Top 10: Common Dreams and Their Meanings

Bizarre dreams about being naked in public or falling forever can leave a person worried about the state of their mind when they wake up. While the experience may seem real when a dream is occurring, approximately 95 percent of dreams are a distant memory within a few minutes after a person wakes up. The dreams that stick in the memory could have deeper meanings that can be discovered through dream interpretation. Here are 10 common dreams that have been studied by psychologists and other researchers.


1. Uncontrollable Falling

People who dream about falling often find that they are in a free fall with no ending in sight. The uncontrollable aspect of falling and the helplessness of the dreamer indicates that the person is upset about losing control of something important in their lives. The dreamer may also be anxious about the need to let go of something that they would like to keep. For example, someone who knows that they are about to be fired may dream about falling as a symbol for their inability to provide for their family. Parents who are sending a child off to college may have a dream about falling because they are giving up the ability to monitor the safety of their child on a daily basis. It is possible for a person who is enjoying a lot of success in life to have a dream about falling uncontrollably because of a fear of losing a job, a relationship or their family. Falling dreams may even plague a person who feels secure and happy while awake.

2. Committing Murder

Having a violent dream about killing a person or animal can be disturbing. However, dreaming about killing does not mean that the dreamer actually wants to harm another being. Killing in a dream is generally symbolic for a person’s desire to eliminate a negative personality trait. People who feel too insecure or have a bad habit may dream about murder because they would like to permanently get rid of their negative trait. Dreams about harming a particular person could simply mean that the dreamer harbors negative feelings against the person. Bottled-up resentment toward a friend, family member, coworker or other acquaintance may manifest as a dream about killing. Violent dreams do not mean that the dreamer has violent tendencies or poses a threat to others while awake.

3. Public Nudity

Dreams about being nude in public are also related to dreams in which the dreamer is engaging in a public activity while only wearing their underwear. Many dreamers find that they are not aware of their nudity until others in the dream have already seen them. Being naked in a dream means that a person is apprehensive about the need to open up to other people. People who have trouble forming close relationships may experience recurrent dreams about being nude in public. Drawing attention from other people in a dream because of nudity could also relate to a person’s need to be recognized for their recent achievements.

4. Still Water or Stormy Oceans

Water has been found to symbolize the mind in a dream. People who dream about water may gain some insight into the current state of their mind. Still water that reflects a perfect image of the dreamer means that the person is calm and collected. Dreamers who feel that they are at peace with themselves may dream about calm waters in a relaxing setting. Stormy oceans have the opposite meaning. Dreamers who feel that they are uneasy with themselves may dream about choppy waters. Water that is raging out of control indicates that the dreamer has emotional instabilities that need to be addressed when they are awake.

5. Losing or Receiving Money

Anyone who has dreamed of winning the lottery may assume that this dream was a straightforward reflection of their desire to come into money unexpectedly. However, researchers have found that dreams about money relate to feelings of self worth. People who dream about receiving money may feel more confident about themselves. Dreamers who lose money while dreaming may have recently experienced a situation in which they thought little of themselves. The exchange of money in a dream means that the dreamer is expecting to experience major life changes in the near future.


6. Nightmares About Demons

Nightmares that involve ghouls are the worst kind. While some people dream about demons after watching a scary movie, nightmares that include demons could have a deeper meaning about the emotions of the dreamer. Demons are symbols for emotions that the dreamer has repressed while awake. The dreamer may need to express these emotions or change their behavior to eliminate negative emotions in order to put a stop to scary nightmares.

7. Death of a Close Friend or Family Member

There was a time when dreams about the death of a loved one were thought to be premonitions. However, research has shown that dreaming of the death of a friend or family member actually symbolizes a recent experience in the life of the dreamer that has brought them closure. The event does not necessary have to do with illness or bereavement. A major change that is currently happening in the life of the dreamer may also be represented by death. Changes that involve the ending of one stage of a person’s life and the beginning of something completely new may lead to dreams about death.

8. School Tests

It is common for people who have been out of school for years to dream about taking an important test that determines whether they can pass a class or graduate. Dreamers may wake up believing that they are back in school and have done poorly in a particular class. Dreaming about taking a key test is likely to be related to a personal evaluation of some aspect of the dreamer’s life. Dreamers who are able to focus on the content of the test in their dream may receive a clue as to which aspect of their life is being examined by their subconscious mind.

9. Being Chased By a Person

The feeling of being chased in a dream can be described as anxiety and fear. The dreamer may feel threatened by the chaser. Many dreams about being chased are fairly straightforward. The dreamer feels that they are being threatened by the chaser in some way in their real life. For example, a person who is competing for a promotion at work may dream that they are being chased by the other people who are in line for the position. The people who are chasing dreamers may not be the ones who are posing a threat to the dreamer in real life. One person could symbolize another person in a dream. Dreamers should think of people who have similar personality traits or physical attributes to determine who is threatening them when they are awake.

10. Exploring a House

Sigmund Freud professed that houses in dreams symbolize the dreamer. Each room in the house is a different attribute of the person who is exploring the house. Hidden rooms may relate to memories or emotions that have been repressed by the dreamer. These rooms may be filled with demons or other symbols of negative emotions. The floors of the house can be seen as layers of the psyche of the dreamer.