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Do You Keep Having This Recurring Dream? Here’s What It Might Mean

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dangerous animal trapped tiger recurring dream

As we sleep, our body might take a rest, but our mind and subconscious are still at work, often presenting us with scenarios that tell us how we really feel about our life’s current situation. When we have a recurring dream, we’re likely to wonder what it all actually signifies. Read on to discover the common interpretations of these fascinating nocturnal mysteries.

1. Dreams About Flying

Frankly, who hasn’t had a dream before where they are able to fly like a bird? (And, moreover, who wouldn’t want to be able to do that in real life too?) The recurring dream of soaring over hill and dale is one of the dreams that people most commonly experience. What separates it from other dreams in a similar vein is the amount of control: the sleeper is not in freefall.

flying recurring dream


Therefore, it could mean that the person needs to let go of the issues burdening them, to relinquish control and allow issues to settle themselves naturally. Having trouble flying indicates something is holding you back, or an inability to meet expectations or goals.

2. Dreams About Falling

Flying in your dreams is plenty of fun, but falling is downright terrifying. This recurring dream is pre-programmed into us, as we learn from a young age that we ought to fear it and therefore avoid dangerous situations that might cause us to fall.

falling recurring dream

Getty Images/CharlieChesvick

Analysts tend to agree that a dream about uncontrollably falling is the subconscious trying to alert you about a major issue in your waking life, perhaps a huge problem with your love life, work, or interpersonal relationships. There can be a positive side too: some see falling into a body of water as indicating deep feelings about someone.

3. Dreams About Meeting a Celebrity

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have at least one living famous person whom they would really love to meet. Because of this, it’s no surprise that a common recurring dream people often list is meeting a big celebrity.

meeting celebs celebrities recurring dream


It’s important to identify what about the celebrity appeals to you, and how it can relate to your own aspirations and values. Often, dreaming you’re buddies with a star is your subconscious presenting an idealized version of an important friendship you already have. But let’s admit it: the most common aspect of all is waking up from this dream and being bummed it wasn’t real!

4. Dreams About Driving an Uncontrollable Vehicle

It’s a frightening scenario: you’re in some sort of automobile, alone or with passengers, you’re at the wheel, and yet the vehicle seems to be gliding all over the road with no way to stop it. When it ultimately crashes, thankfully, you generally don’t feel pain — or you wake up in time. The question lingers: what does this haunting recurring dream mean?

driving vehicle control recurring dream

Getty Images/Anyaberkut

Don’t be surprised if the most widely-accepted interpretation of this dream is fairly straightforward: you’re lacking in control and need to take better charge of the processes that will lead you towards actualizing your goals. It could also signify a deep-seated sense of worry about losing something dear to you.

5. Dreams About Small Animals Needing a Home

Have you ever encountered this dream: you discover a bunch of tiny animals, sometimes related to your pet, sometimes not. You keep discovering more and more of them, and what’s more, you can’t just leave them be — you feel a need to find a place for each one of them to live.

small animals turtle recurring dream


The common interpretation of this kind of dream is that your life is overflowing with a multitude of new things, likely all belonging to the same category. It could signify a huge amount of new tasks, new friends, or even new ideas. You likely feel a need to take care of, manage, and compartmentalize these ‘little animals.’

6. Dreams About Teeth Falling Out

You wake up from a recurring dream thinking it’s so bizarrely unique to you: with little or no connection to the plot of your dream, your teeth kept falling out, and perhaps you’ve even swallowed them. While it’s a dream many people will note that they’ve had, you might be surprised to learn that there is no one consensus on how to interpret it.

missing teeth tooth dentist recurring dream


Because losing teeth will affect how others look at you, one explanation is that you feel insecure and overthink how others see or perceive you, whether your appearance or your character. Also, since we use our teeth for a number of important activities, losing them can greatly hinder us, which could signify a lack of power or confidence.

7. Dreams About Dying

It’s not just that sad Tears For Fears song — you’re not at all alone if you have recurring dreams about your own transition out of this life. But, as any tarot card reader will say, death in this context is in fact not necessarily a negative concept.

dying death funeral recurring dream

Flickr/Mark Hillary

In fact, it could symbolize the process you go through as you end a chapter of your life and move onward and upward. This could mean a desire to change jobs, to right a past wrong, or even to switch course in life entirely. We’re used to viewing death as sad or scary, but as a recurring dream, it can actually be rather encouraging.

