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“I Wake Up Exhausted…”

October 16, 2012 |

It’s the Halloween season, and things are getting spooky. Horror movies, monsters, skeletons, ghosts, and goblins galore! These are the things nightmares are made of. Speaking of nightmares, have you had any recently? Growing up, my father would tell us at breakfast that he had a dream he was eating a giant marshmallow, and when he woke up, his pillow was gone. But those are not the kinds of dreams I am talking about. Ever dream of being chased, falling, or showing up somewhere naked? If you have, you’re not alone. Check out some of the most common recurring nightmares:

Being chased. Maybe you’re running away from someone, or driving a car to get away from someone, or even hiding from someone. No matter what your getaway method is, you are being chased. suggests that being chased signifies that you’re avoiding a situation you don’t think is conquerable. Like so many nightmares, it can be a metaphor for some form of insecurity. If you’re dreaming that you’re being chased by an animal, this could represent your own unexpressed and unacknowledged anger, which is being projected onto that animal.

Getting shot. Sure, maybe you just watched an action movie where guns were a’ blazin’ which could explain the dream you just had of being shot, but it could also mean that you are experiencing some type of confrontation in your real life, or that you feel victimized in some way.

Teeth falling out. I think this may be hands down the most popular nightmare out there. I’ve had it; I know all of my friends have had it. For me, it always starts with feeling something hard in my mouth, and then I realize a tooth has fallen out. I panic, because I’m an adult and the tooth fairy will certainly not be coming to pick up this tooth. As the panic builds, I start to notice that all of my other teeth are loose, and I eventually lose those. So, why do we have this dream? And why is it so common? says that your teeth help to convey an image of attractiveness, so this dream may stem from a fear of rejection, or getting old.

Being naked or inappropriately dressed in public. Dreams of appearing naked in public are the most common nightmares shared by people of all ages. It’s claimed that these dreams tend to act as reliable measurements of your self-esteem. Your clothes are a method of concealment, enabling you to hide things about yourself that you don’t want others to see. explains: If you are comfortable being nude within your dream, you are secure about exposing your feelings and have nothing to hide. Embarrassment about nudity implies vulnerability, guilt or shame, while being oblivious to your nudity can mean a lack of self-awareness.

However, I have to say, of anyone I’ve ever talked to that’s had this dream, no one is ever comfortable being at school and realizing they are naked. Have you had a dream or know someone who has had a naked dream and hasn’t been freaked out by it?

Feeling trapped or lost. I get lost a lot in my dreams. But I also get lost a lot in real life. I’m terrible with directions. So, maybe my dreams are just reiterations of what happens any time I go to the Village. says that these dreams indicate a concern of being lost or trapped into a certain situation or position in your waking life that you feel like you cannot change.

Falling or drowning. If you regularly dream that you are falling or drowning, that large waves crash over you, or floodwaters rise to swallow you, you could be experiencing an internalized anxiety about a situation or task at hand. According to, drowning indicates overwhelming circumstances in real life, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, or something feeling out of control.

Death. In high school, I had to go through major surgery. Right before going into the hospital, I had a dream I was at my own funeral. No one could see me and I had no idea whose wake we were all at and why no one was listening to me, until I walked up to the casket and saw myself. Freaky, to say the least.  says that although such a dream may bring about feelings of fear and anxiety, could be viewed as a positive symbol, indicating that big changes are ahead for you. However, to dream that you die may represent involvement in deeply painful relationships or unhealthy, destructive behaviors.

So, when all is said and done, I think it’s fairly obvious to everyone that you shouldn’t watch horror flicks before bed, and outside of that, nightmares are caused by stress. So, let’s all go on vacation and get some well-need rest!

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