Those nightmares aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
We’ve all had those dreams that we can’t seem to get out of our head. Whether you dreamed of showing up to your old high school on the first day back, flying over an open canyon, or even your teeth falling out (yikes), there are some dreams that are just too weird to shake — and you might be wondering if you should be reading into any of them. Here are the most common dream meanings, explained by popular TikTok dream interpreter Jesse Lyon.
According to Lyon, there has been a rise in strange dreams due to the uncertainty and stress of the past two years, and people increasingly turned to TikTok to get answers. Through Lyon’s TikTok account, which currently sits at 1.2 million followers and counting, the mental health counselor and licensed hypnotist sought to help people understand the meaning of their dreams, why they had certain recurring dreams, and why some of the weirdest dreams are actually extremely common.
“There are a lot of reoccurring dreams that tell us about our health,” he said, referencing both mental and physical wellness, during a live event for National Sleep Awareness Month on March 23 in collaboration with Pura.
Lyon explains that since many people grew up with the same cultural norms and similar upbringings, i.e. watching the same movies, reading the same stories, and experiencing both pleasant and unpleasant realities, we also tend to have similar frames of reference for understanding what our minds and bodies have to say to us while we sleep.
That reoccurring nightmare you have about your teeth falling out? It’s way more common than you think. According to Lyon, here are some of the most common dreams and what they mean.
Falling Dream Meaning
You know that pit-in-your stomach feeling you get when you dream of falling from high up? Lyon explains that may actually be a message your body is trying to send you while you sleep.
“Falling can actually be a physical type of dream, where if you have too much sugar before bed, or a lot of starchy flours, your body will actually have a blood sugar drop while you’re sleeping,” he says. That drop in your blood sugar then gives you that jolting feeling of falling, and your brain responds by supplying you with a dream that fits that frame of reference.
Drowning Dream Meaning
According to Lyon, another type of physical dream can be drowning. He explains, “Drowning or suffocating in your dreams can be [an early indicator] for sleep apnea.” That’s because with sleep apnea, we often struggle to breath while we’re asleep, so our minds will deliver dream images that correlate with that same experience of being short of breath, making it easier for us to understand what’s happening in our bodies.
Snakes Dream Meaning
Our sleeping brains connect to us and send us messages through emotions and imagery, and since snakes seem to evoke strong feelings (you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em), they tend to show up often in dreams and nightmares. “Snakes can represent poison, lies, or transformation,” Lyon says. “When clients tell me about snake dreams, they’re usually going through a time when they’re reinventing themselves, like how a snake sheds its skin.”
Being Chased Dream Meaning
“The mind turns inward when we sleep,” Lyon says. Instead of focusing on our external relationships and how we communicate with the people in our lives, we’re working on processing our relationship with ourselves. That means that when we dream of being chased, we’re actually avoiding, or running from, a part of ourselves. “That could be due to our past [or] that could be due to some things about ourselves that we don’t like,” Lyon explains.
Teeth Falling Out Dream Meaning
“It’s probably the number one dream that I get on my TikTok,” Lyon says, referring to dreams about losing teeth. Here’s why: our teeth are the essential part of our body that help to break down food into manageable sizes, and according to Lyon, when we lose them in our dreams, it means “we feel like we can’t break down life’s problems into manageable sizes.” So the next time you wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming of your teeth falling out, just remember: you’ve got this, and your to-do list is your best friend.