What Do Dreams Mean? – Learn How To Interpret Your Dreams

“I had the strangest dream!” Have you ever wondered what that crazy dream you had last night really means? Over the past century, researchers have been trying to discover the hidden truths that lie in your subconscious mind when you go to sleep.

Before I talk about dreams, it is important to understand that dreams are subjective in nature. While there are universal symbols that may have generally accepted meanings, one person’s definition of a dream could be completely different than another person.

As the dreamer, it is your duty to try to make sense of your own dream. You have full access to all the important information that can help you identify specific dream symbols that apply to your own experience. No dream interpreter or spiritual guru can help you better uncover the meaning of your own dream better than you.

The meaning of a dream will depend on your background and what each dream symbol means to you. In Asia, there are specific numbers that are often considered unlucky and bad omens. However, the same numbers have no significance in western culture. For example, if you dream of being on the 4th floor of a building it will have no meaning to you, but to someone from a Chinese background, the number four is a bad omen and unlucky number.

In Asia, there are specific numbers that are often considered unlucky and bad omens, while the same numbers have no significance in western culture. For example, if you dream of being on the 4th floor of a building it might have no meaning to you, but to someone from a Chinese background, the number four is a bad omen and unlucky number.

This article is going to provide an overview of some common dream symbols, researchers, and themes you will encounter.

Dream Meanings – According to Jung and Freud

One of the founding father’s of dream interpretations was the psychologist Carl Jung. Jung believed that dreams were a window into the unconscious mind. His believed that while the dreamer is sleeping, their unconscious mind is working on finding solutions to problems they face in their conscious mind.

While Jung’s mentor Sigmund Freud believed that all dreams were sexual in nature, Jung disagreed with this theory. Jung’s method of dream interpretation was placed on the dreamer. While there are common symbols that can have universal meaning, for the most part, it is up to the dreamer to unlock the cryptic images in their dream to understand the true meaning. The use of dream dictionaries can help dreamers unlock these images by giving specific meanings to scenarios, objects, and people that you might come across in a dream.

The dream is a series of images, which are apparently contradictory and nonsensical, but arise in reality from psychological material which yields a clear meaning.” – Carl Jung

The following is an in depth guide designed to help you piece together the different elements of your dream to unlock the hidden meaning. This guide is designed to give you the right tools to interpret your dream and find hidden truths about yourself.

It is important to remember that just because two people have the same dream, doesn’t mean the dreams have the same meaning. In order to unlock the meaning of your dream, you have to put it within the context of your life.

Does Your Dream Have Meaning?

The first step to interpreting a dream is to ask yourself whether the dream has meaning or if it has no significance at all. Dreams that have the most meaning will generally occur during the deepest part of your sleep which will be between the times of 2:00 – 7:00 A.M. However, meaningful dreams can occur at any time of the day.

Dreams that are affected by our physical environment have little meaning or impact. For example, a dream involving a physical condition such as a sound or a physical action won’t have an important meaning. Dreamers often interpret physical surroundings or sensations that are occurring in their waking life and incorporate these feelings into their dream.

A man that is slowly falling out of his bed as he is fast asleep, might have a dream that he is falling from a sky scraper. His subconscious mind is interpreting the physical action of falling from his bed, and converting it to the dream language of falling from a skyscraper.

Similarly, physical noises and sounds can also make their way into our dream world. A person might hear ringing bells in their dream that is caused by their phone ringing as they sleep.

External circumstances such as grief or fear can also have a major impact on our dreams. This explains why people have nightmares after they watch a horror film. The emotions and fear you experienced from watching the horror film, can be translated directly to your dreams.


There are some common dreams that most dreamers will experience at some point in their dreaming life. These dreams produce a range of emotions and feelings that can be interpreted and understood. These dreams fall into the following categories:

Common Dreams that Occur

Falling Dreams: This is a theme that occurs in many memorable dreams.

Nude/Naked Dreams: Many people dream of situations where they are unable to fully cover themselves with clothing.

Floating Dreams: Dreaming of being weightless and drifting throughout the dream world.

Danger Dreams: Seeing something danger approaching and being unable to move or cry for help in face of this danger.

Chase Dreams -These dreams involve the dream being chased by either a known or an unknown pursuer.

Test Dreams – Dream of being tested or taking a test is often a considered a mirror dream or a dream that mirrors your feelings back to you.

Teeth Dreams – Dreaming about losing your teeth or having missing teeth is often associated with your outward appearance and the fear of getting older.

Common dreams are extremely fascinating to researchers because they are experienced by people of all backgrounds, cultures, and religions. Almost all dreamers have experienced variations of these dreams at some point in their lives.

Some psychologists believe that these common dreams are derived from our shared human experiences and interactions and make us essentially human.

Categories of Dreams

Most dreams can be broken down into 7 specific categories. These categories indicate what kind of dream you are having and the type of meaning you can derive from the dream.

Precognitive Dreams – Specific details in the dream will foretell an important event that is about to about or will happen in the future. These dreams appear to predict the future through the use of our sixth sense. Abraham Lincolns dream that foretold of his death two weeks before his assassination is a good example of a precognitive dream.

Warning – As the name suggests, these dreams will often tell of an impending danger that is going to happen to the dream if they don’t change a course of action or choose a specific action. A dream about being lost in the woods could indicate the dreamer is heading down the wrong path and needs to change make changes before it is too late.

Factual – These dreams are confirmation to the dreamer of what he or she already knows to be true. It can also emphasize a specific detail in someone’s life. Factual dreams can tell his hidden truths about ourselves with the various symbols that are represented in our dreams.

