Stress can do crazy things to your brain. You may realize the effects of stress in your day-to-day life, but did you know stress also manifests itself in your dreams?
According to the World Bank, the average American lives to be about 79 years old. This means that a person getting around the normal eight hours of sleep every night will have slept for almost 26 years of their life. Crazy, right? But get this; Out of 26 years spent sleeping, six years of those are spent dreaming.
While we may know what a dream is — any images, thoughts and emotions experienced during sleep — we still are not completely sure why we dream and what purpose dreams serve. While some researchers think dreams serve no real purpose, others believe dreaming is essential to mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Some dreams are complex, abnormal and altogether too bizarre to describe once we are awake. But there are many common dreams that a great deal of people experience, such as dreams of flying, falling, being chased or being nude in public. What do these familiar, shared and sometimes embarrassing dreams mean? Here are six common dreams with interpretations from dream analysts and psychologists who have researched them.
According to dream researcher J. Allan Hobson, as much as 95 percent of all dreams are quickly forgotten shortly after waking. If you want to remember more of your dreams, keep a journal and pen by your bed and spend some moments remembering and recording your dream.
You are feeling happy and confident in your waking life. You have released yourself from situations in life that have been weighing you down or you have risen above the limitations of a heavy responsibility or perhaps you aced that really hard test this week.
This is typically not a good sign unless you have a parachute. It may mean that you have lost control and are feeling overwhelmed with a situation in your personal or professional life. It may also be that you are hanging on too tightly to an incident that occurred in your waking life and need to let go of it, or maybe you have just jumped off the cliffs at Heber one too many times or recently saw the movie “Gravity.”
You are feeling confused or insecure. Depending on what is happening in your life, there may be a conflict going on and you are indecisive about how to handle it. This dream is also played out in other forms, such as feeling trapped, buried alive or caught in a web. (Or perhaps you stumbled into the Ezell building late at night and could not find your way out).
It is possible that you feel like you are losing an opportunity to experience some kind of fulfillment in life. This may be because you have been really busy or have lost time to a meaningless activity, rather than finding something more significant to do, or maybe you pledged this week and were worried about showing up late.
Depending on who is chasing you, this dream can be absolutely terrifying or exhilarating. Sometimes we have no idea who it is, but we just know we need to run away. This symbolizes that you are avoiding something you need to confront or you are afraid of something in your past catching up with you.
As laughable as it sounds, many people have dreams that involve them going to school, work or a formal event only to realize once they get there that they are not appropriately dressed for the occasion or are completely nude. This can be interpreted as feeling inadequate and unprepared for an upcoming event, or feeling particularly vulnerable or awkward about a certain situation.