Recurring dreams are a common phenomenon. According to this study, up to 60% to 75% of adults report having experienced them at some point in their lives.
If you’re experiencing them, you might be wondering what causes them or what their meaning may be. Let’s look through some explanations so you can decipher what your recurring dreams are telling you.
What Are the Most Common Recurring Dreams?
While everyone’s dreams are unique to the individual and the details may vary, they may follow a similar theme. This is true even throughout different regions and cultures. Some of the most commonly reported dreams involve:
- Losing your teeth
- Being naked
- Getting chased or even attacked
- Running late for an important event
- Losing your ability to speak
- Being unable to run or moving in slow motion
- Losing control of a vehicle or crashing it
- Being trapped or stuck somewhere
- Scary monsters
Why do we have recurring dreams?
Here’s an example of a recurring dream I had as a teenager due to stress. In the dream, I was alone at a beach and it was nighttime. Everything in my field of view was hazy except a huge, bright, full moon in the sky overlooking the water.
I felt an immense and overwhelming amount of dread, but I could not walk or move, and something was pulling me toward the inky water. Whenever I tried to look away from the moon, my vision became blurry and unfocused, and the closer I got to the water, the more dread I felt.
I would desperately try to wake myself up by closing my eyes as tightly as possible and then opening them. I frantically repeated this over and over until finally my eyes opened and I was awake.
If you have recurring dreams with themes of a loss of control and dread, there may be a link to stressors in your life.
Recurring Dreams Caused by Outside Stimuli
Some dreams can happen because our brains are not completely shut off from our surroundings. Even when we are asleep, our brains process external stimuli like smells, sounds, and body sensations.
If you have a dream where you try to drink a glass of water, but whenever you try to lift the cup, you find it is empty even if you just refilled it, you might wake up to find yourself dehydrated.
What Do Common Recurring Dreams Mean?
Most recurring dreams or nightmares tend to reveal the presence of unresolved stress or conflict within the dreamer’s life. Dreams are the subconscious mind’s way of trying to process and regulate emotions, events, or trauma that you haven’t fully acknowledged or healed from yet.
Recurring dreams have been associated with lower levels of psychological well-being, along with symptoms of depression and anxiety. They often pop up during times of stress and then disappear after a while, and when a new source of stress occurs, they may begin showing up again.
Detailed Explanations For Common Recurring Dreams
- Falling, being unable to move or moving slowly, or being trapped or stuck somewhere can all signify a loss of sense of control.
- Flying in the air while experiencing a sense of fear or anxiety may mean that you are in need of stability in your life.
- Being naked in front of other people can signify feelings of vulnerability around other people, embarrassment, and insecurity.
- Losing your teeth can signify that you are dealing with some sort of loss or anxiety about losing someone or something that is important to you.
- Losing the ability to speak can signify that you are afraid to stand up for yourself, that you feel ignored, or you aren’t able to control some aspect of your life through communication.
- Being chased can signify that you are trying to avoid someone, an issue, or situation that desperately needs to be addressed.
- Losing control of a vehicle and crashing it can signify that you are heading off track in your daily life. You may be moving too quickly and feel like you are not ready to move on to the next stage of your life.
- Dying can signify an ending or transition in your life, whether it’s a job, relationship, or your old self as you enter a new point in your life.
How Do We Stop Recurring Dreams?
If you want to stop your recurring dreams, especially if they tend to be upsetting, it is important to process the thoughts and feelings your dreams bring up.
Tarot Reading Can help you better understand recurring dreams and stop them
If you have a hard time with self-reflection and you are uncertain about exactly what you are feeling and what your needs might be, tarot reading can help ease your uncertainty and give you helpful insight into problems that might not be immediately noticeable to you.
Lucid Dreaming skills May help
Some people gain relief by training themselves to lucid dream. Lucid dreaming is when you are asleep but you are aware that you are dreaming. This allows you to take control of your dream to a various extent so you can guide it into a more positive direction.
Lucid dreaming occurs most commonly during REM sleep, so if this is something you are interested in trying, it’s important to get your sleep schedule on track.
When trying to lucid dream, remind yourself that your dreams are created by your mind and your own thoughts, and that’s why you can work to control them.
Relaxation and Excercising
Receiving treatment and therapy for depression and anxiety, getting enough exercise, and trying relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can also help to resolve recurring dreams so you can sleep better at night.
Receive the Message From Recurring Dreams
Recurring dreams can have important messages for you. They are your brain’s way of communicating in a coded way our struggles and deepest needs with images, sounds, visions, and emotions. They may not always be easy to figure out or comprehend, but if you take the time to try to understand them, you can use their information to improve your everyday, waking life.