Dreams decoded


Nati Duron

The subconscious retains a specific way of telling you how to solve an issue in your life: through dreams.

Nati Duron, Photographer

The subconscious of the mind retains a specific way of telling an individual how to solve their problems in life: through dreams.

Experts say that dreams exist to help solve problems in our lives, incorporate memories, and process emotions. Sigmund Freud, the man credited with founding psychoanalysis, believed dreams act as a window into a human’s subconscious mind. He believed they reveal a person’s unconscious desires, thoughts, and motivations.

Dreams take place during the REM cycle, or Rapid Eye Movement, the last event in the five sleeping stages. When an individual dreams in REM, they become almost paralyzed, and the eyes experience rapid movement, where they twitch side to side. The most common dreams occur in the REM cycle.

“During REM state, neurobiologically, that’s when chemicals are restored in the brain. REM sleep is the lightest state of sleep. The brain is more active at night than it is in the waking state. At night, your brain is randomly stimulated, and a lot of weird things like memories are brought to consciousness. But, the frontal cortex can’t handle chaos, so it creates a storyboard out of those random, stimulated memories and thoughts,” AP Psychology teacher Melanie Shelnutt said.  

The storyboard of those thoughts and memories essentially turns into a dream.

But what do dreams mean? Why do people commonly experience specific dreams? Most people do not think much of dreams at times, but the significance of a dream serves a powerful purpose to help with life’s problems.

“Everyone dreams in times of stress; dreams of being chased, a following, trying to speak and can’t, those are some pretty common dreams. During periods of awakening anxiety, we suppress [those dreams] and go about our business. But at night, we don’t get to do that and they show up in our dreams in some weird ways,” Shelnutt said.

The most common dreams include:

  1. FALLING – A dream including falling means there is a major life problem with work, relationships, or somewhere else.This dream represents a red flag from the subconscious telling the dreamer to fix the problem immediately.
  2. TEETH FALLING OUT – A dream including images of teeth falling out means something happened in this dreamer’s life that caused that dreamer to lose confidence. This dream also means an omen or represents a broken relationship in the dreamer’s life.
  3. SHOWING UP SOMEWHERE NAKED – Showing up to a place naked means the dreamer currently experiences vulnerability and anxiety. People who receive a promotion, new job, or come into public view commonly have this dream.
  4. TEST-TAKING – Perfectionists typically experience recurring stressful test-taking dreams since these dreamers feel for the constant need for perfection.
  5. DYING – Dying in a dreams reveals that the dreamer wishes to withdraw something from their life, possibly a relationship, a job, career path, or even the past. This dream shows encouragement to start fresh.
  6. CHASED – Being chased in a dream shows encouragement to face a problem that hangs over the dreamer’s head.
  7. CHEATED ON – This happens when the dreamer’s partner spends too much time on something, or someone, that does not involve the dreamer.
  8. SHOWING UP LATE – The dreamer becomes overwhelmed with doing too much work. To avoid dreaming this, do not make promises you cannot keep.
  9. FLYING – A dream including flying means to get free from current issues and allow things to flow naturally. This dream serves as a sign that an “out of control situation” will overtake one’s life.
  10. DRIVING OUT OF CONTROL –  The dreamer does not possess enough control in life to the road of success. The dreamer may contain a habit that becomes a long-term issue.
  11. A MESSAGE FROM A DECEASED LOVED ONE – Dreaming of someone who passed away may represent what that person meant to the individual. The dream turns into a message that holds significant meaning to the person.

“Sometimes, those anxious thoughts that we control in the day are unleashed, and it is more common for your dreams to reflect that, like being chased or followed, a scenario where there’s pressure,” Shelnutt said.

Whatever the individual dreams will always hold significance to them in times of struggle, keeping a dream journal helps process dreams through writing down each dream over the span of two weeks. After the two weeks end, look for a common thread or pattern. Dreams overtake our minds and become a personal guide for advice. By paying attention to dreams, people might obtain the help they thought they did not need.