We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, yet most of the time we can’t recall our dreams. During our nightly rest, the brain doesn’t switch off, which is why we have dreams. Science has long sought to understand the function of dreams and the possible link between dreams and what goes on in the mind. And researchers have been trying to find out what dreams might mean for much longer.
These 6 common dreams may reveal what you’re really afraid of
Some people believe their subconscious is trying to tell them something through their dreams. According to dream expert Delphi Ellis, some common dream types can shed light on what our minds are focused on, what life situations we should be dealing with.
Have you ever dreamed you were falling off a cliff? According to Ellis, people have two types of falling dreams. One is the kind where you feel like you are “going down the rabbit hole”. If you have this type of dream, you may be at a crossroads and feel like you don’t know where you’re going in life.
“The fall in the dream often reflects: I have no idea where this situation is going to lead, I can’t predict the outcome,” says Ellis.
The expert says this dream is often linked to work-related concerns. If the person has recently left their job, or has just started work, or if they are embarking on a daunting project, these can all trigger similar dreams.
Another type of falling dream involves a sudden, jerky sensation when you are falling asleep. The dreamer may feel as if they’ve fallen off a kerb or walked into something – this is actually a symptom of stress, known as a hypnic jerk. These dreams probably indicate that you are overwhelmed and need to rest.
2. You are naked in public
Many people dream that they are giving a lecture to their classmates or colleagues when everyone starts laughing, only to realise that they are completely naked. According to Ellis, this dream is about being aware that people are watching you and you feel vulnerable.
Don’t worry, these dreams are usually all about change.
If you dream that you are dying, it could be a wake-up call warning you that things need to change, or that you are changing as a person and it’s time to think about it.
4. He cheats on you
Cheating dreams are not real intuitions about your partner cheating on you.
“Many women worry that it’s a premonition in some way.”
– “They think some kind of inner wisdom is trying to guide them. If someone has been cheated on in the past, it’s possible they’re worried it’s going to happen again.”
If a man has never experienced infidelity and dreams that his partner is cheating on him, or vice versa, it could mean he’s looking for trouble because his relationship is almost too good to be true.
According to Ellis, women often dream of cheating on their partners with their bosses, even if there’s no chemistry there at all – it’s less about attraction and more about power dynamics. “It usually means the person is trying to control something they probably can’t. To compensate for that, he’s trying to influence someone’s behaviour in a dream.”
5. You’re chasing someone or you’re being chased
This one’s more obvious than the others: if you’re being chased, it could mean you’ve fallen behind on a project or a deadline is looming. However, if the dreamer is chasing something, they are probably trying to prevent a problem.
6. You’re flying
Ellis says people can fly in their dreams in many different ways.
Regardless of the flight path, the meaning of this dream is most often that the person is feeling carefree. However, if you’re not enjoying the dream of flying, it could also mean that you don’t like losing control, and that’s something to work on.