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Your guide to decoding your dreams (and how to dream more often)

We all know the feeling of waking up, heart racing, still entangled in last night's dream. (Um, why were your fifth-grade teacher, Abby Lee Miller and your Uncle Joe dancing the salsa together? And why was that the *only* dream you've remembered in weeks?) Unfortunately, the world of the unconscious is super mysterious, so not all your dreamy Q's can be answered, but we can still give you a little insight into your inner psyche.

Common dreams and what they mean 


Teetering off of great heights in your dreams is super common (and super scary!). Many interpreters recognize falling as a sign that you need to make a change in life or rethink a decision. Maybe you decided against running for class prez, but why not reconsider? Falling could also indicate that you're overtired or stressed, and perhaps in need of a night off (bubble bath, anyone?). 

Being chased

Dreams where a chaser is in hot pursuit of you can be totally terrifying. We've got some answers into what goes on in your psyche during these frights. Tony Crisp, the author of Dream Dictionary, says being chased in a dream might mean you're trying to run from a certain fear or desire. Maybe you're burying some emotions, or are afraid of a romantic connection. Whatever it is, feel your feelings, girl! Keep a journal and let it all out. 


Flying dreams have two meanings, which are completely opposite to one another. If you're flying alone, it represents a newfound sense of individuality and freedom. Congrats! Other times, it can indicate a need to escape or hide from reality. If this is your prob, try digging into a good book—especially a fantasy!

Taking a test

It can be *so* annoying to come home after a long day of school, just to return to a test during your dream. What could that possibly mean? Author Craig Hamilton-Parker answers that these quizzical conceptions might actually be telling you about your fear of failure: "Examinations are stressful experiences in which you are made to face up to your shortcomings," he commented. "To dream of failing an exam, being late for one, or being unprepared shows that you feel unprepared for the challenges of waking life." Yikes! If this is you, just remember that we believe your abilities and strengths—you got this, girl. 

Losing teeth

This is by far the creepiest dream of the bunch. Losing your teeth, though chilling, is a usual nightmare for many people. Another dream author suggests you may be self-conscious about your communication skills, or are embarrassed about something. If you relate, check out GL's guide to coping with embarrassment (we've all been there). 

How to remember your dreams more often  

Dreams happen during the REM cycle of sleep—AKA your deepest and soundest slumber. In order to access this, keep a consistent sleep sched and make sure you're at your absolute comfiest at night. Keep a dream journal to remind your brain that you're consciously looking into your subconscious. And if you're really itching to remember a dream, try setting an alarm about thirty minutes before you actually need to wake up. It will send you right back to REM cycle, and increase your chances of dreaming! 

What was your weirdest dream? Let us know @girlslifemag on Twitter!

Slider image: @matildadjerf


by Julia Szymanski | 5/18/2023