Inspirational – Any dream that is inspirational to the dream could represent some kind of a step or action one can take to resolve a personal or business problem that may be troubling the dreamer. Inspirational dreams can be used to motivate dreamers to make positive changes in their lives.

Wish Fulfillment – In our subconscious mind, our desires can often take shape in becoming a reality in our dreams. If you have been dreaming about being rich your entire life, you could have a dream about winning the lottery. Wish fulfillment dreams help our minds cope with our inner desires that we have in our conscious mind.

Compensatory – Similar to the wish fulfillment, compensatory dreams occur as a way to satisfy something that is missing in our lives. If you haven’t had a sexual relationship for a long time, you might have a compensatory dream about meeting a new partner and fulfilling those sexual desires that you have.

Reconciliation – When we lose someone in our lives through a breakup or death, we can often have a lot of unresolved feelings towards those people. Reconciliation dreams are our sub conscious minds way of dealing with the loss of people who have made an impact on our lives. Dreams about getting back with ex-lovers and reunited with lost parents are very common forms of reconciliation dreams.

Learn what does it means what you dream about someone you know

When it comes to interpreting a dream, it is important to be patient and trying to remember as much detail as possible. Just like learning a new language, dream interpretations take time to develop the skills necessary to recognize the important truths about yourself.

While most dreams will fall into these 4 categories, there are also common dream themes that dreamers have.

what do dreams mean

dreams about going up and climbing the ladder of success

Common Themes in a Dream

Going up – Generally, the process of going up in a dream represents progress and advancement. If you dream of going up an elevator it means that you are going to improve your current status in life.

Successful vs. Unsuccessful efforts – To dream of success is a good omen for the future, but the dream of being unsuccessful might spell of a difficult omen in the future.

Dreams of Health – If you dream of an illness it is advisable to get a health checkup. Health dreams can have many different meanings, so don’t panic if you dream you about having a heart attack.

Clean/ Shiny objects – These often occur in dreams as good omens for the future.

Dull/Dirty objects – These objects often symbolize an obstacle or difficulty that may be in the future

Nightmares and Anxiety Dreams

Two common dreams that many individuals will have throughout the course of their life are nightmares and anxiety dreams. These dreams both product and intense emotion that is often felt throughout the dream and when the dream awakes from the dream. The emotion can have a lasting effect because dreams often feel very real to the dreamer.

A common characteristic in a nightmare is the need to run away from something or a situation in a dream. The physiological reaction in these dreams is often present with the fight or flight response often triggering a lot of emotion in the body.

Anxiety dreams are less intense than nightmares but still cause us stress in our dreams. Hidden issues that lay deep within our subconscious mind can often surface in the means of an anxiety dream. While the images of the anxiety dream can play an important role in the dream, it is often the emotion that is experienced throughout the dream that needs to be faced and recognized in the dream. Dreams can specifically allow dreams to specifically access and discover hidden anxieties that may be bothering your subconscious mind.

Relationship dreams

Dreaming about the past or current lover is one of the most common dreams you can have. Given the strong emotional connections, it is not surprising that the subconscious mind incorporates them into our dreams.

It is also very common to have a dream about a boyfriend (husband) or girlfriend (wife) that you are currently with. Because these feelings are often extremely strong during a relationship, it is quite common to dream about a partner while you are with them.

Ex (Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Husband, Wife) and Cheating Dreams

The most emotional dreams that people can have are dreams about an ex and cheating dreams. Remember that these dreams are quite common if you have had strong feelings for someone in the past. Don’t be alarmed if you dream about an ex-lover that you once had.

In order to interpret the meaning of your dream context is everything. Just because someone is cheating on you in the dream, doesn’t mean it is true in your waking life. You need to understand what the cheating represents and if it is an aspect of you or not.

How to Interpret Dreams

When it comes to interpreting dreams you must always take the whole dream into context. If there is specifically one image that stood out then you should start by looking up the meaning of that, but you should also look up the other elements that are present in your dream.

The more information you can remember from your dream, the more accurate the interpretation of the dream can be. Never overlook the small details in the dream because it can often have the most significant at times.

Try and make sure you are dreaming about something that has to mean, rather than a dream that is related to an external factor from your environments like a noise or scary movie you just watched.

It is important to remember that dreams that occur around specific tragedies in your life are more likely to contain events from those tragedies. This is because your mind will be focused in on it throughout the day, causing your sub conscious to dream about it.

Often dreams that are more vivid and clear have more significance or meaning to the dreamer. If you wake up barely remembering anything that you dreamed of, it is probably something that was a forgettable dream. Dreams that are only half remembered without much detail are hard to interpret because of the lack of facts and details that make interpretations accurate.


The most important part of dream interpretation is to write it down when you wake up. The moment you wake up you will have the fresh image of what happened in a dream, minutes later your thoughts will change you will start to lose details. Important details may be forgotten that could have an impact on the significance of the dream.

Always write down specific details and events that occur in the dream including time, dates, places, people, objects, actions, and other symbols that you think are important. By piecing together the different parts of a dream, you will be able to start interpreting the individual contents of your dream and the dream as a whole.

Discovering what do dreams mean does not take an expert. Take the time and research the different symbols and themes that are represented in your last dream and bit by bit you can piece together the overall meaning of your dream.

Do You Need Help Interpreting Your Dream?

DreamStop offers a professional interpretation service to help you discover the true meaning of your dream. Our professional dream interpreters are available to help you identify themes and patterns that are present in your dreams. Click HERE to get a professional interpretation of your dream.

You can also submit your dream to our free database of user submitted dreamsView our User Submitted Dreams to see your submission when it is approved and view other user submitted Dreams.