We all have dreams every now and then that really stick in our minds. Ever dreamt about an ex-partner that you haven't thought about in years? How about the one we all hate - finding yourself naked in public?
An odd dream can leave us wondering all day what on earth is going on in our heads and about the underlying dream meanings.
Sometimes the dream meanings behind these weird scenarios aren’t quite as obvious as you might think, so before you start worrying that you’re really in love with the postman or have sleep problems, read our guide below to make sense of some of the most common dream meanings…
Dreams about: An ex-partner
Dreaming of an ex-partner can make you feel really guilty, especially if you wake up lying next to someone else. The first thing many people think when they’ve had a dream like this is that on some inner level, they’re still hung up on the person in question. Luckily this isn’t always the case.
Often when a relationship ends messily, it’s tempting to completely shut the person out of your mind and erase all traces of them from your life. In your dreams, issues you didn’t deal with at the time may reappear and give you an opportunity to assess things you’d otherwise blocked out.
It may be frustrating to dream about someone you feel you have moved on from completely, but it can be a good chance to deal with issues you have repressed surrounding the break-up and gain real closure on the relationship.
Dreams about: Your teeth falling out
Losing your teeth is a dream lots of us have had. Sometimes the dream starts off with teeth having already fallen out. Other versions of this dream can be the teeth dropping out one-by-one. Both are unpleasant but what do they mean?
The main interpretation of a teeth-loss dream is that you’re concerned about losing your looks. Have you recently found a new cluster of grey hairs or feel like your wrinkles are deepening? Something as simple as this could trigger a dream of this sort. Menopausal women have been found to dream frequently about teeth loss and in this instance it represents their worries about growing old and losing their femininity.
Dreams about: Being naked in public
We’ve all had that dream where we’re at work or in a busy public place when all of a sudden we realise we’ve forgotten to get dressed! The way we react to this in our dreams is key to working out the meaning.
If you’re embarrassed beyond belief at your nakedness, this symbolises a vulnerability or embarrassment at a secret you are keeping from people close to you. You might be concerned that something you wish to keep hidden in real life is becoming more and more obvious and soon everyone will know.
Being naked at work or school can symbolise an unpreparedness for a task that you have to complete. Your lack of clothes means that you are worried about forgetting to do important things and the setting gives clues as to what area this relates.
If, on the other hand, you are strolling down the high street completely starkers and nobody bats an eyelid, this means that you needn’t worry so much about things. You might be concerned about making a fool of yourself at an event or messing up at work but everyone ignoring your nakedness suggests that deep down you know that your fears are unfounded and everything will turn out OK.
Dreams about: Being chased
There’s few scarier dreams than being chased. The most obvious and literal translation of such dreams are that you have a fear of being attacked. Often this is the extent of it, particularly if you’ve just watched a film or read a book with a similar theme.
A more psychological analysis is that you have an inability to confront issues in your life which need dealing with, and instead you tend to push them to one side or ‘run away’ from them. Next time you have a dream like this, ask yourself why the person is chasing you. Could this be related to something that scares or stresses you out from day-to-day?
Dreams about: Falling
Many people wake with a start after having a dream that they’re falling. The common myth is that if you ever actually hit the ground, you’ll die in real life but this, unsurprisingly, isn’t true.
Falling dreams suggest that you have too much on your plate and are finding it hard to cope. Whether it be stresses at home or at work, something in your life is spiralling out of control and you’re trying desperately to keep a hold of it.
Dreams like this can also indicate a fear of not living up to what’s expected of you and failing in some way. So next time you wake up with a jump, think about what’s worrying you in life and what you can do to resolve it.
Dreams about: Sex with someone ‘odd’
Dreaming of having sex with the postman or a friend’s husband can leave you flustered and confused, especially if you’ve genuinely never thought of them in that way. It’s tempting to start thinking that maybe you harbour secret feelings which you weren’t aware of, but before you go declaring your love, there could be another explanation.
It’s likely that you see a trait in this person that you admire or wish that you had. Rather than indicating lustful thoughts, the intimacy is merely to do with you embracing these qualities and wanting them for yourself.
Dreams about: Flying
Flying dreams can be really fun, especially when you’re soaring through the sky with ease.
When you dream you’re flying and it seems like the most natural thing in the world, it indicates that you are on top of a situation and feel confident that you will succeed.
However, if you find yourself flapping around to stay up in the air, this could represent a struggle you face with some aspect in your life. Obstacles such as trees or mountains that get in your way represent particular people holding you back so next time you go crashing into a branch, think of it as a confrontation with someone and work out how to progress past them.
Dreams about: Water
Water is a popular thing to pop up in your dream and the form it takes can mean different things.
Seeing a waterfall means that you’re about to enter into a new and positive stage in your life. All your old baggage is being washed away to make room for new challenges and exciting tasks ahead.
When dreaming of the sea, its vastness is said to indicate a big problem which you feel inept to tackle, or stresses that are taking you over.
However the water appears in your dream, its clarity is important, with murky water indicating illness and clear water signifying a realisation or acceptance of a new situation.
Dreams about: Being lost
Dreams where you are lost or are trying to find something that you have mislaid can be very frustrating.
The main indication of a dream like this is that you feel ‘lost’ in some aspect of your life. Have you been worrying about where your career is going or perhaps you’re concerned about how a relationship with a partner has changed lately? This could be a good chance to assess where things are going.
Dreams about: Someone that’s died
Being visited in our dreams by loved ones that have died can be comforting or upsetting, depending on how you look at it. Some people see it as a sign that the person is trying to communicate with them from the afterlife. Watch out for reading too much into this as it could lead to you obsessing over what they’re trying to tell you.
Another thought is that it means you still need to deal with issues surrounding their death, even if it was a long time ago.
Whichever you choose to believe, it’s clear that the person remains in your memories.
Dreams about: Babies
There can be lots of different dream meanings when you dream about babies. A crying baby can be a sign that there’s some area in your life where you need more attention. Or that there’s a part of your life that’s lacking focus and you need to set some goals for yourself.
Babies can also symbolise new beginnings. So don’t worry if you’re not planning a family, it may just mean you’ve got some exciting changes on the way!
Dreaming of a very small baby is said to show that you are afraid to let others see your fears and weaknesses. It could be a sign to talk to someone about your concerns and not to worry about letting others help you.
Dreams about: Animals
The animals in our dreams are representations of ourselves and how we’re feeling. Different animals have different dream meanings.
- Insects represent worries or team work
- Bears represent hurdles or our inner strength
- Birds represent happiness, good news and freedom
- Alligators represents a warning
- Spiders represent fortune and money
- Cats, including tigers and lions, represent our feminine and intuitive sides
- Dogs represent loyalty, generosity and friendship
- Horses represent physical strength and sometimes arrogance
- Snakes represent knowledge, wisdom and sexuality
Dreams about: Your own death
Don’t worry! Dreaming of your own death doesn’t mean you’re on your way out. Dream meanings can symbolise inner changes and positive development in your life. There may be big things ahead of you that are slightly unexpected – often resulting in the end of something else.
On a negative note, dying in your dreams may also mean you are in an unhealthy relationship you need to get out of.
Dreams about: Dieting
When it comes to dream meanings, to dream of dieting doesn’t mean you need to lose weight – it’s more about the feeling we often associate with dieting.
It could mean that you are punishing yourself or feeling restrained from what you really want to do.