If you are here, you are either curious to know what are the types of dreams you experience every day or what was the type of dream you saw last night!

Don’t worry, this article will answer them both for you.

At times, the dreams make us feel giddy and some other times, they give us a minor heart attack. Why is there such a vast difference when both of them are just… dreams?

Let’s find out!

Types of Dreams Explained
Types of Dreams Explained

Most of us experience “Standard” Dreams – What is it?

People dream every night and the sleep cycle consists of two phases – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM. Most of us get dreams in our REM sleep, i.e., during our Rapid Eye Movement sleep stage. This is when your brain is active and so is able to remember your dreams.

You wouldn’t believe it but an average human being dreams four-six times every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Despite that, we tend to forget 95% of our dreams because they took place in NREM sleep. 

Most of us experience “standard” dreams in our everyday life that are based on the emotions from our real-life or incidences based on our daily life. Our mind tries to process the past and the entire day through the dreams and that’s why you’ll find your dreams very similar to your waking life.

At times, you might have seen somebody in your dream and when that person meets you in person, you keep recollecting where you had seen them. This is because your mind has already processed the entry of that person in the dream (the future events).

However, there are others…

15 Types of Dreams (& their meanings!)

A research reveals that 65 percent of dreams are associated with your experiences from your waking life. Yet, dreams can be divided into several types, including…

1. Recent event dreams

This is one of the most common types of dreams. In such dreams, the happenings in the last 24-48 hours of your waking life are reflected in your dreams.

For example, you had a dispute with your colleague or your boss scolded you in the office. This is reflected back in the dream. It is not necessary that the dream will be the exact representation of your waking life. At times, the representations are in symbolic form.

2. Symbolic dream or Metaphoric Dreams

The symbolic dreams are helpful in nature if interpreted well. They help us to process the happenings in our life from the past or present.

Suppose somebody is blackmailing you in real life. Then you can get a dream where you feel you’re running constantly and somebody is after you to kill you. On the other side of the road, you see people who are happy and not lending you help.

Here, you learn the lesson that nobody knows what you’re going through and people will live their own life until you tell them your problems.

So, if you need help, you’ll have to ask for it. When you sit and interpret such dreams, they offer high-quality life lessons.

3. Comfort or Fantasy Dreams

These are the dreams that relieve your stress when times are tough. They bring to you your fantasies and comfort zones in your dreams that you can enjoy in your dream world if not in your waking life. The fantasy dreams are your wishes that are being fulfilled in the dreams.

Comfort dreams try to bring positivity to your life. It also brings along positive thoughts about everybody around you.

For instance, if a child is being bullied by his classmates, he would often dream that he has become a superhero. This way his fantasy of being everybody’s superhero is being fulfilled.

4. Problem-solving or Creative Dreams

There are some dreams that ask you to think harder and brainstorm creative solutions to a problem. Such dreams are known as problem-solving or creative dreams. The dreamer wakes up with a sense that the problem has been solved.

If we take real-life examples of such dreams, then there are two prominent occurrences that immediately come to our minds. One is of James Watson – he dreamt about snakes and then successfully derived the structure of DNA. He also won the Nobel Prize for this.

Another example is Paul McCartney – he wrote the song ‘Yesterday’. The idea of which was derived from his dream.

5. Nightmares

After a family problem, a dispute, or a tragedy, nightmares are a common issue. Bad dreams occur as a result of fear, depression, or trauma from recent incidents.

Through nightmares, your subconscious or unconscious mind is trying to solve the issues. At times, these nightmares can be a result of some neurological, psychological, or biological factors too.

If you get frequent nightmares, don’t take it lightly. Consult a doctor and seek medical guidance or visit here to understand them in detail.

6. Lucid Dreams

Lucid dreams are the ones where you’re the hero and the editor of your own dream. This means you have the power to control your dreams. That’s why lucid dreaming is the most fun type of dreaming.

Here, the dreamer knows that he is actually dreaming and can turn the events according to his will. This way a dreamer can solve many problems by gaining control over the dreams.

It has become a very common phenomenon in the recent days and to keep you updated with it, we have a full-fledged think-piece on it. You can find it here

7. Supernatural Dreams

These are the most memorable and rare types of dreams. However, when these supernatural dreams occur, the experience is unique and stays with you for months, sometimes, for years.

Some examples are:

Premonition dreams – In such dreams, a dreamer can predict the future and it later comes true in real life.

Telepathic dreams – Here, the dreamer gets the details of an event occurring elsewhere in the dream only. After that, when the dreamer wakes up, the details turn out to be true.

Shared dreams – These are the same dreams that occur to different people at the same time.

Visitation dreams – These are the dreams where you see a deceased family member, pet, or loving friend. Such dreams are generally more vivid and instructive.

However, scientists are still researching the concept of supernatural dreams.

8. Night Terrors

The dream dictionaries say that night terrors are a wake-up call that you should let things go. 

It often leads you to wake up from a dream in panic and you wouldn’t want to go back to sleep again because the memory of the dream is so vivid. Your entire dream just appears real to you and your heart cannot stop racing.

At times, these night terrors are linked to your real-life situations as well. You might be going through a tough time in your real life and these dreams prepare you for your real-life situations in the dreams themselves.

9. Daydreams

You daydream for around 70-120 minutes in a day. This is about fantasizing about a situation from your perspective. The situations can be from the past or even from the future.  

Between the state of consciousness and sleep, there’s another stage that lets you imagine. This is where you daydream. During daydreaming, your sense of awareness decreases, and your consciousness is trying to pull you back every time.

