How to Interpret the Most Common Dreams

Dreams don't have a one-size-fits-all meaning. But here are the broad interpretations of the most common ones, as well as tips for deciphering your quirkier journeys.

You will need

  • Dreams
  • And a pen and paper

Step 1 Tell yourself to remember Before you go to sleep, tell yourself you’re going to remember everything you dream.

Step 2 Lie still Upon waking, don’t move a muscle–or even open your eyes. Lie still for a few minutes, committing your dream to memory.

Step 3 Record the dream Grab your dream journal and record as much of the dream as you remember.

Step 4 Review your journal Every month or so, review your dream journal. Did recent dreams involve being chased, falling, or drowning? Those are the three most common dreams; they suggest you’re feeling threatened, helpless and overwhelmed in real life.

Step 5 Note teeth dreams Pay attention to dreams where your teeth are falling out. This means you’re caught up in a situation you have doubts about, and you’re feeling powerless to change it.

Step 6 Note naked dreams Keep track of the very popular “I’m-naked-in-public-and-I-don’t-know-why” dream–it means you’re feeling vulnerable and exposed.

Step 7 Note car dreams Note any dream involving a car crash or breakdown; it’s a sign something in your life is out of control.

Step 8 Note school dreams Don’t dismiss the “I’m back in school and totally unprepared for this exam” dream. Figure out what part of your life you feel is being judged or tested, and what you can do about it.

Step 9 Note dreams of the deceased No need to panic if you see dead people; it just means you’re feeling guilty about someone’s death–or worried about how their passing will affect you.

Step 10 Keep analyzing Keep recording and analyzing your dreams. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it!