Sleep to Dream: Common Dream Symbols and Their Meaning

What are dreams? We all dream, but it is still unclear exactly what they are. We do know, however, that they are a time when our brain processes and digests the things that happen during the day.

While we might not understand exactly how dreams work, they still hold clues to our repressed thoughts. Our secret feelings, even those secret to ourselves, may rest in our subconscious. Understanding what are dreams mean could help us to delve into the subconscious, and find out how we are really feeling.

So, let’s talk about the most common dream symbols. Pay close attention and you could find out just what that your dreams are trying to tell you!

Remembering One’s Dreams

If people are trying to interpret their dreams, they are going to need to remember them. By vividly recalling the events and emotions of dreams, it is possible to interpret their meanings.

If people want to remember their dreams, there are a few avenues. First, they could supplement their diet with vitamin B6 tablets, because studies have shown that vitamin B6 increases our dream recall.

People could also try keeping a notebook by the side of their bed. After waking up from sleeping on their comfortable mattress, quickly jotting down what they remember may be a big help.

Dreaming Of Jellyfish

Common Dream Symbol Meanings

So, people actually remember what happened in their dream, but what now? Well, it’s time to find out what the dream really means! Don’t worry, people don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a psychoanalyst. Keep an eye out for some of these common dream symbols, and people should know, in part, what their dreams mean.

  • Vehicles: So, people are driving around or someone is driving them around. It might not be because they’re looking to buy a new car. In fact, dreaming about vehicles may mean they are worried about the way their life is going.
  • Being Trapped: Someone is stuck and can’t move. Their legs feel like they are trapped in concrete. It’s freaky, but a dream about being trapped tends to happen when they are frustrated and feel like something is holding them back.
  • Being Chased: He’s right behind you. You’ve rounded the corner, but he’s getting closer. Again, not a fun dream. You could dream about being chased when you feel pressure or anxiety in your daily life.
  • Death: Dreams about death may seem depressing, but that is not necessarily the case. Dreaming about death could indicate that you want a new beginning in your life. Is it time for a change?Monster Dreams
  • Exams: Even if you have been out of school for years, you could still have dreams about final exams. A common dream involves arriving at school for a final exam after failing to attend any classes or finish class assignments. This dream may indicate stress or self-doubt.
  • Monsters: Even dreams about monsters may be scarier than what they are trying to tell you. Similar to dreams about death, monster dreams may occur if you want to change something in your life.
  • Buildings and Houses: Life is a house. A dream with buildings or houses in it can stand for the dreamer’s brain and thought processes. Individual rooms represent memories and emotions.
  • Money: Money dreams aren’t always about finances. Instead, money in a dream symbolizes self-worth and the value you put in yourself.
  • Sex: Dreaming about sex does not necessarily have anything to do with intercourse. It may involve personal needs and desires. What do you really want out of life?
  • Falling: Having a dream that involves falling can be especially scary. However, it might have nothing to do with your fear of heights. Falling dreams may occur if you feel out of control in a situation.
  • Being Naked: We’ve all had this one. Showing up naked to school. A dream of being naked in public may mean a fear of embarrassment or ridicule.
  • Being Lost: You’re in the woods or some strange neighborhood. You have no idea where you are going. It might come from a lack of confidence. Someone with a lack of faith in their ability to accomplish things might have a dream of being lost.
  • Being Pregnant: Having a dream of being pregnant could be a sign of a real pregnancy. However, don’t freak out just yet! It could be a more figurative interpretation of pregnancy (e.g. “birthing” a new project).Dreaming Of Being Pregnant
  • Walking or Running in Place: You don’t have to be an athlete to dream about running. You could have dreams about walking or running in place if you are trying very hard to move forward but you’re not making progress.
  • Paralysis: Sleep paralysis can be very intense. Basically, the mind is awake but the body is not. It happens when the muscles are so relaxed that they can’t move. It is likely to prevent people from physically performing the movements they are making in their dreams.
  • Snakes: Dreaming of snakes could be a good or bad sign. Some people believe the color of the snake could be significant.
  • Flying: Flying dreams are the best. If people are flying in their dream, they are probably feeling happy or motivated.
  • Fire: Fire dreams have a few meanings. If people are seeing a fire in their dream, it may represent feelings of passion or freedom. However, if people are actually on fire, it could indicate feelings of anxiety.
  • Dogs: If people encounter a dangerous dog in their dream, it may mean that they are feeling betrayed by someone in their life.  A Puppy In Your Dreams
  • Crying: If people aren’t much of a cryer, they could still find themselves crying in their dreams. They could be crying in their dream if they are repressing emotions and need to express them.
  • Hiding: If people are hiding in a dream, they may be afraid of change. If they are hiding something in a dream, it could indicate that they fear someone will take something from them.
  • Intruders: People could have a dream that involves intruders if something new has entered their life and it just doesn’t feel right to them.
  • Jumping: Jumping and flying in a dream may mean that people want to escape a certain circumstance.
  • Missing a Flight: Are you late a lot? Do you feel unorganized? You could have a dream that involves missing a flight.
  • Drowning: Drowning may have nothing to do with a fear of water. Someone who feels overwhelmed might have a dream about drowning.
  • Roller-Coasters: People might have a dream about a scary roller-coaster if they are gearing up to take a big risk or follow their passion.
  • Kissing: This one is kind of obvious. If people have a dream that they are kissing someone they know, they may have feelings for this person.
  • Books: Books can symbolize wisdom and information. Dreams about books could signify that you are searching for knowledge or power.
  • Water: Similar to drowning dreams, a dream that involves lots of water might symbolize you are feeling overburdened with responsibilities.
  • Killing Someone: If people dream about killing someone, they shouldn’t feel too bad. Killing someone in a dream usually means that people want to eliminate a part of themselves that the dream person represents.
  • Food: Are people dreaming about a big, delicious burger? Well, dreaming about food is associated with feeding the brain, or they might actually be craving that food item.
  • Clothing: We’ve all let that pile of dirty clothes start to pile up in our bedroom. What if people are dreaming about dirty clothes. It could mean they want to make a change in their lifestyle. A Four-Eyed Spider In A Web
  • Babies: Again, don’t worry, people are probably not pregnant. People could dream about a baby if they are withholding something. It could also mean they want to share their experiences with their children.
  • Losing a Tooth: Most of us haven’t lost a real tooth in quite a while. If people find themselves losing a tooth in a dream often, they could be feeling like they are controlled or repressed in their daily life. It may also signal anxiety.
  • Animals: A strong survival instinct is linked to dreaming about animals.  It is possible people need to prepare for a difficult task in their real life.
  • Crosses: There are, of course, religious connotations to crosses. If people are dreaming about crosses, there could be a deeper religious meaning.
  • Car Crash: While dreaming of a car crash may have nothing to do with an actual auto accident, it could represent conflict in one’ life.
  • A Movie: Do you like to watch a movie while you’re lying on your mattress? Watching or thinking about that movie may cause you to dream about it. Be careful if you like to watch scary movies late at night!
  • Spiders: You might dream about a spider if you feel like your life is out of control or you feel like you are being excluded by someone.
  • Ants: Ants can be annoying when you are trying to have a picnic. If you are dreaming about ants, it may mean you are irritated with someone in your life.


Your dreams don’t have to be a mystery anymore. If you write down your dreams right when you wake up, you could start to analyze your own dreams. Keeping these common dream symbols in mind, you might finally know what is going in that subconscious of yours.


Joe Auer

Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site. He likes things simple and takes a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications. When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and playing classical piano. He enjoys traveling as well, and not just to test out hotel mattresses! Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.