Popular Dream Meanings: Or Why Your Teeth Are Falling Out

Welcome to the Guinea Pig Diaries – a monthly dive into different topics, and this month we’re talking about SLEEP!  Wondering about setting a better sleep routine, check out Snooze is Not the Answer.  Got a partner who snores?  Go read It Might Get Loud.

Today, we’re talking about dreams.

(image courtesy flickr Creative Commons – Heidi M Mcdonald)

Do you ever have a reoccurring dream?  Have you wondered what it means?  Dreams can have a variety of meanings and purposes in our lives; they can show us what we wish for, what we fear, and sometimes we can even speak to loved ones we’ve lost.

The most common type of dream is the Release Dream.

Release dreams serve their purpose by getting rid of the mental stress we carry around during the day.  They can be nonsensical, humorous, and even scary.  Nightmares are a form of release dreams – because they show us the worst case scenario.  They also show us, however, that we can survive.  Our subconscious is shocking us to let us know what we’re capable of accepting and dealing with.

What You Should Know About Nightmares:

Have you or someone you know had a reoccurring dream that a loved one becomes injured or dies?  Nightmares like this are disturbing, no doubt, but it doesn’t mean they’re a premonition of something bad to happen.  If we fear something with our conscious during the day, our subconscious stores it and releases it when we’re asleep.  And again, it’s to show us we’ll survive – even if in our dreams we don’t.  

I can think of a very particular nightmare I used to have again and again as a child.  I dreamed that I was kidnapped.  I was probably around 7 or 8 years old when a man came to our house and knocked on our door.  Being that my father owned a cake business, we commonly had customers stop by to return cake fixtures from parties and such so I thought nothing of strange people at our door.  This guy drove a beat up old truck and asked if my parents were home.  I said they were and to step inside, I’d go get them.  He immediately said, “Oh, that’s ok, nevermind…”, turned and left.  When I told my mom and sister what happened, they were instantly alarmed.  And I remember my sister looking out the window to catch sight of his truck and she called the police.  I didn’t know I should have been scared, but their reaction did the trick.  For several nights following, I suffered the nightmare that I was taken from my family.  It left me scared to even be on the playground at school without other students or teachers around.  Thankfully, I never saw the man again, and I’ve never been taken from my family against my will.

What About The Dreams Where My Teeth Fall Out???

(image courtesy flickr Creative Commons – mmmcrafts)

Opposite of nightmares, release dreams can encompass those totally whacked out dreams we have too!  You know, the ones where gorillas surround the house and take over the birdfeeder!!

just me?…

Moving along!  They’re called a release dream because they’re releasing the stuff our conscious collects throughout the day.  When I was reading The Hunger Games trilogy, you should have SEEN the dreams I was having!  And don’t get me started on my dreams following The Walking Dead.

Dreams About Your Teeth or Hair Falling Out:

Certain reoccurring dreams can have an archetypal meaning.  A common one is the dream that all your teeth are falling out!

If you’re dreaming about your teeth, or hair, falling out it could mean you’re feeling vulnerable or embarrassed in some way.  Perhaps you said something you wished you hadn’t or maybe you’re worried about getting old and afraid people won’t see you the same way.  Both would be triggered by stress, so do whatever calming techniques work best for you – especially before bedtime – to put these dreams to rest (pun intended).  

Dreams About the Weather – Storms, Waves, and Tornadoes:

Different form, same as above.  Emotional stress.  When we feel overwhelmed, we have the saying that “we’re drowning.”  That phrase comes from somewhere!  Emotional turbulence can take a physical form in our dreams through perilous natural elements because our minds recognize these forces as dangerous and requiring caution.

Dreams About Animals:

This one is two-fold.  The most common archetype for bird dreams is that they represent freedom and independence.  Dreams about whales represent grace and beauty.    Dreams of cats represents stealth and wisdom.  However, some Dream Experts* recommend keeping a dream journal so you can record what animals (or any symbols for that matter) are appearing consistently.  This may help you determine their meeting when you can look back and see what situations they are appearing in.  Are they threatening?  Are they protecting?  Are they nurturing?
Dreams About Being Naked in Public:
Again, here’s another form of the ol’ release dream acting out our fear that we’re not prepared for something – could be a speech we have to make or an assignment that’s due.  If we’re afraid of being judged by others, our release dreams could be showing that vulnerability.

(image courtesy flickr Creative Commons – Asta R)

Dreams About Stairs or Mazes:

Dreams where you are climbing stairs or a mountain or searching your way through a maze are all representative of a struggle.  You’re moving forward, but unsure of where the end is at this time.
Dreams About the Moon:
The moon showing in your dreams is often linked with your emotions.  If you’re feeling particularly intuitive, you might manifest the moon showing brightly in a night sky above you.
*****
There are many more popular archetypes found in our dreams, but these are some of the most common.  Tune in next week when I share a fun drawing activity that teaches you about your dreams!  
Until then, what have you been dreaming about?  Ever had a reoccurring dream?  What’s the weirdest dream you remember having?  Oh, and don’t forget to take your teeth with you when you go!
*All dream archetypes and sleep journal advice come from Sylvia Browne’s Book of Dreams.
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23 responses

  1. I have a friend who blogged about this guy she knows who was having baseball dreams. She went into a long discussion with him about how the bat is a phallic symbol that represents sexual repression, and throwing the ball meant releasing issues from the past, and blah blah blah. I finally told her that the guy USED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER so his dreams were probably just about, you know – baseball.

    I do enjoy a good dream analysis, though. And my next novel will be about a group of “dream sailors” able to harness the power of their lucid dreaming.

