We all have to sleep whether we want to or not. Sometimes it just seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day and just as we’re hurrying to finish up something important, we realize it’s time for bed. Sure, it’s certainly possible to stay up past your bedtime but chances are that you’ll pay for it later by feeling tired the next day. When we sleep we usually dream and although dreams can differ wildly from one individual to another, there are certain dreams that share a common theme. These “common” dreams have been experienced by millions of people and through the years the experts have weighed in on what they believe these dreams mean.


This is probably one of the scariest dreams one can have. You might be strolling along in a field of wildflowers one minute and then find yourself falling off a cliff a second later. Falling dreams are believed to be an indicator of real life events or circumstances that are causing anxiety and stress. It may indicate a feeling that life is out of control and that the future is uncertain. Although some believe that you’ll actually die when you hit the ground in a falling dream, thankfully that’s just not the case at all. Falling in your dreams may scare you half to death, but not all the way. Unless, of course, the fright gives you a heart attack or something.


Like dreaming, going to the bathroom is something we all must do. Technically, you don’t really need a bathroom, but you get the point. Although where you “go” will differ from culture to culture, those of us in the west are pretty hung up on using our toilets. So what happens when you need to go and you can’t locate a bathroom? For some people, especially those with medical conditions which may necessitate quick access to a bathroom, having to go without having a place to go can cause a lot of anxiety. Often times this dream is triggered by an actual need for a bathroom break and may be your brain’s way of letting you know that when you are asleep.


Here’s another one that’s extremely common. For most of us, the idea of being completely naked on a public street is pretty scary. We’ve got that whole modesty thing going on in a big way in western culture. These dreams play out in various ways. Sometimes a person will be dreaming that they are strolling along in a public place with lots of people around and then they suddenly realize they are not wearing any clothes. How a person reacts to their nudity in a dream may indicate its underlying meaning. Being shocked and ashamed may suggest a person might be hiding something important. On the other hand, if there is no feeling of shame or discomfort on the part of the dreamer or the people surrounding them in their dream, their nudity might indicate feelings of freedom, openness or honesty.


There are many variations on this common dream, or perhaps the word nightmare would be more appropriate in a lot of cases. Being trapped in a room with no windows or doors is not uncommon, and dreaming of being trapped in a box or coffin is likely even worse, especially if you have claustrophobia! Not surprisingly, these dreams can be an indicator that a person is feeling trapped in some way in real life. These dreams also may be triggered by a significant loss or unresolved issues from the past.


Another extremely common dream involves the ability to fly, something that humans have probably desired to do since they first saw a bird. There are, as we know, ways that we can actually fly, like taking a trip on an airplane, but it will never match that feeling of just flying on your own without the aid of a machine. Many people report that flying dreams are one of the most enjoyable dreams they can have, although there are those who also lift off the ground uncontrollably and begin soaring though the air unintentionally while dreaming, which could be frightening. Flying dreams may reflect feelings of freedom and creativity.


Dreaming of your teeth falling out is certainly not as fun and exciting as flying can be, but it is another common dream that many people report having. As one might expect, this is not a dream that indicates positive events or circumstances in real life. These dreams can cause a lot of anxiety and fear and are probably an indication of something in your real life that is making you feel that way. Some experts believe that dreaming about losing teeth could also indicate a fear of growing old. It would be interesting to know if people who have actually lost all their teeth in real life still have these kinds of dreams.


Since death is something we know we will all eventually face, it’s not surprising that many people report dreaming of their own death or perhaps the death of a loved one. Losing a loved one is one of life’s greatest fears, so it could be something that is often lingering just below the surface. Some believe that death dreams are a sign that death will touch the person’s life in some way in real life. For the vast majority of us, that’s not the case, but some people claim that they have prophetic dreams that foresee future events in the real world. Death dreams for those of us who are not clairvoyant, usually mean some major life change is or has taken place or that there is something happening in life that we are not prepared for.


Right up there with flying and public nudity as far as popularity is concerned, dreams of being chased by someone or some thing are very common. It could be a single person chasing you, a mob of people or maybe even some kind of hideous monster, but no matter who or what is chasing you, the feeling is usually that you will be harmed or killed if you are caught. These types of dreams are probably among the most frightening of all, especially if your dream world evasion skills are a bit lacking. Stumbling or falling down while being chased surely ramps up the anxiety factor. Fear of being harmed in some way, anxiety and stressful situations in the real world could be the trigger that induces these dreams.


Taking a test for school, college or career advancement is a very stressful experience for a lot of people, and when it happens in a dream, the effect is much the same. In these dreams you may find yourself facing some kind of very important test and realize that you haven’t studied or are unprepared in some other way like being without something to write with. Test dreams can reflect a lack of confidence or self esteem in real life or feelings that you are being scrutinized and judged by others. Much of the time it’s one of those dreams you wake from and feel quite relieved and happy when you come to the realization that it was only a dream.


This one is a bit tricky since sometimes a real life condition may cause what we think is a dream but really isn’t. “Sleep paralysis” is a real-life condition that can set in when the brain fails to turn our ability to move back on again after sleep. Our brain protects us by partially paralyzing us when we sleep and dream so we don’t physically act our dreams and cause harm to ourselves or others. Sometimes this condition is accompanied by a sense that someone else is in the room who intends to harm us. Obviously, being physically paralyzed under these circumstances can be extremely frightening. Genuine dreams of being paralyzed often indicate that you are feeling that way emotionally in real life and may be experiencing anxiety over failure to overcome something that is holding you back.


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