10 Dreams People Have Often (And What They Mean)

Research shows that the average person has over 1,450 dreams per year and an average of around 4 dreams per night.

While not all dreams are pleasant, they all have the potential to tell us important things about our underlying needs, or daily lives, and maybe even the direction our futures will take—analytic psychologist Carl Jung posited that dreams can almost tap into our unconscious the way a skilled therapist can.

Although there are different schools of dream interpretation, there are at least ten common dreams that are widely regarded as communicating specific messages.

1. Falling

Whether you’ve felt yourself falling from a great height or just tripping up and falling down, dream experts say this common scenario suggests you feel like you have a lack of control over some important part of your life.

However, if that interpretation doesn’t sound right in your current circumstances, note that falling dreams can also symbolize a need to let go of something that’s holding you back from your full potential.

2. Death

It’s natural to dream about death if it’s an obvious theme in your waking life at the moment, but if no one close to you is dying then there is good cause to think that a death dream is actually positive.

It normally means something closer to a rebirth—think of it as a marker that you’re nearing the end of one chapter of your life and about to start an exciting new one.

So, if you’ve been feeling stuck, consider a death dream as a sign that you should have hope for the future!

3. Traveling

Regardless of the mode of transport that appears in your dream, it’s highly likely that you have an underlying yearning for movement and are getting sick of your daily routine.

Boredom often gives rise to travel dreams, as a part of you is desperate for change and excitement.

4. Being Chased

Dreams about being chased most frequently represent something that you’re currently avoiding and yet need to face up to (such as a deadline, the end of a relationship, or just a mundane task).

Your subconscious is trying to push you towards direct engagement with whatever you’re dreading, so that you can overcome your demons instead of just trying to escape them.

5. Taking A Test

If you dream about sitting a school exam or test, you might be feeling judged, scrutinized or criticized by others.

Often, this dream theme is all about feeling inferior compared to others—and if people are filling your life with negativity, perhaps it’s time to consider whether you’d benefit from stepping away from these relationships.

6. Being Naked In Public

This is a famous type of dream, and you’ve probably had it at least once—perhaps you saw yourself showing up naked at school, realized you were giving a presentation in the nude or just suddenly found yourself without your clothes in the middle of the street!

As may be obvious, such a dream is linked to feelings of vulnerability—often related to some aspect of yourself that you’re embarrassed for others to see.

The insecurity usually has more to do with your identity than your physical body.

7. Losing Control Of A Car

This dream can be interpreted quite literally—it generally suggests that you feel a lack of control in your waking life.

Perhaps others are infringing on your autonomy or trying to push you too hard. You have a need to “take back” your own life, reclaim your power and begin to cultivate a sense of healthy control.

8. Sex

Your first assumption might be that having a sex dream about someone means that you want to sleep with them.

However, it can actually mean a few different things. Firstly, sex dreams can be triggered by a general feeling of loneliness and a desire for human connection.

Secondly, the other person in the dream might be someone with whom you want to cultivate more emotional intimacy. Further, there are some schools of thought suggesting that sex dreams are often more about the dreamer’s need to work on deepening the relationship they have with themselves.

9. Loved Ones

When you often dream of particular people in your life, this usually signals something more interesting than just your fondness for those individuals.

Consider whether they have any traits you wish you had, for example—does a part of you want to be like them? If so, how could you approach this process of growth?

10. Flying

Finally, it can be thrilling to dream of flying! The typical interpretation suggests that flying dreams are linked to a desire for freedom (which may be physical, emotional or mental).

If you’re feeling trapped in a bad job or a difficult interpersonal dynamic, for example, you may notice recurring flying dreams. Alternatively, flying can be associated with a recent success or new sense of pride.