The 7 Most Frequent Nightmares: What Does Each One Mean?

How can we interpret the bad dreams that haunt us?

We have already talked in previous articles about  dream interpretation, about  the reason why we dream, and even about  lucid dreams. But so far we had not dealt with bad dreams or  nightmares.

It has happened to all of us : we wake up abruptly in the middle of a dream. It is even possible that we sweat and feel  fear, as if the experience had been very real. Although we try to fall asleep again, we continue to feel anguish that prevents us, and this feeling can last for hours.

An investigation called  Nighmares, and directed by the specialist in Medicine of the Sleep James F. Pagel Jr, that was published in the American Family Physician magazine  , contributes some relevant data on the bad dreams.

Nightmares: more common than we think

We have all had nightmares, and they are much more frequent than we think. Dreaming of something disturbing and disturbing, according to  Freudian theory, could be a sign that our unconscious tries to bring to light some internal conflicts that we have not yet overcome.

For their part,  neuroscientists coincide in pointing out that dreams have a crucial biological and psychological function: they allow us to reorganize the information we have received during the day and find solutions to the problems that plague us.

The seven most common nightmares … and their explanation

Each person has their own internal conflicts and this is reflected in the content of the dreams and nightmares that they experience. But, fundamentally, we all dream of very similar things. What are the most recurrent nightmares and what explanation can we give them?

1. Being naked on public roads

It is not a dream that is always lived with anguish, but when we perceive it as a nightmare, it can indicate that we feel vulnerable in front of others.

It is a common nightmare among people who feel inadequate or who do not trust their possibilities to face some circumstance in their life.

2. Being persecuted

It is one of the most frequent nightmares. Feeling persecuted is a sign that we are going through a stressful stage in our lives, to the point that reality overwhelms us. It can also indicate that we are avoiding a specific problem. The main cause of this type of bad dream is the fear of facing something.

We fear facing some situations that can mark an important change in our lives, such as a marital separation (or dating) or  the need to free ourselves of some emotional load that we have been carrying for a long time.

3. Fall into the void

It is not always lived exactly like a nightmare, but the truth is that it is one of the most recurrent dreams. We wake up with a bad feeling in the body, as if the fall had been real and we abruptly open our eyes at the moment when we should have hit the ground.

It is a nightmare common to all life stages. What is its meaning? Dreaming that we fall into the void can be a sign of fear of losing control over some situation in life, or experiencing the feeling that we have nothing solid to hold onto. This dream can be the product of a perception of helplessness and even fear of dying.

4. Get lost

It is a nightmare that tends to cause more unease in children than in adults. It usually indicates that the person perceives that they have lost control over some relevant aspects of their life, and do not know what decisions to make. It can also be a sign that we have made a decision but we are not entirely sure we did the right thing. And it may even mean that we are fearful for the future.

5. Feeling of suffocation

This nightmare can be dreamed of in different formats. The most classic form is drowning in water, but also when we are in a narrow place from which we cannot escape and we feel an anguished sensation of suffocation.

In both cases, the interpretation of this nightmare is that the person is overwhelmed by some vital event; maybe putting a lot of effort into making something go right despite all the obstacles. It is normal that it appears in stages of life in which we are especially anxious in which we do not see exit to the tunnel in the short term. It is also possible that we are too focused on our work or academic routine and we are accusing it psychologically.

6. Being attacked by someone

This nightmare is quite associated with fear. When we have decided to act in a certain way, we can be anxious and fearful of the reaction of other people.

It is not a fear of receiving physical attacks but rather of criticism, rejection and  social isolation, probably from someone we hold in very high regard.

7. Losing some teeth

This is a curious but very frequent nightmare. It can be a symptom of a feeling of loss of control over our life. It can also occur when we feel that we are out of place or ashamed in a specific situation of our day to day.

It can also have a certain relationship with not being very satisfied with personal aesthetics,  not perceiving oneself as too attractive or being below the expectations that others pour on us.

Some conclusions

It should be clarified that the interpretations of each of the dreams are generic in nature and may be somewhat different depending on some details of the nightmare. Besides, of course, each person is different and we have very different life conflicts.

The interesting point of the meaning of dreams is that it allows us to realize that there are times when we can be more anxious or fearful than normal, and perhaps we need a quiet moment to reflect on what distresses us.

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