While we all have our own strange dream landscape, it turns our that there are some universal dreams that we’ve probably all experienced at some point. So what exactly do they mean? Dream analysts (yes, it’s apparently a thing) break it down.
1. Being naked in public.
People often describe it as their worst nightmare, but being totally or partially naked can be very, erm, revealing.
According to Brisbane-based Dream Analyst Jane Teresa Anderson the key is determine how you felt in the dream – were you confident or embarrassed or ashamed? (Watch: People confess their last sex dream. Post continues after video.)
“This dream theme comes up when you’re feeling – or fearing – that people have seen right through the image you’ve been trying to project to the heart of the real you, your emotions, beliefs, and secrets. You’re feeling exposed,” she explains.
“If you feel embarrassed in your dream, you’re embarrassed about people seeing the real you. If you’re feeling free and confident when naked in your dream, you’re discovering the freedom of being authentic, not worrying what people think, and the confidence that this freedom inspires.”
2. Losing teeth.
Losing teeth may have been fun when it was the first time as a child, but in your dreams as an adult it can suggest something is making you feel uncomfortable.
"We each have stored emotional memories of losing teeth, and when you dream of losing teeth it’s sometimes because a situation has left you feeling more like a child than an adult. Perhaps someone hasn’t taken you seriously," says Anderson.
"Another common cause of dreaming of losing teeth is when you’re lacking in confidence (think of a toothpaste smile), as if your words are crumbling and falling as you speak, leaving you looking weak and ‘toothless’."
3. Being unprepared.
The feeling of being unprepared can present itself in a wide number of situations in your dreams, such as for an exam or work presentation, an impending travel trip or a social occasion.
"This dream theme comes up when you’ve either been feeling or fearing being unprepared, and it’s never for the situation depicted in the dream. Mostly this dream comes up for perfectionists or for people who are never unprepared, or who over prepare," says Anderson.
"It gives you insight into your unconscious fears of being unprepared or failing, fears that can drive you to the opposite extreme, immaculate preparation." (Post continues after gallery.)
4. Finding true love.
Now this is more like it. This is the kind of dream where you meet your soulmate who is unlike anything you've seen or found in the real world and you become determined to track them down.
While it can be tempting to discount everyone else in the meantime, Anderson encourages these dreamers to look deeper.
"People have literally spent years looking for someone they can picture perfectly from their dream, and wasted all those years, rejecting potentially wonderful partners. That dream soul mate is not to be found out there in the world. He or she does exist though," she says.
"He or she is an aspect of yourself, a most amazing, totally awesome, most gorgeous quality of your being that you keep hidden, or perhaps aren’t aware of, except in your dreams."
To identify exactly what it is, write down the personality of this dream soul mate. Ignore their physical appearance and focus on their heart and soul and their approach to life that you felt in the dream. This is what you've hidden within yourself.
"Your task is to bring these qualities into your life, to love them and shine them into your world," says Anderson.
According to Psychologist Ian Wallace, falling in a dream indicates that you're holding on to something or a situation too tightly.
"You need to relax and let go of it. Rather than being so concerned about losing control, sometimes you just have to trust in yourself and others by allowing everything to fall naturally into place," he told Business Insider.
6. Being Chased.
This can often signify that you're running away from a problem in your life that you need to confront. It could be consciously or that you simply don't know how to tackle it.
"This issue is often a great opportunity for you to pursue a particular personal ambition. Although they may seem scary, your pursuers are actually bringing your attention to your unrealized talents in your own pursuit of fulfillment," said Wallace.
Do our dreams actually relate to reality?
Obviously everyone - along with their dreams, hopes and fears - is unique. Having a nightmare does not mean your life is doomed.
"Your dreams don’t really give you messages, but they show you how your mind works and why you experience life in the way that you do," explains Anderson.
What's your reoccurring dream?