What your dreams (and nightmares) are trying to tell you.

Dreams and nightmares are not just a result of the random actions of brain cells while we are sleeping.

A dream about getting married to a Hemsworth doesn’t necessarily mean you want to get married to a Hemsworth (or that you will). A nightmare about arriving to work naked doesn’t mean you’re going to forget to put on your pants.

But some believe that these dreams are revealing messages that are subtle, subliminal and existential.

We asked women of the Mamamia Women’s Network about their most recent dreams and nightmares – and worked out what they mean.

“I dream of pregnancy all the time.”

I dreamed that I was pregnant. Then I gave birth and kept the baby in an egg in the bathroom cabinet.”

Dreams of being pregnant suggest your personal life is in a growth stage, according to dreamdictionarynow.com. The fact you are still pregnant in the dream means you are not quite ready to share your idea with the world. If you give birth in the dream that means you are starting something new. Struggling to feed a baby in a dream means you need to put more work into your pursuit. Losing a pregnancy or a baby in a dream means the idea isn’t working. If you are pregnant in a dream and the bump gets smaller that means you were about to do something new but changed your mind.

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"I dream of tsunamis."

Water in dreams means emotions. Tsunamis and tidal waves in dreams means over-whelming emotion. Dreamwell.com says that the appearance of tsunamis in dreams can signify that we are either under a lot of pressure or that we are surrounded by a lot of change that is overwhelming. They are typical of those feeling stressed about a looming deadline. The fear and anxiety felt in the dream reflects fear of failure or feeling under-prepared

"I used to dream that I would walk along the top of the wave of a frozen tsunami. Not ice frozen, its a normal wave, just giant and not moving."

Applying the previous analysis here, a dream where you are walking on top of a wave would signify feeling on top of a huge project or event. The slow-moving nature of it signifies control. It could also be that you have a plan in place for getting on top of a big project or to tackle a looming deadline.

"I dream of exams I'm not prepared for."

Dreams dealing with exams signify stress, according to dreamdictionary.org. Quite often you won't yet be aware of what is stressing you out. It can also signify a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities.

"I STILL dream regularly - maybe every week - that I'm in my high school maths exam and I haven't studied. And I'm berating myself for wagging double maths every Thursday. It's extremely stressful."

"I sometimes dream that I never actually finished uni/high school and have to go back!"

These dreams have a similar interpretation. They signify stress however the stress is more specific. They mostly signify a lack of preparedness or readiness for something. They also signify a reluctance to take a next step in either your personal or professional life, or a fear of being left behind by something or someone.

In the TV show Medium Allison DeBois used her dreams to help police solve crimes. Here is a hilarious montage of her waking from psychic nightmares. Article continues after this video. 

"I always dream that I'm on a train and I usually want to get off the next stop, and then I find out its going to another country and I can't get out, so I panic!!!"

A dream about a train journey highlights a feeling that our life is being steered by something out of our control, according to dreamhawk.com. It can also mean fear of death or fear of aging because you are being pulled along and are unable to get off.

"I always dream about cats attacking me (I really really dislike cats)."

If you dream about being attacked by cats you are dreaming of enemies who will go to great lengths to disparage your reputation, says dreamingthedreams.com. If the cat overwhelms you in the dreams it means your enemies are successful. If you fight back or conquer the cat, then you are overcoming obstacles.

"I've also been dreaming/daydreaming (and thinking I'm seeing) about one-armed people lately."

Arms in dreams mean taking hold or having a hold of life. To dream of the absence of an arm means to feel as though you don't have hold of your life, dreamtation.com. The arm also symbolised protection, so seeing people with missing arms can also signify feeling unprotected.

"Lately my reoccurring dream (it reoccurs because I apparently haven't gotten the message!) of my in a running race (i hate running), through the metro areas and I killing it and it takes effort but I get to the front only to find that after a while I am running alone and other people have dropped out of the race."

Running in a dream in a situation like a race (not being chased) means motivation, says dreamstop.com. Running on your own in a race with people dropping out can mean you are self-motivated. Running alone can signify that you are on the right track in life or feel that you are. The fact it is a race means you are running towards a certain goal, either in your personal or professional life.

"I have adventures and missions video game styles. Slinging a gun and running along hiding from enemies and trying to get to a certain place and certain people almost like the Call of Duty game but I don't play these types of games. I'm usually a Mario Kart kinda girl. But in these dreams I never get to the end of my 'mission'."

Dreams featuring videos games are really interesting because the interpretation depends on your character. You have dreamed of an action-adventure situation and have appeared as a character capable of fighting against enemies. This could mean that you are facing challenges but you are equipped to meet those challenges. The appearance of video games in dreams has been researched by psychiatrist Bob Stickgold who started experiencing them himself.

"Always night time, I am running away from a cloaked-figure (looks very much like death) who's face is a kaleidoscope of colours and he morphs into things. If i'm hiding by a car, all of a sudden he is the car and morphs back into 'death' and I have to keep bloody running. Running from metro to farms to forests etc but it's always pitch-black night time (no moon) and there's other ppl around but it's like me and 'death' are invisible to them."

Dreams of being chased are the most common of all the nightmarish dreams we experience. Basically they express fears and anxieties about our lives and relationships. The fact the chaser never catches you or touches you can be interpreted as you trying to avoid a situation and the morphing into different things could highlight your tendency or temptation to avoid certain situations. According to dream interpretation expert Lauri Loewenberg, the closer your pursuer gets, the more challenging the situations you are trying to avoid.

"Often, when I hit snooze and go back to sleep for another 10 minutes. I dream that I actually got up, brushed my teeth etc and got dressed, all ready, eat breakfast and also when I'm about to head out the door. I wake up and realise I actually slept for 30 more minutes and I'm REALLY late. Dreaming that I woke up and got on with my day is the WEIRDEST....."

Dreaming you are running late can mean a missed opportunity. In a situation where Snooze is involved, it could be as innocent as feeling as though you missed the opportunity to do something with the time you would have gained by waking up earlier. Psychiclibrary.com goes one step further and suggests dreams of running late can signify you feel that you have too much on or have taken too much on.

"I have recurring dreams that people who died didn't actually die and instead needed to take some time out and came back SUPER different."

Let's assume these dreams are not real appearances by dead souls who haven't yet crossed over. Let's assume they are generic dreams about people who have died not really being dead. Learning-mind.com suggests dreams like this may be about guilt or regret you feel towards someone who died.

Have you ever had a particularly prophetic or significant dream?

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