I am no dream expert, but I have been the subject of a recurring dream/nightmare for many years. The dream? All my teeth falling out of my mouth, and just when you think they are out, MORE teeth pop up in their place and fall out as well – this continues until I wake up. Luckily, I haven’t had this dream in a while, but after doing some digging (and finding out what it meant), my curiosity was piqued. What are some of the most common recurring dreams and what on Earth do they mean?
Top 10 Most Common Recurring Dreams and Their Meaning
“I had a dream last night, and ever since this war began I have had the same dream just before every event of great national importance. It portends some important event that will happen very soon.” That evening, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
While there are many recurring dreams and nightmares people experience, we took the top 10 most common according to a specific study. Keep in mind there are several that didn’t make the top 10 list, such as being naked in public or not being able to find a restroom.
In an article by Amerisleep, they conducted a survey with over 2,000 Americans scattered throughout the country who worked in a variety of industries, and this is what they found were the top 10 most common recurring dreams.
- Being Lost
Confusion, frustration, anxiety, and/or not fitting in with the people around you are all interpretations of this specific recurring dream. It could have to do with a current situation in your life where you are fearful you won’t find your way, a new circumstance where perhaps you have switched jobs, moved to a new city or have ended or began a new relationship.
- Having Your Teeth Fall Out
Oh yes, I am all too familiar with this one…Fear of aging, fear of becoming less productive, efficient or the fear of becoming idle. Freud thought this dream had a lot to do with anxiety about sexual repression, but could also come during important phases of transition during the dreamer’s life. Whatever it is, it points to the feeling of having your life be out of balance, dealing with a loss of sorts – and for me especially – the inability to make an important choice. There is even a whole website dedicated to this dream which you can find here. Apparently, I am not the only one!
- Death (Yourself or a Loved One)
Dreaming about your own death could point to a transition you are currently undergoing in your life. It could also mean your life is demanding and you are, in a way, trying to escape it. Inner changes, self-discovery, and transformation are all indicators of this particular dream – and though you may feel fearful or worried in your dream, according to dreammoods.com it is a more positive annotation.
- Encountering Someone Who has Died in a Dream
This could be a way to resolve your feelings about someone in your life who has passed, process emotions of guilt you have about the deceased, or trying to keep the connection you had with this person. It could also mean you don’t want to be alone according to dreammoods.com.
- Having (Ahem) Sexual Encounters With Someone You Shouldn’t
Ian Wallace, a dream psychologist, says here that having a dream with someone you shouldn’t, or do not desire in reality could mean you admire a quality or trait about them. Maybe it is their leadership skills, their honesty, etc. If it is a dream with a celebrity, it again could have something to do with similar or shared traits with this person. If you are dreaming about your ex in bed, this could mean you are repeating mistakes you had in your previous relationship in your current one – treat this as a red flag!
According to dreammoods.com, if it is an enjoyable dream, it may indicate you are on top of things. If it is not an enjoyable dream, for example not being able to remain in flight, it could indicate a lack of power in controlling your own circumstances. If there are obstacles such as power lines, trees or mountains, this could indicate someone or something standing in your way.
- Being Unprepared for a Test or Important Event
According to Dr. Judy Willis, this particular recurring dream may have something to do with the fear of forgetting to do something, having a responsibility to do something important but is reluctant to do it, procrastinating something important, or as a reminder to take a more active role in one’s destiny.
- Being Back in School
This dream could represent many things depending on the dreamer. It could be about education, a social scene, anxiety or stress about an upcoming event or a myriad of other things. According to Dr. Michael Breus, you need to see what school meant to you, who was in your dream and the feelings you experienced during the dream. All of these are clues to understanding what this dream means!
- Being Chased
Being chased could mean many things. Richard Nicoletti, J.D., a psychotherapist trained at the Jung Institute in Boston, told the Huffington post it has a lot to do with avoidance. It could mean you are avoiding something: a confrontation, responsibility, obligation, etc. It could also mean something from your past is catching up with you, or you are AFRAID it will catch up with you.
According to Today.com, falling in a dream is a red flag from your subconscious that something in your life — finances, a relationship, career, etc. — is rapidly going in the wrong direction. It means it is time to redirect the situation immediately! Falling dreams are also common for people who suffer from depression.
As you can see from above, most recurring dreams or nightmares may have something to do with anxiety, unprocessed emotions, a significant transition in life, and/or failure to fully acknowledge something or someone. The point is this – one of the best things you can do to stop a recurring dream or nightmare is to ask yourself questions. Right down everything which happened in your dream: who was there, what was going on, what colors did you see and so on. From there, you can begin asking yourself how you felt, what this dream is pointing out, and even what you can do to move past it so you can have restful evenings again. Acknowledge what is and move on so you can sleep easier!