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The 5 Most Common Dreams and What They Mean

Understanding dreams and what they mean is as old as recorded history. Aristotle and Plato wrote about dreams, and even Freud made early forays into dream interpretation.

Freud believed dreams were the doorway to the unconscious mind. He thought that to understand an individual's personality, you had to look at their dreams and interpret them psychoanalytically.

The Purpose of Dreams

Why do we dream? One modern theory is dreams occur because of stimuli that enters our mind during the day, which our brains process and stores. Scientists agree they may also represent unconscious longings or desires, and a way to consolidate the information you take in during the day.

Although people don't remember 95% of what they dream, the dreams that survive consciousness tend to be similar across individuals. Let's look at some of the most common dreams and what they could be telling you.

Legend says, when you can't sleep at night, it's because you're awake in someone else's dream.

— Unknown

Dream about Falling

Have you ever awakened from a dream and realized in that dream you were falling? Dream interpreters believe this type of dream represents a feeling that life is out of control.

If you're falling in a dream state, you may feel you lack the ability to change the terrible things happening in your daily life. You may fear losing your job or have insecurities about other aspects of your life. Dreams of falling may also express deeper feelings of insecurity or overwhelm.

Dream about Teeth Falling Out

It's frightening to dream about your teeth falling out, especially if you're fearful of the dentist and dental bills. Some sources believe this dream is a subconscious warning about the state of your teeth or gums and underlying dental issues.

Others believe a dream of tooth loss stems from the deep insecurity most humans feel regarding their appearance, since teeth are one of the first things people look at when they speak to you.

If you have this dream repeatedly, it may be you're harboring anxiety about how other people perceive you. But it could also be a sign you need to see a dentist!

Your teeth are associated with self-esteem and youthful exuberance. If you feel like you've lost that youthful vitality, this dream could indicate you feel insecure about something in your life.

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Dream about Flying

Who wouldn't want to soar through the sky, if only in a dream? The symbolism of flying in dreams is not limited to one meaning. The dream of flying can be about escaping the present reality, gaining freedom, or exploring the world.

Flying dreams can also mean you are trying to grow emotionally and spiritually. Some people also dream about flying when they feel insecure or have low self-esteem.

Flying in dreams could mean you are trying to change your life, but don't know how. You long to soar above the life you live now! Flying dreams may also indicate a desire for freedom and new challenges.

Dreaming that You're Lost

When you're in a dream and suddenly realize you have no idea where you are and how you got there, it's frightening, to say the least. Everything is unfamiliar, and nothing makes sense.

You don't know who you are or how you got there, and all around you is nothing but an endless expanse of unfamiliar scenery. You may try to call out for help, but your voice seems to echo into oblivion with no answer.

In this situation, it's only natural to experience feelings of anxiety, or even sheer terror, as your mind struggles to make sense of your surroundings, all the while trying to figure out how to get home.

This dream isn't only common -- it's universal. Being lost in a dream symbolizes feelings of confusion and vulnerability. You might be at a transition point in your life and not know which way to go.

Repeatedly replaying this dream means you may need to do some soul searching. If you keep a journal, you can think about solutions to concerns or concerns that scare you.

Dream of Being Naked in Public

Being naked in public is a common dream that may symbolize vulnerability. Having this dream repeatedly could mean you feel vulnerable in aspects of your life or work. You might also have this dream if someone revealed something about you to others that embarrasses you and you wanted to keep private. You feel like an "open book" and wish you could keep something more private.

Keep a Dream Journal

Dreams offer a glimpse into the subconscious mind and sometimes reveal things via their symbolism. How do you know what they're trying to tell you? Keep a dream journal. Describe your dream in as much detail as possible, but do it immediately, as details fade quickly from your mind, just as they do with all dreams.

By writing them down, you'll discover more about yourself. Whether you believe dreams come from a place of your unconscious or somewhere outside of you, they're an escape and a chance to discover more about yourself.


  • "Dreams: Causes, types, meaning, what they are, and more." 28 Jun. 2018,
  • "Psychology of Dreams: What They Mean | American Sleep ...."

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