Your dreams might be a way to escape, but they can also be a way to fix your reality. 

Ever wake up stuck on your dream from the night before?

Whether you just jolted back to life after a terrifying nightmare, or opened your eyes still thinking of the steamy sex dream that woke you up in the best possible way, it’s natural we spend most of our next morning trying to uncover what prompted those strange sleep fantasies, or telling our friends – with that extra amount of adrenaline — about them as if they really happened to us.

But do you ever ponder why you have certain dreams at certain times during your life? Well, wonder no more. We uncovered what your eight most common dreams mean — with a little help from dream experts…

1. The chase

The dream: Someone or something is following or haunting you, and although you may try to escape, you can’t.

What it means: When something or someone is chasing you or lurking behind you in your dream, it may suggest something is stopping you from pursuing an opportunity in your waking life, psychologist and media dream expert Ian Wallace says.

“If you are having difficulty in identifying the challenges that are frustrating your ambitions in day-to-day life, just try turning round and facing your pursuer in the dream. As you do so, ask the pursuer who they are and what they need – the answer that you hear will be a powerful insight and usually surprisingly easy to accomplish.”

2. Falling

The dream: Everything is seemingly normal until, whoops! You fall. It’s super awkward, embarrassing, and sometimes painful.

What it means: A falling dream can shock you in your sleep, causing you to suddenly awaken with a racing heart, feeling totally out of control. According to dream experts, this common dream theme indicates you’re closely connected with a perceived failure in your everyday life, and feel unable to control the situation that might induce that failure. If this dream is reoccurring for you, it may signal a need to step back from the high expectations you’re constantly setting for yourself and instead adopt a more relaxed approach to some areas of your life.

3. Running late

The dream: You feel frantic, stressed and intensely pressured. You’re running late for an important commitment.

What it means: This one is interesting, as it offers many suggestions to parallel your life. If you’re always running late in real-life, it may just be your subconscious mind letting you know it’s time to get more organized. But if you’re typically a prompt person, it could indicate something deeper.

“Ask yourself if there is a current opportunity you are afraid you are going to miss out on if you don’t up your game, or is there a self imposed deadline you are up against, such as losing 15 pounds by the time your highschool reunion comes around,” professional dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg told Harper’s Bazaar.

4. Death and dying

The dream: One of the more traumatizing dream themes, in this one, either you, or someone close to you, dies.

What it means: These are the most terrifying kind of dreams to wake from, however, they are rarely related to actual death. What this dream does, is suggest something important to you coming to an end in your everyday life.

“When we dream of death, we are reflecting on something significant coming to a natural end in our waking life. This can signify a major change, such as leaving an old job that we have grown out of for the challenges and opportunities of a new one,” explains Wallace.

It might also suggest it is time to move on from something routine, to make way for a new opportunity that could bring about a newfound sense of happiness.

5. Your lover is cheating on you

The dream: You catch your partner cheating on you, and although you might have expected it, having proof makes it a reality.

What it means: Don’t stress, this dream doesn’t necessarily indicate you have to fear infidelity in your real-life relationship, says Loewenberg.

“As upsetting as these dreams can be, the good news is that they rarely indicate that your mate is getting pleasure elsewhere. They do suggest, however, that something – rather than someone – is taking the time and attention from your mate that you feel you deserve.”

So instead of interrogating your partner, spend some time asking yourself what it is in your romantic life that’s detracting their energy from your relationship; perhaps you need to negotiate a regular date night if you find their work life is starting to override your time together, or plan a trip away together to rekindle your spark if you’ve both been preoccupied with personal stresses lately.

6. The sex dream

The dream: You had sex last night and it was amazing… but it was only a dream.

What it means: Ever wake up after having sex with your friend-zoned best friend? Good news, it doesn’t mean you’re unconsciously in love with that person. Instead, it means that person offers something you want or need.

“There’s a magic rule to apply when figuring out your sex dreams: pick three words that first come to mind when thinking of that person. Of those three qualifiers, is there one that would benefit you right now if you were to incorporate it into your own personality? Voila! That’s what that person represents and that’s why you’re having sex in the dream,” says Loewenberg.

7. Test stress

The dream: A situation is testing your limits, be it a literal exam, or something more metaphorical, like a high-pressure job interview.

What it means: The whole purpose of the test dream is to remind us to adequately prepare for real-life situations we know are going to put us under a little pressure, according to the dream experts. So if you keep having a dream in which you’re forced to take an exam, or sit through a gruelling interrogation, ask yourself what potentially stressful situations you have coming up in your waking life, and start planning for them, so the panic of being underprepared stops spilling over into your sleeping life.

8. Flying

The dream: You’re soaring through the air, carefree — what is gravity? Nothing could go wrong in this dream.

What it means: This is one of the most fun and freeing dreams to have — and it tends to be very positively motivated, too. Flying dreams usually indicate you feel empowered or high on life, whether due to scoring a promotion or great feedback at work, or being really secure in a healthy relationship.

This dream might also suggest you’ve recently rid yourself of a burden or stressor that’s been weighing you down, and are feeling freer. Enjoy this one, it should lift your spirits.

Happy dreaming!

Images via giphy.com and tumblr

Comment: What’s the weirdest dream you ever had?