7 of the Most Common Dreams and Their Meanings

common dreams meaning

There are many dreams that are very common to have. Check out this list of the most common dreams along with what they mean.

Dreams are an integral part of our physical and emotional health. They allow us to process experiences, store memories, and work through fears and trauma.

Freud and Jung both believed that dreams represented unfulfilled desires. 

Although food, medication, and the activities of your day can all affect dreams,  there are many iconic dreams that people seem to share across cultures and demographics. Rather than premonitions of what is to come, they indicate shared experiences that everyone goes through on occasion, from being scared of an important event to feeling uneasy in a relationship.

Here is a list of seven of the most common dreams and their possible meanings. Have you experienced any of them? 

1. Flying 

Dreams about flying often indicate a need for liberation and freedom. Are you trapped in a job you do not like, or a relationship that makes you unhappy? Dreams of flying may indicate a desire to escape.

On the other hand, if the feeling you have while flying is happy, the dream could represent good fortune. If your life is going well, it could mean the sky is the limit and you should keep doing what you are doing!

Freud, who commonly attributed sexual meanings to dreams, thought that flying dreams in men were due to nocturnal arousal.

2. Naked in Public 

You are in school, at work, or on the bus. You look down and realize..you have forgotten your pants! Or you may be totally nude in public!

This common dream does not mean you actually want to take your clothes off in public. It actually indicates shame, guilt or embarrassment.

You may feel inferior, and exposed. Perhaps you are worried that people will find out something about that you would rather keep hidden.

Another interpretation is that you have a deep need for attention.

3. Unprepared for an Important Event 

You have a big speech to deliver and you forget your notes. You are set to go onstage in a big Broadway show, and you realize you have not rehearsed. You are sitting down to an important test for which you neglected to study.

This classic anxiety dream affects people in all professions. It indicates a fear of being unprepared and stressed. You may be worried that you are not good enough, and that you will be discovered for being a fraud.

4. Being Chased 

Another common nightmare is being chased. It can be terrifying as you sense someone behind you getting closer and closer. You never seem to be able to run fast enough!

This dream can depend on context: who is chasing you? It could mean you are trying to avoid a person or issue.

If you are consistently awakened from this kind of dream, think about what you are trying to avoid. Maybe it is time to give up old patterns of thinking, no matter how scary it may be. Maybe it is time to confront what is terrorizing you and face it head on.

5. Teeth Falling Out 

Often people report that they have dreamed about their teeth crumbling or falling out of their mouths. A common interpretation is that you are frightened of losing something that is precious to you.

Our friend Freud believed this dream in men indicated a fear of castration. Of course!

This dream could actually mean something positive. Because teeth represent growing up, this could indicate your progression from one situation to another. It could also mean you need to take care of yourself or that you are ready for something new to grow in your life.

On the other hand, if you are feeling anxious over this kind of fantasy, it may mean you are dealing with some kind of loss. A dream interpretor might speculate you are worried about aging, or losing your power in work or a relationship.

6. Taking a Test 

Like the dream described above in #3,  this iconic dream brings us back to the terror of test-taking in school, where it feels like your entire future rests on the results of this one exam.

There are many iterations of this one. You studied but you can’t find the right room. You studied for the wrong subject. You overslept.

People experience this dream even when they are decades past the time in their life when they need to worry about exams. Highly accomplished individuals report worrying that all of their advanced degrees will be taken away because their performance on this imaginary test is discovered.

If you wake up in a cold sweat after this kind of dream, it probably means you are suffering a crisis of confidence. You are worried that you are not meeting others’ expectations of you.

You may also be feeling afraid of judgment.

7. Rooms in a House 

Some people describe dreams of discovering a new house, or finding new rooms in their present house. They go into their basement and find staircases they never knew were there, or rooms and floors they do not remember.

Houses may represent your own mind. You may be opening up new doors into your self knowledge as you discover these hitherto unknown spaces within your formerly familiar world. Maybe there are unexplored parts of yourself that you don’t know very well.

The condition of the house and its existence in real life have a great deal to do with what it may mean. If the house is run down and abandoned, you may be feeling like you need some time and attention yourself! If the house is undergoing a makeover, you may be experiencing new changes in your life, or you may want to undertake such changes.

A dream about your childhood home may express a need to look at your past.

Dreams about particular rooms within a house also have distinct meanings. For example, a basement represents your unconscious. Bedrooms may represent sexuality… thank you,Dr. Freud!

The Most Common Dreams: Representing Fears and Desires We All Share 

Don’t worry if you awaken from any of these most common dreams, You are sharing the same experience with many people around the world!

Take the opportunity these dreams give to examine how you feel about important issues in your life, and what your true desires may be going forward.

For more ways to live fully and enhance your waking and sleeping life, keep checking back.


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