In the mysterious and fascinating world of our dreams, a pen is never just a pen, just like in surrealist paintings. Symbolic and metaphoric codes are being used to analyze our subconscious world. Deciphering dreams is not an easy task, even for the most skilled psychologists. And for those terrible and horrifying nightmares, people tend to have bad feelings about them, which make them more eager to know the nightmare meanings. While common dreams usually represent our most intimate desires and wishes, our nightmares represent our inner fears and anxieties. Through them, we can achieve a greater degree of introspection, which helps to understand and accept ourselves better.

10 Common Nightmare Meanings

Not many psychologists believe nightmares always have a deep meaning. Most believe that sometimes they are rather random constructs. However, some may be interesting to consider.

Falling from Great Heights

This kind of nightmare has happened to people whose anxiety is linked (or believed to be) to the feeling that they are not in command of their own life or even themselves. This can be caused by the person’s work, intimate relationships, money, etc. After all, the feeling of rapidly falling from height towards a certain death clearly represents the lack of freedom and/or power.


Injuries or Malformation

Anyone seen Vanilla Sky? Dreams that you have an accident or you simply wake up with a horrible scar or deformities are quite common in patients. This case tends to represent the feeling of weakness or powerlessness in a person’s life. The dream is urging them to build on self-esteem and trust themselves in a way.


Natural Catastrophes

People usually find themselves trying to run away from a sudden tsunami, an enormous tornado or a volcano that has just erupted. These, again, are generally understood in the scientific community as revealing a feeling of anxiety and fear. Meteorological events are highly unpredictable and we find ourselves impotent and insignificant in front of the enormous powers of nature.


Being Trapped

These nightmares are particularly common in people suffering from claustrophobia—the fear (sometimes extreme) of being locked up in a small area without the possibility of escaping. However, they can also be experienced by people, fearing their inability to break away from their current bad situations like annoying relationship or dead end job. People that are going through a difficult financial situation are also prone to have these nightmares.


Teeth Dropping

This might not be so frequent, yet some people describe it as a profoundly anxious experience filled with a tremendous anguish. In the dream, the person starts feeling their teeth dropping suddenly from their mouth or generally surrounded by other people. This nightmare has been linked to profoundly personal worries about other people’s judgments on his physical appearance.


Being Naked

This is a common childhood dream we may have experienced. We may also remember how deeply stressful the experience was. You may dream about trying to hide without the possibility and other people laughing at you. Psychologists argue these dreams are a symptom of an inner fear of what other people might believe or say about us, particularly about our physical appearance, although the fact of being naked can also be perfectly seen as an allegory.


Seeing the Dead People

Many people have dreamt about seeing dead people. Most of the times patients dream they see people who they are familiar with and are now dead rather than the dead people they have never met. This can be seen as a representation of our fear of the unknown. If you see close people you have lost, like your grandmother, the nightmare is probably a projection of your inability to let that person go.


Missing Important Events

Ever dreamt about waking up (what an irony, isn’t it?) and realizing you have missed a very important date? It’s quite a common dream, too. Some people even dream they have missed their own wedding. These dreams represent the fears and anxieties that arise due to outside pressure and expectation on us. We may be excellent and perform great always, but these dreams often warn us that maybe we are anxious and negative inside.


Partner Leaving

These might be one of the worst nightmares we can experience, and also work as an alarm mechanism, keeping us attentive and precautious. These dreams represent one of the deeper human fears: the feeling of abandonment. After all, isn’t it the worst thing that could happen to a person? That fear remains in a person since childhood, latent yet very powerful. They can also arise because of insecurities, the feeling we are not good enough for our partner.


Being Attacked

This is the most common nightmare of all. Many of us find ourselves being chased off by people with guns or knives, dangerous animals, etc. This kind of dreams generally indicates that you have a difficulty in confronting something in your daily lives, or you may even want to run away from it. The strategy you choose to escape can also be significant, this is, whether you are running away or rather decide to hide in fear.


