Most of us nod off as our sleeping brain uses this time to make sense of our day-to-day experiences. We continue to fall deeper and deeper into a slumber as our dream world unfolds, putting us face-to-face with our unconscious fears and desires. This could manifest into a cycle of bad dreams from seeing zombies to being cheated on.
So, what is the meaning behind these nightmares?
In the video, “The 10 Most Common Nightmares and Their Meanings!,” Matthew Santoro explains bad dreams can reveal a lot about our life. Nightmares affect as many as 80 to 90 percent of people at some point in their lives, making them extremely common. The American Sleep Association explains some of these cases can be caused by medication use; extreme levels of anxiety in everyday life; or if someone in our family has a similar problem with nightmares, which can increase the likelihood of a sleeping disorder.
Santoro notes a common nightmare we all get is being naked in front of people. This dream is often accompanied by an audience of fully clothed people. Dreaming of being naked in front of people can represent a fear of revealing something to others; a secret we’re worried people have or soon will discover; a loss of identity; or feeling ashamed or misjudged about something we took or said.
Other dreams take us to a more supernatural world where ghosts, zombies and the undead surface. For example, seeing a ghost in our dream doesn’t mean impending doom. The dead can symbolize regret, thoughts we find upsetting or a repressed memory trying to break through. A ghost can also signify a task or goal we’re having trouble achieving.
Being lost trapped or buried in a dream may mean we are faced with real life insecurities. Indecisiveness can be met with dreams. If you also are trapped, this can indicate you are stuck, perhaps in a relationship, job or a school program you regret taking.
Dreams of falling are among the most common. But how or where you are falling can drastically change the dream’s meaning. For example, if you are falling from the sky this can indicate fear of losing control of some elements of your life or an insecurity that things are not going to stay the way you like them. Falling into a bottomless pit can indicate something that is overwhelming in your life such as a major work project, or concern about an exam or waiting for major health news.
Some of us, whether we’re in a relationship or not, will dream about being cheated on. This doesn’t necessarily mean our partner did so in real life, or even that we’re worried they will. Often, this means we’re worried about the stability of our relationship, or maybe even our career. We dream a person closest to us betrayed us emotionally, because of a lack of trust in ourselves or our decisions.
Understanding the symbolism behind our nightmares can help us better cope with fears and desires in real life.