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It’s just a dream


Story by Sean Henderson

Ever since we were little, nightmares have been the occasional — and sometimes more often — unshakable things that wake us during the night from our deep sleep and leave us shaken, sweaty and full of terror. Could there be more meaning behind them? Dreams and nightmares can cause a lot of stress, but they can also be a result of anxieties and subconscious feelings that your brain might be trying to communicate to you.

The following are some of the most common types of nightmares that people experience and what some people believe they may mean.

1. Falling

This is reportedly the most common nightmare that people have. This type of bad dream most often happens during the first part of your REM cycle, as you are beginning to fall asleep, and your body is starting to relax. People most often have the sensation of falling and never reaching the ground, which can be terrifying. Some people think this is actually caused by the fact that you are going through something that is out of your control in your waking life. Your mind is working through those waking feelings using this type of unpleasant dream.

2. Being chased

The feeling of being chased is quite common in nightmares. Another version of this type of bad dream is when something is coming after you, and you feel like you cannot run fast at all. This kind of dream can mean that in your real life you have a goal of some sort that you are trying to achieve but having trouble. It could be frustration or lack of progress to get to that end goal. However, the scary aspect makes it seem like a whole new beast of a problem.

3. Teeth falling out

Dreaming about your teeth falling out is a both a common and gross nightmare that a lot of people have. This could actually be a sign that you feel powerlessness in your waking life. This nightmare could also be trying to communicate a sign of worrying about how others perceive you, since you can tell a lot by a person’s smile.

4. Being late

Dreams about running late for important meetings or events can suggest that you are feeling overwhelmed or out of control with life. You could be frazzled by something going on and feeling like you are barely hanging on, which explains the running late in your dreams.

5. Being naked in an inappropriate setting

Maybe the most comically horrifying? Dreaming that you are naked in front of a crowd of important people or any other place where clothes would be strongly suggested is a common nightmare. As being naked in public would make you vulnerable, a dream about this can mean that you are fearful of being vulnerable. This could stem from deep-rooted insecurities or anxieties about fitting into a group and how other people may see you.

TAKEAWAY: Don’t take dreams literally

As with most things in life, it is always best to not take things so literally. The same goes for our dreams. Although they can give us inklings about ourselves and our subconscious thoughts, they might not be the absolute be all, end all. If you are struggling with nightmares like the ones above, consider doing things like keeping a dream journal, getting a good night’s sleep and before bed refraining from caffeine or other things that may disrupt sleep.