Next month will see the return of The National Sleep Foundation’s annual Sleep Awareness Week (11th -17th March) and to celebrate, we are exploring the idea of dream interpretation. The psychology of dreams has been an area of study as far back as the 1900s with Sigmund Freud writing extensively on this topic for many years. Today, many psychologists suggest keeping a dream journal to better understand your night-time visions and allowing you the clarity to research them once you are awake. Psychologist Kelly Bulkeley1, is a huge advocate of keeping a dream journal and has this piece of advice for anyone thinking of starting one: “Take your time when initially recording a dream, and don’t worry if some aspects of the dream are vague, fragmentary, or impossible to describe. Just write them out as best as you can. All of these fragments can be sources of unexpected significance when you look at the dreams over time.” Feeling inspired to keep a journal of your own? Why not start one tonight and discover what an invaluable and insightful document it becomes.
Author of Dreamsleep.net, Craig-Hamilton Parker2, takes some of the most common dream themes and explains their psychological meaning. Take a look below and delve into the mysterious world of dreaming, which may help you when it comes to analysing your own dream journal:
Falling in a dream is something that most people have experienced at some point in their life and is usually accompanied by a feeling of anxiety. Falling in your dream highlights a loss of emotional equilibrium or self-control. You may fear “letting go” in real life. It may also represent your insecurity, a lack of self-confidence, a fear of failure or an inability to cope with a situation.
Flying may symbolise liberation from something that’s been troubling you. The obstructions and shackles that have held you down have been released and you can now experience the same sense of freedom that we see in the birds that soar in the sky.
Perhaps you are awaiting something to happen in your life and have worries and fears about this – we speak of ‘a pregnant pause’ sometimes. Or maybe you hope to give birth to a new plan or are at the start of a new relationship. Pregnancy often represents new growth in your life and new opportunities.
Teeth falling out
Dreaming of teeth falling out may represent insecurity. These dreams often occur at a time of transition between one phase of life and another. When we lost our milk teeth, we also gradually lost our childhood innocence. Losing your teeth therefore show that today you have similar feelings of uncertainty and self-consciousness as you did in childhood. The dream could also highlight your worries about getting older or your sexual attractiveness.
Being naked in public
Many sleepers are embarrassed to find themselves dreaming of being in a public place completely naked. If you dream of being ashamed or frightened of being naked this may indicate a fear of relationships or of showing your real feelings. (Sigmund Freud once said that his favourite dream was being naked in a crowd of strangers!) Nudity can also represent your longing for the lost innocence of childhood. It represents the real you stripped of pretense and imposed social conditioning.
Have you experienced any unusual dreams and later researched their meaning? If so, we would love to hear from you by posting in the comments section below.