How to Interpret Your Dreams (2024)

We've all been there. You wake up from a particularly exciting or unsettling dream and wonder, what did that actually mean? From Freud to Jung, many theories have emerged on dream interpretation, but it's hard to hone in on the precise meaning. Our dreams at night combine our body's physical state and emotional response to the information we gather during the day as our sleeping brain processes it all.

Assigning meaning to our subconscious visions is a great way to self-reflect and understand ourselves and the world around us. Here, we look at what the most common dreams mean, different types of dreaming, and how to interpret your dreams.

Sleep tight!

What are some of the most common dreams and what do they mean?

There are a set of dreaming tropes that have a somewhat agreed upon meaning. You've likely experienced at least one of these things in your dreams, so here's a key to what it might mean.

Falling indicates losing control of a situation and being insecure about matters.

Losing teeth manifests when we feel our voice isn't being heard, or when we're feeling powerless.

Dreaming of an ex means that you might miss them and long for closure from the relationship.

Driving is a wake-up call and means that we could use a dose of reality in our lives.

Being naked in front of others reveals a phobia of vulnerability.

Exam-taking mirrors our feelings of success and the inadequacies of not attaining achievements in life.

Being chased means we are running away from problems or not addressing matters.

Infidelity represents unresolved issues in relationships that are coming to the surface.

How to interpret your dreams

Dream interpretation requires som diligence. Even when a dream feels so wild that you're sure you'll remember it forever, you might feel the specifics (or even the whole thing) fading by morning. When you wake up from a dream, whether it's overnight or in the morning, write down your nightly visions in a dream journal. Try to take note of what was happening and the items in the dream. These can be symbols that can unlock what your subconscious is trying to tell you.

Beyond the specifics of the dream, it's also helpful to keep tabs on themes and emotions you’re feeling in them. Once you have the themes and specifics down, check to see what some common tropes can mean. If you were late to an event or couldn't get where you needed to in your dream, that's likely some kind of stress manifesting in your subconscious. If something you're scared of shows up in your dreams, you may be feeling vulnerable. Ultimately, studying your dreams yourself will likely reveal to you some meaning. You know what's happening in your daily life, so looking at how those thoughts and feelings are manifesting at night will probably help you make sense of both your sleeping and waking thoughts.

If you need additional guidance, you can pull tarot cards and use a pendulum to help find meaning. They’ll offer you a chance to learn about your feelings and desires.

Can dreams come true?

Yes. Magical practitioners believe that spirits can visit us when we are sleeping and whisper essential information in our ears that can induce our intuition. We could travel to the astral plane while sleeping, a nonphysical place we can access when asleep that connects us with others and entities. We can receive psychic downloads there, but one must be careful. Make a circle of protection with your finger before falling asleep, place an amethyst by your bed for safety, and a sachet of salt in your pillowcase for protection. Precognitive phenomena is the term for seers and visionaries who dreamt scenarios that became real when they were on the cusp of change.

What do recurring dreams mean?

There is more than meets the eye when one has recurring dreams. Some say that recurring dreams represent some kind of trauma or ongoing issues that's not been resolved. It’s vital to work through and examine the underlying issues that may cause them to persist.

What do vivid dreams mean?

These are highly detailed versions of dreams, sometime so vivid that they can feel like real life. This can be super disorienting! It's not totally clear what can cause vivid dreaming, but some have suggested that things like stress and anxiety, certain sleep disorders, medication, and even pregnancy can contribute.

What does it mean when you dream inside a dream?

A dream itself is perceived to be caused by stressors or factors from everyday life. If you dream within that dream, it may be a special message you need to hear. If you can, try to pay special attention to what's happening in your dream within a dream. Write down the details and heed the message.

What is lucid dreaming?

Lucid dreams occur when we are aware that we’re dreaming. For instance, we know we’re in a dream state but either can’t escape it because we’re asleep, or choose to stay in it. If you experience lucid dreams, it’s essential to surround yourself in the conscious state with items or statements that allow you to know you’re in reality and not dreaming. Differentiating the two can be helpful in case you get scared.

Why do people have similar dreams?

People with similar dreams share a common bond, experience the same situations, and have shared memories or emotional closeness. Their spirits touch and unite, creating a similar unconscious connection.

Why do we have nightmares?

Nightmares often result from stress or anxiety. They are more common among children who have difficulty processing change and fears. Nightmares are prevalent for all people, and persistent ones are treatable through therapy or counseling.

How to Interpret Your Dreams (2024)
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