Common dreams and their meanings

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Many of us often wonder about the meanings of our dreams. We’ve all had nightmares, or simply vivid images that we saw at night and wondered, “Why did I really dream of that?” 

Even though every dream is unique, there are some common scenarios people report. Here is a compiled list of common dreams and what they can say about your everyday life.


This might be the most common dream ever reported. Every single one of us has woken up in the middle of the night thinking we were falling. These kinds of dreams may be scary, as the superstition says that if you hit the bottom when you fall in a dream, you will die in real life. But, fear not! This is not true. 

Falling in your sleep is not a death sentence, but rather a sign that something in your life is … off. It may be a decision you made or a choice you will have ahead of you. It may even be a call to change your life and explore other possibilities. It is a symbol of fear and worry which sparks directly from anxiety and uneasiness. 

Being chased 

Whether it be a nightmare with a long chase or a game of tag, chasing dreams are incredibly common. Dreams like this often mean you are trying to avoid something prevailing in your daily life. You either refuse to come to terms with something or just block out an important task. Just like in a dream, you are being chased by responsibility. There are also a couple variations of this dream: 

  • Chased by an animal: You are trying to avoid your own anger, passions or feelings
  • Chased by unknown person: This may represent a childhood experience or trauma that is still relevant in your life 
  • Chased by someone you’re attracted to: You may be afraid of love and commitment 

Losing teeth 

This dream may sound especially terrifying, but actually has a very logical interpretation. Losing teeth may suggest the dreamer is very conscious of their appearance and does not want to alter their looks in any way. It may also reflect that you are scared of communicating and get embarrassed often, thinking you said something stupid. 

Losing teeth suggests insecurity, particularly that of verbal communication and appearance. 


Death is a very fearful subject, and one of the most prevailing human fears. It is understandable that dreaming of death may result in nightmares and anxiety. These dreams can be about the death of a loved one or one’s own self. 

Dreaming about the death of a loved one can signify a fear of change. It can also signify grief that time is passing by way too quickly for you. 

Taking tests 

Now, this one is probably the most common nightly occurrence for UC Berkeley students. We all have been stressed out with classes and, no doubt, have had dreams about midterms and finals. 

These dreams can reveal an underlying fear of failure and anxiety for an upcoming exam. So with these dreams, be wary and just relax before your next big test. 

Not all dreams are nightmares, and there is certainly no need to worry too much about the outcomes of these dreams. After all, dreams are psychological and are based primarily on the experiences you’ve had throughout the day. Looking back at your dreams is a good practice to truly understand the reasons behind your anxiety and worries. By analyzing your nightmares and dreams, it is possible to truly experience growth and development.

Contact Irina Sakharova at [email protected].