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The 14 Most Common Nightmares And Dreams And What They Really Mean

Dreams are still largely a mystery to us which is why we're always so curious about them. Every night during sleep we dream at least 5 different times for an average of 15-40 minutes each. That means we spend about 2 hours every night dreaming! 

There's still so many questions we have about dreams like why do we dream? Where do all these images come from? How are our nightmares formed? One thing we do know a decent amount of information on is what our dreams really mean. 

Most of the time when you dream it has a direct link to your conscious thoughts and feelings and that plays out in different ways in our dreams. They basically mirror human behaviour but it's still hard for us to determine what each dream means to us. 

This list will shed some light on some of the most common dreams and nightmares that people have and what the meaning behind them is. I'm sure you've experienced at least one of these yourself. 

Being Chased 

Via Gemphotography |

This is definitely one of the most common nightmares and I've definitely had it more than once myself. Apparently being chased in your nightmares suggests that you're running away from something that's causing you fear and anxiety in your conscious life. If you know who is chasing you it can indicate the aspect of yourself that you're running away from such as feelings of anger, jealousy or fear.

Seeing People You Know

Via Viktoriia Zarubina |

Seeing people you know such as a family member, friend or S/O actually means more than you might think. Whatever characteristics this person has that you admire in them, seeing them in your dream can mean that you feel you're lacking in or detached from those characteristics.

Out Of Control Vehicle 

Via Doveloupo |

Another super common nightmare is being inside a car that's completely out of your control. Cars usually represent our life's journey in our dreams so simply losing control of the car means you feel like you're losing control of your life. It could represent a lack of clarity and direction in the path you're going down or that you're getting off track.

Being Able To Fly

Via Ratz Attila |

Flying in a dream reflects how much control you have in your life depending how effectively or poorly it's done. It could represent an escape or sense of freedom from the pressures of the real world or your ability to reach your goals.

Teeth Falling Out

Via paul morris

This is probably one of the most common dreams out there with 1 in 5 people reporting that they've experienced it. Dreams about your teeth can represent your anxieties about your appearance and how others perceive you. These dreams may be coming from a fear of rejection, embarrassment or feeling unattractive.

Meeting A Celebrity 

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This is actually a pretty common dream that people have but it doesn't mean that they're just a mega-fan who can't stop thinking about their favourite celeb. Which celebrity is the most relevant in this dream because it could reveal what talents you value the most.


Via Ashley Bean

Falling is another super common nightmare that probably everyone has had once or twice already. If you find yourself falling in a dream and are terrified it means that you're insecure or having anxiety about a situation. If you're falling and you enjoy it could mean that you're in control of the situation and you're not afraid of change.

Showing Up Late

Via rawpixel

If you have a dream that you're showing up late to something important and you feel super anxious and stressed it could mean you're overwhelmed and doing too much. It could also mean that you're having difficulty making a decision in your life about a new opportunity.

Sexual Dreams 

Via Toa Heftiba

As humans, we're all sexual beings which means having a dream about sex is definitely not uncommon. But dreaming about sex really isn't about the sex at all and more about your partner and what aspects of them you wish to have yourself.

Being Unprepared For An Exam

Via Andreaobzerova |

Exam dreams are super common and extremely stressful. They can also be the dreams that people report feeling the least like they were in a dream and more like they were actually experiencing it in real life. Exam dreams represent your lack of confidence in your ability to advance to the next stage in your life.


Via Syda Productions |

Dreams of dying can be pretty scary and you can wake up feeling kind of thrown off about why that happened. It actually has nothing to do with death but more your wish to terminate something in your life such as a job, a relationship or even the past. You should consider this one more of a dream than a nightmare because it's trying to push you towards a fresh start in your life.

Being Naked In Public 

Via Mickael Gresset

Being naked in public is a dream that a lot of people have from children to adults. It could sympolise not being able to find yourself, uncertainty or being wrongly accused. These dreams can also come up when you've just received a promotion or started a new job when you're feeling more exposed and vulnerable than usual.

Needing To Find A Toilet

Via Photopal604 |

Needing to find a toilet and not being able to in a dream represents expressing your needs and always putting other people first. If you finally find a toilet and then it's clogged up or unusable it could mean that no one is listening to you and you need to take some time for self-care.

Killing People 

Via Phasinphoto |

This type of dream definitely doesn't mean you want to kill someone or ever will. It actually means you want to kill the part of yourself that that person represents. These type of dreams are your way of releasing the anger or rage you feel with yourself or the possibly the person in the dream.