Nightmare Dream Meaning

Having dreams when we sleep can help us uncover matters within our subconscious. Generally speaking, our dreams can have much greater meaning. They can relate to issues and matters within our lives that we struggle to deal with when awake.

But what happens when we have nightmares that we cannot seem to escape? Nightmares are a different type of dream. A nightmare is a bad dream that will leave you shaking in fear, anxiety or with terror.

Nightmares occur during the latter part of the REM sleep cycle, and we will often dream for around two hours per night! Living within a nightmare for up to two hours can be horrible, terrifying and can leave you waking up with sweaty palms.

Sometimes when we wake up, we instantly forget our dreams, but when it comes to nightmares, they often linger in our minds for much longer, and we can remember our nightmares far more vividly. This can sometimes lead you to wonder what do your nightmares mean?

Nightmare Dream Meaning

Here are some examples of a few of the most common nightmares and what they could mean for your life.


One of the most common nightmares people face is the dream where they are falling through the air.

This most often happens because you feel like something is out of control in your life, that you cannot grasp onto.

This could be a relationship, fears, money problems or an internal struggle.

Being Chased

The feeling of being chased is not a pleasant one. This can also make you feel threatened.

This could relate to a real life situation where you feel that you are challenged, or struggling to reach a goal.

This acts as an obstruction to your goal, or you may be feeling defeated by something in some way.

Teeth Falling Out

Another common nightmare that most will have in their lifetime is the teeth falling out dream.

The teeth are one of the first things we see when we look at people, and so they present beauty, confidence and power.

When the teeth fall out, this will cause a fall in your self-esteem, which may relate to how you feel about yourself, your body and the way you look.


If you have ever had a nightmare about a partner leaving you or cheating on you, then the interpretation is quite simple. The nightmare conveys your feelings of insecurity and anxieties within your relationship.

You may feel that you are not good enough for your significant other, or you may feel insecure about yourself, or even not actually fully trust your partner.

In other situations, the nightmare could relate to changes within your partner’s behaviour, for example if they have become less attentive or less interested in you, those feelings may be reflected in your dreams.

Being Naked

Being naked in a nightmare is highly common. Usually this happens in an embarrassing way, or takes place in front of many people or peers.

This will make you feel scared, embarrassed, vulnerable and exposed, which is how you could be feeling within your waking life.

If you are terrified of being naked in your dream in front of people, then you may be worried about what others think of you, or how you look to other people.

Feeling Trapped

If you are trapped within a nightmare, it can make you feel claustrophobic, confined or cut off from other people.

This could reflect a feeling of being stuck in a certain situation, unable to escape or flourish.

This could be in a relationship in which you are no longer happy, a living situation, or a job that seems like a dead end.


Drowning in water is quite similar to the feeling of being trapped. You may feel like you are suffocating under the water, unable to free yourself.

This also relates to the feeling of being emotionally involved and immersed within a situation.

This can make you feel out of your depth, or unable to breathe as the water/issue consumes you.

House Fire

Dreaming of your house being on fire is not uncommon. Many people have suffered from this nightmare in the past.

Usually, your house burning down relates to a big change or transformation happening in your waking life, that you may be struggling to deal with.

Similarly, if your home is under threat, this may convey how you feel insecure, or have lost your sense of safety and security.


If you have dreams where you feel like you have gone back to the past, such as you are a child again or in school, then this may signify that you have not dealt with a particular issue, or you feel like you are holding on to something from your past.

A Death

If you have nightmares about a person’s death, this could symbolize how scared you are to lose them, and how much you care for them.

Similarly, if you dream of a family member or friend that has passed away in both life and the nightmare, then you are struggling to grieve them and must be missing them dearly in both your dream and your waking life.

In other ways if someone is killed or murdered, it could mean you are letting go of them, or a certain bad behaviour needs to be stopped.


If you are badly wounded or injured within a nightmare, it can be a highly traumatic experience. This can also relate to how you feel weak or powerless in your waking life.

If you are injured, then you can feel like the situation is out of your control, and you will want to seize that control back in your dream and in your real life.

Learning the best ways to interpret our dreams is very important. Once we understand why such dreams are occurring, we can link them back and relate them to situations within our day to day lives, and uncover any underlying feelings we may be having.

We can then better understand our anxieties, fears, relationships, careers and ourselves in our waking lives.

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