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The most common dreams explained

The most common dreams explained

Science says that these are the most common dreams, but what do they mean?

The most common dreams explained

If you’ve ever dreamt of losing your teeth or being underprepared for an exam then you are not alone.

Whilst scientists and medical professionals alike are divided on the deeper meaning of dreams, and how they do or don’t reflect our subconscious, one researcher has no doubt that dreams hold the answers to some of life’s greatest questions. 

Scottish psychologist and dream researcher, Ian Wallace, is a firm believer in the power of dreams to enact change and influence your waking life.

On his website, the researcher explains his reasons for delving into the magical world of dreams, as exploring the subconscious with the aim of understanding what life it is we want to lead.

“Rather than trying to control and limit the dreaming brain, he demonstrates how dream imagery is instinctively expressed in our waking language.

Most people ignore their dreams and are unaware of the transformational opportunities they express. Ironically, as a result, they end up sleepwalking through their waking lives, perhaps only realising a fraction of their true potential.”

Defining the concept of a dream, Mr Wallace said: “A dream is a story that you create to express your unconscious self.

“Our dreams collect and connect all the remembered fragments of what we have experienced and what we hope to experience, and weave all those memories and hopes into a meaningful story.”

Working with over 30 years of experience, Mr Wallace has interpreted over 150,000 dreams and is informed more by psycholinguistics than pure science.

So what are the most common dreams and what do they mean?

Being chased

From his analysis, Wallace has found that being chased was the most common dream experienced by people all over the world.

“In a chase dream, you often find yourself being pursued by someone or something that appears to threaten you in some way,” explained Mr Wallace.

“Normally, you would find it quite easy to escape from your pursuer in day-to-day life but they always manage to stay very close to you in the dream.

“This is because your pursuer is some aspect of your own self and symbolises an opportunity that you are pursuing in waking life,” he added.

Teeth falling out

If you’ve ever woken in a panic and headed straight for the mirror, then you know how it feels to dream about your teeth falling out.

Mr Wallace says that dreams about teeth are indicative of power and confidence.

“Dreaming of losing your teeth indicates that a particular situation is challenging you in your day-to-day reality and has caused you to lose confidence in your usual ability to deal with it,” he added.

Unable to find a bathroom

The third most common dream depicted a desperate search for a bathroom – and being unable to find one.

“You are desperate for the toilet and searching frantically to find one, but the only toilets that you may be able to find are in strange places or in full public view because they have no walls or a door that you can’t lock,” said Mr Wallace.

Mr Wallace suggests, rather unglamorously, that being unable to find a bathroom is a reflection on the mental health of the dreamer. As bathrooms are a place where one goes to release substances, for the dreamer, this situation could be indicative of a real life situation that has become unhealthy for the dreamer and needs to be let go.


“Flying dreams often begin with the sensation of floating or perhaps jumping into the air and staying there,” explained the Mr Wallace.

“When you create a dream of flying, it suggests that you feel as if you are being released from some weighty obligation in waking life. It may have been that the gravity of a particular situation was holding you back or that you had to make a decision that was weighing heavily on your mind. The removal of this burden frees you up to make your own choices and can feel very uplifting.”

Out of control vehicle

“The vehicle represents your ability to make consistent progress towards a specific objective, so in waking life, you may feel that you don’t have enough control over your road to success. Instead of trying to over control the situation, relax your grip and allow your fundamental instincts and drives to steer the best path for you.”

Finding an unused room

“The rooms in a house represent different aspects of your character, so finding an unused room suggests that you’re discovering a talent that you were previously unaware of. The more time that you spend exploring your dormant talents, the more likely that you will find other doors opening for you in waking life.”

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One Comment on The most common dreams explained

  • Wendy
    March 12, 2016 8:43 am

    This is the first article I have read that lists my dream. It’s the going to the bathroom one. My interpretation of the dream was that I didn’t want people to see the bad side/unhappy side of me but I really needed it out there, which is quite similar to Mr Wallace.

    I had from the age of 10 hidden the ‘bad/sad’ feelings. This was because that was when my Father become very ill. We didn’t know when he would die so we (Mother, older Sister and me) were always upbeat and happy with no fighting etc. Dad died a month after my 14th Birthday and by then the habit had become ingrained. That was, it seems, until I got closer to 50. Now I’m a year off being 60 and I’m a mess at work. All those horrible bad feelings were coming out at all the wrong times. There were many days that I wanting to drive under a truck on the way home as I had had such a bad day (14 years in a Call Centre listening to complaining customers can do that) so I had to go on medication,

    The first one took all my feelings away. I couldn’t even cry when all the men died at Cave Creek so then I changed to another one. Seems to take the edge of the worst feelings but I still have some crying times.

    Through all this I have had my bathroom dreams. I am so anxious while having them and often wake up exhausted but later I can have a good laugh at them.

    I am working through my issues and once or twice the dream changed to me finding a toilet right out in the public eye and doing my business with everyone looking on with no disgust etc. Yeah Hah

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