16 Common Dreams and Their Interpretations
Most people have more than 100,000 dreams throughout their lifetime. Check out 16 of the most common dreams and how experts interpret them.
Most people have more than 100,000 dreams throughout their lifetime, according to dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” But how many of those can we actually remember when we wake up? For those of us who do remember the details, the content of our dreams can help us with our waking reality, says Karen Silverstein, author of “Journey of an Apprentice Dreamer.” “Dreams can be our inner selves telling us to wake up and pay attention,” she says. “We should always ask questions and go deeper. We can use our dreams to help us make better choices for our lives right now.” Check out 16 of the most common dreams and how experts interpret them.
1. The Dream: Stupid Smart Phones
Smartphones and Facebook are the latest pop icons to find their place in the pantheon of dream interpretation, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” The most common tech-centered dreams deal with dialing the phone. “Either you can’t get the numbers to display so you can make a call, your fingers are too fat or your call keeps dropping,” Loewenberg says. THE LESSON: It’s connected to communication issues in real life, says Loewenberg. “If you are unable to make a call -- for whatever reason -- then you may be feeling your thoughts, opinions or feelings are not being heard or considered by someone else.”
2. The Dream: Run for Your Life
A commonly recurring dream for women involves being chased, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” She says these dreams are caused by “fight or flight” situations in waking life in which you choose avoidance rather than confrontation. If this is a dream you’ve had recently, ask yourself what it is you’re running from in your daily life, says Karen Silverstein, author of “Journey of an Apprentice Dreamer.” THE LESSON: You can’t run forever, says Loewenberg. Avoidance only prolongs the pain and anxiety. “These dreams will stop when you face and deal with whatever it is you fear during waking hours,” she says.
3. The Dream: Hail to the Chief
Dreams about the president may symbolize your ability to make decisions and govern your own life, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” If the president is a helpful character in your dreams, then most likely you’re managing things well, she explains. If he’s a malevolent character, then you may be misusing your authority. And if he is in danger or not well in the dream, then you may be afraid to harness your own power. THE LESSON: Are you avoiding decisions you need to make or resisting taking charge of a project? Examine all aspects of your life to see where you may be insecure and need to step up your game, Loewenberg suggests.
4. The Dream: School Daze
Almost all back-at-school dreams can be connected to job stress, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” Can’t find your locker or class? “That’s a good indication you’re feeling uncertain of your place at work or even your career choice,” Loewenberg says. Worried about the school bell ringing? “That suggests we feel time is running out on us in real life in the career department,” says Loewenberg. THE LESSON: It may be time to look for a new job or find ways to make your current situation more meaningful, says Loewenberg. She suggests asking yourself how you can be more helpful to your coworkers or looking for an opportunity to put your creative side to use.
5. The Dream: Furry Friends
In dreams, dogs represent the characteristics they possess: loyalty and friendship, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” When you have a dog dream, think about whether the behavior in the dream mirrors behavior in a human relationship you have. THE LESSON: Ask yourself which of your real-life relationships reminds you of the behavior of the dog in your dream, says Loewenberg. “Are you or is someone around you being as loyal as a Labrador or as vicious as a rabid dog?” Your dog dreams will clue you in to the degree of loyalty within you or around you and whether it needs some obedience training or needs to be let loose, Loewenberg says.
Read more: The 15 Best Dog Breeds for Running
6. The Dream: Flying High
Nothing beats the flying dream. It’s often connected to your ability to soar to new heights and reach a higher level in life, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” “You may find yourself flying in your dreams when you have broken free from a bad relationship or a heavy situation the previous day.” THE LESSON: “This dream is telling you to continue being inspired about something you’re doing,” says Karen Silverstein, author of “Journey of an Apprentice Dreamer.” And remember, adds Loewenberg, when life brings you down, this dream is showing you that the ability to rise above and break free is alive and well within you.
7. The Dream: Secret Rendezvous
The cheating dream rarely means an actual affair is going on, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” It does, however, mean something is getting in the way of your relationship. “Usually the culprit is work. But it could also be the Xbox, golf or fantasy football,” Loewenberg says. THE LESSON: This dream can actually fan the flames of your relationship, says Loewenberg. Once you can pinpoint the cause, compromise. “Offer to give up or cut back on something your mate isn’t a big fan of if he or she promises to cut back on the activity that is causing you to feel left out.”
8. The Dream: Losing Your Teeth
These dreams can be connected to the way you communicate in waking life, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” “It may indicate you allowed something out of your mouth that should have remained in there, like your teeth,” she says. Another variation is the “teeth crumbling or breaking” dream. This is often about weak speech. “Maybe you don’t feel you made your point well enough in an argument, or perhaps you didn’t say anything at all when you should have,” Loewenberg suggests. THE LESSON: “Just as you polish those pearly whites for aesthetics, polishing up your communication skills will make you shine too.”
