unresolved issue or fear holding you back.

If it bites you, it could represent vulnerability, betrayal, or past regrets. Different colors signify various meanings; for instance, black can signal danger, while white indicates healing. The snake’s aggressive or peaceful behavior reflects your subconscious emotions. If it slows away, you might avoid change or confront suppressed feelings.

15. Being Pregnant

A pregnant woman touching her belly
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In this dream, you see yourself or some other woman as pregnant leaving you thinking why you had this dream. 

While having such dreams when you’re pregnant is common, they can have multiple interpretations and may not mean what you saw.

According to the study, it might symbolize a creative project or the wish to have a child. It could also show the birth of a new idea, plan, or opportunity gestating within us, waiting to be brought into the world. 

17. Meeting a Celebrity

hollywood stars la
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Who doesn’t want to meet their favorite celebrity? You might see yourself face-to-face with a famous actor, singer, or well-known figure. However, dreams are a bit tricky.

On the surface level, this dream indicates your admiration and fondness for that celebrity. Celebrities often represent qualities we admire, whether it’s their talent, charisma, or success and your desire to be like them. 

However, it could also mean that your subconscious is telling you that you want to be acknowledged for your talents or achievements, just like celebrities celebrate their success.  

It will make you feel validated and important.

18. Your Childhood Home 

Assets Entangled in Legal Disputes House
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Your childhood home represents a time of innocence, warmth, and familiarity, so dreaming about it can evoke emotions of longing.

This dream might mean that you want to go back to when life was a lot easier and less complicated. It’s like wishing for a time machine to take you back to childhood when life felt more carefree and comfortable.

These dreams can also pop up when you’re going through big changes in your life. Maybe you’re moving to a new house, starting a new relationship, or getting a new job. Your mind reflects on your past while stepping into something new.

As you move into the next chapter, your subconscious reminds you of your origin.

19. Driving an Out-of-control Car

Car crashed in to a wall, Car Accident
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Whether you own a car or not, you might have such dreams when struggling to manage something in real life. 

You’re having difficulty controlling things and can’t steer them in the right direction. 

Plus, it’s highly possible that you have this dream when you’re anxious and stressed because of overwhelming responsibilities in your wake life and having a hard time managing them.

21 Reasons Why You Might Dream of Someone Who Died 

sleeping woman
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Dreams are a mysterious and fascinating part of the human experience. They can be filled with symbols, emotions, and memories that seem to defy logic. One common type of dream is when someone who has died appears in our dreams.

These dreams can leave us feeling confused, sad, or even comforted when we wake up. Why do we dream of people who have died?

21 Reasons Why You Might Dream of Someone Who Died

27 Psychology Facts About Dreaming of Someone

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Ever dreamed of someone but don’t know why? Well, you can put this question to bed as we’ll look closely at psychological facts about dreaming of someone.

27 Psychology Facts About Dreaming of Someone

51 Fascinating Psychological Facts About Dreams Most People Don’t Know

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Dreaming is essential to the human psyche, but we often reduce it to a mundane everyday experience. However, dreams are anything but ordinary, and they can reveal a lot about who we are – our anxieties, fears, desires, and more. So, if you’d like to uncover more about why and how we dream, then keep on reading.   

51 Fascinating Psychological Facts About Dreams Most People Don’t Know

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