A psychologist by the name of Ian Wallace has been interpreting dreams for over 30 years, and he’s interpreted over 150,000 dreams in that time. Here are his most common interpretations of people’s dreams.
During any given minute of the day, you’re consciously processing about 40 different things at once. Unconsciously, you’re dealing with anywhere from 10 to 11 million, say cognitive psychologists.
The way you sift through all that stuff to figure out what matters and what doesn’t? Your dreams.
When you think about it like that, it makes sense that some weird stuff can show up in these nighttime brain movies—like the co-worker you ended up hanging out with during your REM cycle, or the teeth that you’re holding in the palm of your hand because they just fell out of your mouth.
But what do our dreams actually represent, and how can we make sense of them? “A dream doesn’t happen to you. You create everything in a dream,” says Ian Wallace, a dream psychologist and author of The Top 100 Dreams.
Teeth falling out
The most common dreams relating to your teeth falling out include having your teeth crumble into your hands, fall out one-by-one with just a light tap, or your teeth starting to rot. These dreams might be reflecting your anxieties about your appearance and how others perceive you. Typically, these dreams stem from a fear or rejection, embarrassment or feeling unattractive.
Dreaming that you are losing your teeth can also relate to communication. When you are missing your teeth, you will find it more difficult to talk. Therefore, your dream might be highlighting some difficulty communicating with someone or expressing yourself in some way. It can also relate to a sense of powerlessness as teeth are used to bite, tear and chew. You may be lacking confidence or need more privacy in some situation.
If you are running away from something or someone that is chasing you in your dream, it suggests that you are running away from something that is causing you fear or anxiety in waking life. Your action of running away suggests that is how you would respond to pressure and cope with stress or fears day-to-day. It is suggesting that you have a tendency to run away from issues rather than tackle them. This dream can be recurring until you find the issue and resolve it in your waking life.
Unable to find a toilet
When you have a dream where you can’t find the toilet, this can relate to something in your waking life where you may be struggling to express your needs in a certain situation. You might feel that, as you are putting others first, you are lacking time for personal issues.
Naked in public
Being naked in a public place suggests that you are struggling to find yourself or that you feel that you are being wrongly accused or exposed. If you are not the naked person in the dream but you see a nude person and are sickened by it, it may mean you are worried about exposing that person over a particular issue. It could also mean that you are comfortable in your skin, with who you and other people are because you understand that everyone is different.
Unprepared for an exam
Dreams of feeling unprepared for an exam are commonly linked to young adults or children who are under stress. They can feel so real that we wake up convinced that we just failed an important test. Test dreams are a reflection on the individual’s lack of confidence and inability to advance to the next stage in life. This type of dream is a mirror dream that has nothing to do with anyone else. At least 1 in 5 people will experience an exam dream in their lives.
Dreaming of being able to fly in your dream can be interpreted in many ways. A tough time flying in your dream suggests that someone (or something) is stopping you from moving to the next step in your life. If you are unable to fly it suggests that you might be struggling to meet the high goals you set for yourself. Similarly, being alone and struggling to fly implies that you are lacking confidence within yourself.
When falling in your dream and being overcome with fear, it signifies insecurity and anxiety about a situation. You may have failed at doing something in your waking life and the dream is letting out your feelings about not doing as well as you’d hoped. If you are happily free falling it suggests you are not afraid of changes and you are ready to embrace the beauty of it. If it is in water the dream suggests that you have very strong feelings for someone.
Out of Control Vehicle
Cars in our dreams represent our drive in life and the direction we are taking. If you dream of your car losing control you may feel that you are off track and need to get back on the road to keep going. If you lose control with someone you know driving the car, you might feel you need to get them back on track. The person driving will help you to understand who is controlling your direction.
Finding an Unused Room
If you learn of a new room in your dream it denotes new outlooks and abilities that you have realised about yourself. If the room is white it means you are ready to make a new beginning in your life, like a blank canvas ready to be painted on.
Dreaming that you are late represents your worry and anxiety about taking a different direction in your waking life. You may not be 100% confident about making a change. It may also mean that you feel like you are running out of time to get something done. Your unconscious is telling you that it is never too late to do the things you want in life.
Dreaming that you’re pregnant could suggest that there’s a part of your life that’s growing or developing; you might also be working on a new idea or taking something in a new direction. But if you’re not actively trying to get pregnant, it could also mean you’re uneasy about taking on new responsibilities.
Yikes. Morbid though this dream might be, the symbolism behind it tends to be much brighter. Dreaming of your own death often indicates that a part of your old self has died, and that you’re in the midst of growth, transformation, and self-discovery. However, if the dream feels frightening or alarming, it could be serving as a wake-up call for something urgent.