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  • AnaisNov.29 02:21
    A couple months back I owned an iphone which would always glitch and tend to restart itself. One night I had gone to sleep and I had a nightmare after my first dream. I was in a dark room. There was no bed, furniture, door, or closet. I was laying down on the floor on my stomach messing around on my phone. Suddenly the phone glitches and restarts itself. After a minute it comes back on but instead of it going to the lock screen, there was a video. A teenage boy around 17-18 was there. You could only see him from the chest up and he wore a red and white cap. His skin was gray and he had dark eyes. Every time I moved my head his eyes would follow me from inside the phone, like he was inside of it. He stared for about 2 minutes before the video ended and another came on. This time you can see him fully in a dark red room with purple velvet floors. He's wearing a red and white shirt like his cap and blue jeans. He's continuing to stare at me, but there's a man on the floor. He's pleading for help but the boy in the cap just stares at me and kicks the man in the stomach. He keeps kicking him and kicking without breaking eye contact until the man stop pleading and moving. He's dead and bloody on the floor. The boy then looks down at the body, sneers and then comes up to the camera before the video just ends and that's it. I try to restart my phone to get it to work but the videos just keep replaying and replaying and that's when I woke up.
  • RenzzzzNov.23 08:18
    sometime, I dream about people falling in line into a hollow gate with light , I think its on a School/University`s building, but when i look at the windows i can see anything but black and there's no other door way out except classroom doors, I went downstair but it's dead end . The only think to be found is on the 4th floor (top floor) and that gate with white light , and when I'm asked the people in line where does the gate goes, they answered me ``Its the Heavens gate``. I didn't go to that gate because im scared and I felt that there's someone I'm waiting for before i can Go there. I don't get the meaning of that dream because I don't have girlfriend to be waited .
  • JamesNov.12 10:06
    My nightmare is a re-occurring with little changed in its content. It starts by me entering an oldish type of house which is very dirty and disorganized, I live there and must pack my things as I am leaving to catch a plane but don't know where to, as I walk into my room. I see that i have started to pack but I am not finished then realize that time is running short to leave and can't find my tickets or passport any more. It becomes clear to me that the house belongs to me and every one must go more often in the nightmare, but I don't know where I really am and that I will miss the plane to some where in the world and of course there's no one to help...
  • Kiranie879Nov.11 17:59
    I have a nightmare right now but it feel so weird rather than call it sleep paralysis, it's actually more complicated. Because in the nightmare, I can move at stuff and I feel something is looking down to me and I feel so scared that time. It's 1:50 in the morning here now. When I actually feel the presence of things that looking at me, that are scaring me to the death in the nightmare, I start to scream but I can't. First few moment, I can't but after that I can move but no energy at all. When I can't scream and my mom won't hear me then, I start to pound on the wall. The hand vanishes but the sense of presence is still there. I'm still pounding. And moments later, I was back to my before-the-nightmare-happen-sleep-position. Then I really wake up this time. It opens my eyes and nothing there. Except the sense of the presence still there. Same as my-before-really-wake-up nightmare (where the hand hold my hand's muscle *It's somewhere between the arm and the hand that we used daily.) So, I quickly run to my mom's room and I almost trip at the washing machine's plug wire. After my mom tell me it's okay and the light was turn on, the plug's wire wasn't stay where it supposed to. It spins around like 55-69 degrees. I am so freaking and cannot sleep. Should I go see a doctor?
  • StarloverNov.9 04:55
    I had this dream where I walked into a house/school thing with a lot little kids but that is not the scary part. After a while I walk back outside, my little brother was waiting for me. I also see a man he is white like extremely white and his eyes were wide open and he's looking at the ground. At that point I realize it a was dream because I had the same dream a month ago only my brother was not waiting outside. Inbetween me and that man was a fence and i stopped worrying because in my last dream he couldn't jump over the fence so I turned around to see an other fence. My little brother jumped over it first leaving me no space since there was someone else I have no idea about on the other side. I turn around to see that man he was screaming and jumped with such a force over the fence and held me tight by my shoulders I responded by holding him tight and wanting to crush him. He was screaming and so was I and then my little brother comes and tried to help me after a while he disappears I keep screaming hoping that someone will come and save me. But it seems as if that house/school thing is abandoned. That man kicks me in the stomach but I block it and kick him back and then I wake up.
  • SkylarNov.7 00:03
    I've dreamed of being raped at least three or four times in the past year. Why??? I haven't been raped or almost raped in real life.
  • Brian_ScofySep.30 04:33
    I've also had/have extreme sleep paralysis a lot too
  • Brian_ScofySep.30 04:32
    My dreams at first while I was still in school, were always about me drowning alot... eventually in my senior year PE swim class, I finally frickin drown. It was disturbing and weird as hell honestly, it was like final destination to me almost but dream wise, my other nightmares are of course something chasing me, something trying to kill me.. pretty much, and yeah, other wise my dreams are nightmares that don't add up.
  • sleepparalysis??Jul.28 06:43
    i think what happened to me is what they call 'sleep paralysis' i couldn't move a muscle or utter a single sound. then i was trying to get my mother's attention, i couldn't stand up, but i can move my arms a little bit, there's some stuff in the table just beside me, interestingly, i can reach them, so i throw it near my mother, who's also sleeping, but i couldn't catch her attention. i'm totally trying not to panic. then after few seconds, amazingly, i can now talk and move my entire body. i looked around but there are no stuffs that are scattered, i thought i throw them? so i'm confused, is it a nightmare which is i was paralysed? or is it sleep paralysis indeed?
  • AngelaJun.29 14:00
    Why do I always have nightmares of zombies, my dad always goes outside like nothing is happening and it freeks me out I always get scared and I always wake up and could never go back to sleep if I do I have a continuation of the dream
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