9. The Dream: Full Exposure
Finding yourself naked in public is a classic dream and may reflect feeling vulnerable and exposed in waking life, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” For example, Loewenberg says she had the dream the night before she went on “Good Morning America.” The root of the dream is often connected to the concern that others are going to see your flaws. THE LESSON: Have you ever noticed that no one else in the dream seems to care that you’re naked and you’re the only one freaking out? “Your dreaming mind is reassuring that you are the only one giving so much thought and energy to this situation,” says Loewenberg.
Read more: 15 Stress-Reducing Techniques
10. The Dream: Home Sweet Home?
Whether it’s your actual house or an unfamiliar dwelling, “home” represents you in a dream, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” Look at it as an honest blueprint of your current self-image. “If rooms are neglected, this could be connected to a talent or skill you are no longer using. If you’re eager to explore new rooms, this could be connected to your need to learn and grow.” THE LESSON: Finding new rooms is your dreaming mind showing you there’s more to you than you are using, Loewenberg says. “The goal in this life is to become whole, complete. Carl Jung referred to it as individuation. Never stop learning and growing.”
11. The Dream: Hello, Lover
In dreams, sex is not about a physical union you want but rather a psychological union you need, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” For a woman to dream of sex with an unknown man, for example, may mean that she desires generic male qualities and is working on uniting these into her own self and behavior, Loewenberg suggests. Sex with a coworker doesn’t necessarily mean you secretly lust for the person, but rather that you desire his or her ability to handle clients with ease. THE LESSON: Your sex dream tells you that uniting a particular quality or attitude into yourself right now -- a quality from your dream lover -- will bring about a new life for you, Loewenberg says.
12. Apocalypse Now
End-of-the-world dreams are very common and signal that some aspect of our own world is ending or changing, says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life!” Moving to a new town, changing careers or quitting an addiction -- all these milestone changes can bring apocalyptic dreams with them, Loewenberg says. THE LESSON: Whether these considerable changes have happened -- or need to happen -- it’s not the literal end of the world, Loewenberg says. “Just as there are many more worlds in this universe to explore, so are there many, many more worlds you can create around yourself.”
13. The Dream: Where’s My Car?
Losing your car in a dream is connected to uncertainty or loss of motivation, says author and dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg. She suggests asking yourself what in your life you no longer want to continue or what is causing you to feel uncertain. She says she has found this to be a common dream among retirees. It can be a reflection of their feelings of being directionless now that they no longer have a job to get up and go to every morning. THE LESSON: Your dreaming mind wants you to find a new path, says Loewenberg. “It’s time to try something different because the direction you are headed in now isn’t going to get you anywhere.”
Read more: 12 Ways to Get Your Mojo Back
14. The Dream: Final Farewell
Dreams about death don’t usually signal a person’s actual demise. Typically, they occur when things change or end in our lives, says author and dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg. We may dream of someone we care about dying when our relationship with them is changing, she says. Parents, especially moms, may dream of their children dying when the child has reached a milestone. “We may also dream of our own death when we have undergone a major change,” Loewenberg says. THE LESSON: “Your dream is telling you that it is time to let go of what is passing so that you can look forward to what is coming,” she says.
15. The Dream: Closed for Repairs
The most common metaphor for the clogged-toilet dream is the inability to use it because of its condition, says author and dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg. It’s often linked to the inability to express yourself when something is really bothering you. “If you dream toilets are nasty, clogged or unusable, you need to ask yourself what frustration or negativity you are holding in right now. What is it that you are not allowing yourself to flush away?” THE LESSON: This dream is warning you that your emotional plumbing is backed up, Loewenberg says. “The more you allow your frustrations (to build up), the bigger ‘mess’ you’ll have to deal with in the end. Let it go!”
16. The Dream: Ready for Takeoff
Planes often represent a journey for which you have high hopes, says author and dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg. In her research, planes are most often connected to career because, like a plane, your career is something you hope will take off, reach new heights and take you places. “When the plane comes crashing down from the sky, it may reflect a giant letdown that has occurred,” she says. THE LESSON: “Be proactive in assessing and evaluating your career path and where it’s headed,” Loewenberg says. “Don’t let a little turbulence throw you off course -- time to regroup and change directions. Your journey is far from over.”
How to Better Remember Your Dreams
Want better recall of your own dreams? Try giving your dreams titles, suggests dream expert Karen Silverstein. As soon as you wake up, if you can even recall a fragment of your dream, reflect on it and jot down a title. “It’s also important to do a reality check,” Silverstein says. “Ask yourself, how did this dream make you feel?”
What Do YOU Think?
Do you remember your dreams? Have you ever had any of the dreams mentioned in this slideshow? Did you figure out what your subconscious was trying to tell you? Tell us your dream -- and possible interpretation -- in the comments. Maybe someone else has had the same strange dream!
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