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 Your Dreams
If you are trying to interpret your dreams, you are going to need to remember them. By vividly recalling the events and emotions of dreams, it is possible to interpret their meanings.
If you want to remember your dreams, there are a few avenues. First, you could supplement your diet with vitamin B6 tablets. Studies have shown that vitamin B6 increases our dream recall.
You could also try keeping a notebook by the side of your bed. After you wake up from sleeping on your comfortable mattress, quickly jotting down what you remember may be a big help.
Common Dream Symbol Meanings
So, you actually remember what happened in your dream. What now? Well, it’s time to find out what the dream really means! Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a psychoanalyst. Keep an eye out for some of these common dream symbols, and you should know, in part, what your dreams mean.
- Vehicles: So, you’re driving around or someone is driving you around. It might not be because you’re looking to buy a new car. In fact, dreaming about vehicles may mean you are worried about the way your life is going.
- Being Trapped: You’re stuck. You can’t move. Your legs feel like they are trapped in concrete. It’s freaky, but a dream about being trapped tends to happen when you are frustrated and feel like something is holding you 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?
- 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).
- 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, your mind is awake but your body is not. It happens when your 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 you are flying in your dream, you are probably feeling happy or motivated.
- Fire: Fire dreams have a few meanings. If you are seeing a fire in your dream, it may represent feelings of passion or freedom. However, if you are actually on fire, it could indicate feelings of anxiety.
- Dogs: If you encounter a dangerous dog in your dream, it may mean that you are feeling betrayed by someone in your life.
- Crying: If you aren’t much of a cryer, you could still find yourself crying in your dreams. You could be crying in your dream if you are repressing emotions and need to express them.
- Hiding: If you are hiding in a dream, you may be afraid of change. If you are hiding something in a dream, it could indicate that you fear someone will take something from you.
- Intruders: You could have a dream that involves intruders if something new has entered your life and it just doesn’t feel right to you.
- Jumping: Jumping and flying in a dream may mean that you 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: You might have a dream about a scary roller-coaster if you are gearing up to take a big risk or follow your passion.
- Kissing: This one is kind of obvious. If you have a dream that you are kissing someone you know, you 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 you dream about killing someone, don’t feel too bad. Killing someone in a dream usually means that you want to eliminate a part of yourself that the dream person represents.
- Food: Are you dreaming about a big, delicious burger? Well, dreaming about food is associated with feeding the brain, or you 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 you are dreaming about dirty clothes. It could mean you want to make a change in your lifestyle.
- Babies: Again, don’t worry, you’re probably not pregnant. You could dream about a baby if you are withholding something. It could also mean you want to share your experiences with your children.
- Losing a Tooth: Most of us haven’t lost a real tooth in quite a while. If you find yourself losing a tooth in a dream often, you could be feeling like you are controlled or repressed in your daily life. It may also signal anxiety.
- Animals: A strong survival instinct is linked to dreaming about animals. It is possible you need to prepare for a difficult task in your real life.
- Crosses: There are, of course, religious connotations to crosses. If you 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 your 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.
- Why Your Brain Needs to Dream: Dreaming helps the brain process events and emotions experienced during the waking hours.
- Sleep and Dreams: The REM sleep stage makes up about 20% of total sleep time, and it is mostly during REM sleep that people dream.
- REM Sleep: “REM” stands for “rapid eye movement”. The eyes move back and forth during this stage of sleep.
- The Dreaming Sleep Stage (PDF): Scientists are studying the dreaming stage of sleep to learn more about schizophrenia.
- The Biology of Dreaming: People may be more likely to remember dreams if they wake up during the REM period.
- The Neurophysiology of Sleep and Dreams: The frontal lobes of the brain are responsible for dreaming.
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 take 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.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.
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