    1. Lol. Yah that first dream interpretation seems pretty far out. But, who knows?

      Your book idea sounds intriguing!

  2. I rarely recall dreams, although some are vivid. I have those wacko ones where I’m in one place doing something unfathomable with someone I haven’t seen in years and suddenly I’m somewhere totally different doing another completely odd activity. I’m left with that “huh” feeling when I wake up.

    The best dream in recent years, however, was when my best friend died of cancer, and a few months later I dreamed she called me from the lobby of Heaven, so to speak. She really was waiting for her turn with the Big Guy, and she explained that there had been a long line for the few phones to earth or she would have called sooner. LOL. What was awesome is that I couldn’t imagine her voice anymore in waking hours, but in my dream, it was EXACTLY her voice. It was such a sweet reminder.

    1. Oooh Julie, what a cool dream! Sounds like an astral visit perhaps? They say that the dreams which are the most vivid are visits from the other side. How lovely you heard your friend’s voice so clearly.

    2. Oh Julie, I LOVE this dream!! That is so beautiful. I’ve dreamed of my mom being in heaven and it’s so much fun.

  3. Okay, this is kinda crazy Jess, but I don’t normally remember my dreams. I’m sure I do dream. At least I think so. But I never remember them. Weird huh? Well, I guess I’m not all that fun. LOL! Cause other people remember some awesome dreams. 🙂

    1. I hope it means that your life isn’t too stressful so you just sleep peacefully each night. Sweet dreams!

  4. I have all kinds of crazy dreams but most of them are pretty fun. Periodically there is a hideous death dream and I HATE it when those feature my daughter, but mostly they’re very action-packed/adventury kinds of dreams.

    1. I love adventure dreams! I woke up feeling so energized when I dreamed I was Katniss from the Hunger Games.

      1. LOL…of course you did! I can see you with a bow, girlfriend. 🙂

  5. When I was a kid, I had a reoccurring dream about gorillas. They were coming to take over the world and I was their Paul Revere. The gorillas are coming, the gorillas are coming. Unfortunately, no one would believe me until the apes showed up. This was long before Planet of the Apes and before I actually knew who Paul Revere was, so who knows where it came from.

    1. OMG! The gorillas got you too?!!

      1. No, I would continue to wander around warning everyone of the hairy dilemma following me and staying just one step ahead. But I found no one who would help my in my effort to save the world. Eventually, my mom would wake me up and want to know what was wrong. You’d have to ask her how many times she heard, “the gorillas are coming, the gorillas are coming.”

  6. lynnkelleyauthor | Reply

    What a great post, Jess. This is so interesting. I have the strangest dreams, plus the teeth falling out dreams and nightmares, too. And animals. I love the explanations in this post.

    1. Have you ever thought about keeping a dream journal? Might be a really interesting way to decipher your dreams. Any idea what your animal totem might be?

  7. Most of the dreams I remember are like little movies. They have plot, subplot, action, adventure…some have sparked the stories I write which is cool. Almost all of them feature a house. It’s never the same house, but there’s always some sort of house in them. Sometimes it’s a nice house, sometimes it’s falling apart…some doors open, some don’t. Sometimes even in the dream I remember thinking “I wonder what this means” lol.

    I love dream interpretation. I took a class on it in college…I noticed that Freud was quite obsessed with sex. He’d say the house is my sex life hehe.

    1. Oooh Melinda, come back on monday! I’ll be talking about houses and what they mean in dreams! I love that your dreams inspire your writing, that’s very cool!

      Hey will you be back at DFWcon this year?

      1. Yes! I’ll be there. Just bought my ticket and everything :-). Can’t wait to see everybody again, it’s been too long.

        And I can’t wait to hear about what my house dreams mean.

  8. I came here for turkey and peach salsa, detoured and learned all about release dreams. I had no idea such a thing existed. It’s strangely comforting to know everybody has these freaky dreams. Also, Jess, I’d love to know all about what it’s like to have a cake shop. Oh my goodness.

    1. I know, helps make the dreams we have not so weird after all. Your welcome to bring the turkey and peach salsa over here, but my dad will have to do the cake. He is the baker, not me. 🙂

  9. I’ve gone through periods in my life with recurring dreams–many of which later came true. So, I guess they’d have been considered premonition dreams. Problem is, I cannot differentiate between those and my “fear” dreams. I think that’s why I tend to be such a worrier. My dream life is almost as vivid as my waking life, and in recent months (since my husband’s diagnosis of a life-threatening illness) I feel like I rarely sleep. I’m always talking with people or running around doing stuff in my dreams. I rarely can remember the subjects of these dreams, but I often wake frustrated or with a restless feeling. I’m hopeful that when my honey’s treatments are finished, we will be able to move on physically and emotionally…and I’ll get some rest. 🙂

    My favorite dreams are those where I’m able to solve problems, work through story plots, or “visit” with my loved ones who’ve passed on.

    Thanks for the interesting post, Jess. Look forward to the next one.

    1. Thanks Jolyse for the heartfelt comment. So sorry to learn you and your husband are undergoing doctor’s visits and his illness. I do hope the treatments help and that both of you get more peaceful rest and fun-filled memories soon!

      I’m really intrigued with your intuitive dreaming though. That’s cool how much goes on in your head while you sleep. I tend to have a lot of dreams about work and then I’ll wake up and I’m confused about what conversations actually happened and which ones I just dreamed about! I much prefer, like you, the adventure dreams, story ideas and astral visits!

  10. […] we’re back to the Guinea Pig Diaries – Sleep Study Month!  Last week we talked about Popular Dream Meanings, and we’re going a step further today with a fun drawing activity.  Our dreams can be […]

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