Dreams can be vivid, bizarre, frightening, or funny. And while sleep is supposed to be an opportunity to tune the world out, our dreams can actually alert us to some important waking-life emotions. Check out these common dream themes and what they represent!

Teeth Falling Out

For all its weirdness, this dream is extraordinarily common. It represents pent-up or repressed anxiety. You might feel like you don’t have a control over a current situation and that you lack confidence. Teeth falling out can also represent a recent loss or a fear of loss.

Discovering A New Room

Discovering an unused room in your house or any other familiar place is a positive sign. The house represents the self, and the discovery of a new room often indicates that you are learning new things about yourself. You are tapping into qualities and abilities you had no idea you possessed!

Taking A Test

You’re back in college or high school, and you have to take a test. But you don’t know a thing about the subject! A dream that is especially common for perfectionists, this theme can mean a lack of confidence, feelings of uncertainty, or a fear of failure. It can also indicate a general anxiety about your ability to face life’s challenges.

Falling

Dreams about falling represent crisis and can indicate major problems with work or family. You might feel like you have no control over your life. Alternatively, falling can mean that there’s something in your life that you need to free yourself from.

Flying

Dreams about flying are usually positive, representing freedom, independence, and joy. This dream might mean you have recently liberated yourself from a burden. Or, it can simply be an indication that life is going well. Take inspiration from flying dreams: you have the ability to rise above and soar!

Being Chased

Being chased in dreams is a common response to stress. More specifically, it could indicate avoidance. If you’ve encountered this dream recently, ask yourself if there is a problem or conflict you’re running from in real life.

Running Late

Dreams in which you are running late or miss an opportunity due to tardiness represent overwhelm: you might be taking on too much. These sorts of dreams are especially common for individuals who work on deadlines. Of course, sometimes deadlines are self-imposed: have you been pressuring yourself lately? Tardiness can also symbolize a broader fear that life is passing you by or that you’re missing out.

Nude In Public

Dreams in which we find ourselves naked in a public space are centered around embarrassment and vulnerability. You might be fearful of others judgments or are worried about exposing certain parts of yourself to those around you. If others in the dream don’t seem to notice, it could mean that your concerns are slightly blown out of proportion.

Food and Eating

Food represents nourishment and satiation, while eating is about fulfilling our basic needs. Food in our dreams can represent abundance, especially if there’s lots of it! However, if you are overeating in your dream, or not eating enough, it indicates something is missing. Ask yourself, what are you “hungry” for in waking life?