10. Recurring dreams

These are the dream themes or storylines that keep repeating in your dreams for weeks and months.

Recurring dreams will be based on the things you’re avoiding in your real life. Once you face the situation in your real life, these dreams will also go away. They can seem frightening to you but all they are asking you to do is to confront the situation.

11. False-awakening dreams

These are the dreams that make you believe that you have woken up from a dream while you’re actually dreaming. They are the hybrid state that overlaps wakefulness and sleep and is mostly associated with lucid dreams or sleep paralysis.

12. Healing dreams

Certain times, the vehicle doors or the floors of your house represent the aspects of your body. They communicate you a message about your health. Like, the front door can represent your arms while the back doors denote the legs.

Electrical circuits can stand for neurology and water problems can be linked to psychological or vascular problems. If we look at a building, the top floor denotes the head and the rooms suggest the various body parts.

So, at certain times our dreams communicate to us beforehand if there’s an illness waiting to attack our body in the near future. That’s why dreams are an important way to achieve wellness.

13. Prophetic dreams

Dreams that are supposed to narrate a future event(s) are prophetic dreams. However, there’s no research to back this up. So, it boils down to what you believe.

It is believed that this dream occurs in three stages. The first stage represents that you’re the hero of your own life facing a challenge. The second stage denotes the past and how this challenge has occurred. After which, you learn the lessons and transform into a new self that you’ll be in the future. You understand your destiny.

14. Vivid Dreams

Vivid dreams, in a literal sense, are intense dreams that feel very real. It occurs when you wake up during your REM sleep, i.e., the time when the dreams are most vivid and most remembered.

Even though anyone can have vivid dreams, if you are pregnant or extremely stressed, you are more prone to experiencing vivid dreams. 

If you wish to know more about vivid dreams, you can read it here

15. Life-changing Dreams

During periods when you’re going through a transformation, you’ll see dreams related to mythology. These dreams lay an impact on you and are so vivid that you can even remember them for months and years. They change your life in many ways.

When you keep revisiting these dreams, every time you’ll learn something more from it and understand the message better.

15 Common Dream Themes & Their Meanings

Apart from the types of dreams, there are also a few common dreams that we experience like teeth falling out dreams, chasing dreams, etc.

Let’s understand a few of them and gain a better understanding of their interpretations.

1. Naked in Public

When you dream of being without clothes in a public place, it implies that you feel vulnerable and unsafe in real life. It means you need some protection in your life and are always afraid of the harm that might be coming your way.

2. Sex Dreams

If you get sex dreams, it signals that you desire some sense of security in your waking life. It is also a form of wish-fulfillment dreams.

Sex dreams are usually very complex and are a reflection of your needs, wishes, and fears. Most people have sex dreams with a person you cannot have in your real life.

3. Falling dreams

Dream researchers believe that when you see yourself falling in dreams, you’re going through a difficult time in your waking life. This means you can be undergoing anxiety, depression, feeling powerless, or overwhelmed in your real life.

4. Dreams about flying

Flying dreams often give you a sense of freedom but in some cases, it is an indication that you’re trying to escape reality.

5. Losing your teeth

Dreaming of losing teeth is one of the most common dream symbols that denotes you’re uncertain or unsettled about an occurrence or person in your real life. 

It can also be a sign that you have a challenging decision to make that is being tough for you. This also shows that you’re running low on your self-esteem. 

6. Dreams about death

If you see yourself or your near one dying in your dream, this doesn’t mean the person is going to die in reality. Instead, this dream is considered to bring good fate and is a sign that your worries are about to get over.

A big news is waiting on your door that is going to transform your life and change it for the good. At times, tragedies in dreams mean happiness in real life.

7. Being chased

This reveals that you’re trying to avoid a situation. Until you confront a situation, such dreams are going to keep repeating. 

You can also experience this dream if you’re avoiding your deadlines or conflicts with someone. To come out of this, face the situation and your feelings. Talk to somebody and sort things out.

8. Dreams about Spiders

It may mean that you’re feeling trapped and helpless. You want to escape a situation but you don’t know how to do that. 

Additionally, it can also mean that you’re not able to predict the future or you think there are things kept hidden from you. 

9. Dreams about Snakes

It shows that you fear somebody is being toxic around you in your waking life. If you see a snake shedding skin, this is a sign that your life is going to transform very soon.

10. Passed loved ones

This is a common dream when you miss someone close who passed recently. You might have been thinking about them for a long time and your subconscious has just manifested that. 

13. Dreams about Taking a Test

It indicate that you’re facing challenges in real life and facing a hard time. You’re being tested or examined in some area of your real life. 

15. Dreams about Cheating

If you see your partner cheating you with a stranger, it might be because the two of you don’t spend enough time together anymore. Your partner might have joined a new workplace or a hobby center and is not able to devote as much time to you as before.

Similarly, if you see yourself cheating on your partner with a stranger, it is only because your attention is divided at multiple places.

Final Thoughts!

Dreams are often based on individualistic thought processes. However, scientists still do not have answers pertaining to all the questions of dreams. 

With the help of various experiments, they’re trying to learn why we dream and why there are so many types of dreams, and on what basis do we experience these dreams.

While they continue to find answers, make sure you don’t shrug off your dreams. Pay attention to them and if there’s anything disturbing you, don’t be afraid of consulting dream experts who can give you solid answers.

If you get dreams about Volcano then check its meaning here.

Article Sources

1. https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-dreams
2. https://www.cafeausoul.com/dreams/inspired-by-dreams/dream-expert-kari-hohne/types-dreams/
3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/202010/7-fascinating-types-dreams