8. Dreams About Taking an Exam

No matter how old you get, and how far behind your school days or even your university days may seem, you’re highly likely to encounter the recurring dream where you’re taking an exam. In the dream scenario, you might range from being well-prepared and focused on the test, to having absolutely no idea why you’re there and why you need to take the test in the first place.

taking a test exam recurring dream

MGM/Marc Platt Productions via IMDB

These mental exams are often interpreted to mean you have a fear of failing, whether you’re aware of it or not. Some psychologists see a parallel between the dreamed of test and the dreamers current job, meaning you might be stressed out at work.

9. Dreams About A Cheating Partner

Warning: if this is a recurring dream, stop and reflect for a moment before accepting it as a sign of something! Far too often, people experiencing a dream in which their partner is not being faithful take it at face value and assume their subconscious is trying to tell them something is wrong. That’s false.

recurring dreams - cheating couple


Rather, the problem in this situation could actually be…well, you! This dream is often interpreted to mean your partner has an interest or activity not involving you that is demanding more time and energy than you would like — or that you yourself have trust or jealousy issues.

10. Dreams About Pregnancy

Yes, dreams of being pregnant can happen to men too, albeit with less frequency. In order to best understand what your subconscious might be telling you, you may need to move past the obvious explanation of thinking it’s high time to become a parent. A recurring dream of being with child could could be representative of something else.

pregnant pregnancy recurring dream


The dreamed of unborn child can be interpreted as being a symbol for a new idea or a meaningful project within your mind and capability that is yet to come to fruition. It may be time to use your creativity and put it toward breathing new life into something concrete.

11. Dreams About Being Trapped with a Dangerous Animal

There is a distinct difference between dreaming of being trapped in a seemingly non-threatening location, such as inside a car or a locked room, and being trapped in the same space as a dangerous animal. People experiencing this kind of dream commonly report an inability to escape a tiger, or lion.

dangerous animal trapped tiger recurring dream

Wikimedia Commons/dannyratana

The aspect of being trapped somewhere in general represents a need to change a situation in waking life, but the element of the dangerous beast can signify a condition the dreamer’s subconscious is trying to avoid, such as destructive behaviors or anxiety. Some, however, have reported that over time they can change how they deal with the threat in this recurring dream.

12. Dreams About Being Chased

There’s just about no way that you haven’t experienced a dream of being chased, often starting at a very young age. It’s so basic and so commonly felt across cultures that it’s practically primordial, coded into our DNA. To understand its meaning, the dreamer should look beyond whatever creature or object is pursuing them in the dream.

chased recurring dream chasing

Getty Images/ViktorCap

A common interpretation of chase dreams is that the chaser is a physical manifestation of whatever problem the dreamer has yet to confront. It both symbolizes a coping mechanism of running away from issues instead of tackling them head on, and an encouraging hint that it’s time to defeat the monster in real life.

13. Dreams About Not Being Able to Find a Toilet

Don’t worry: if you’re having a recurring dream of desperately needing to find a bathroom and being unable to do so, it’s not a bad omen meaning your health is about to take a turn for the worse. This dream can mean that one’s needs are not being met in certain situations in waking life.

running toilet bathroom recurring dream

Getty Images/Nathan4847

What’s more, the dreamer may find it hard to vocalize those needs, or to speak up and make sure that they’re properly expressed. Additionally, it may also signify putting the needs of others ahead of one’s own, to the detriment of an individual’s personal wellbeing.

14. Dreams About An Empty Room

Imagine the following scenario: as you sleep, you dream that you’re going about your business in your home, when suddenly you discover something utterly unfamiliar. It’s a new passageway, leading to a new room. You enter the room and discover it’s totally empty, and you have been the one to discover it.

empty room recurring dream


This recurring dream is a hopeful one. The room is thought to symbolize the promise of possibility. It could be something tangible, or just a side of yourself or an outlook that you’ve recently been able to tap into. The potential to embark on something new in life is right there within you.

15. Dreams About Feeling Trapped

Sometimes, the symbolism in our dreams is so plain to be seen that we need not look much further beyond the scenario that our dream itself presents us. Dreamers often can recall having a scary dream where they are trapped and unable to escape something.

panic room feeling trapped recurring dream

Columbia Pictures via IMDB

It may be that they’re in a car whose door won’t budge, a seatbelt that can’t be unfastened, a room with no door or a door that’s locked. This is generally explained as your brain presenting you with a situation in your waking life that has left you feeling boxed in. That means you may need to change something about your present circumstances.

16. Dreams About Killing Someone

It’s undeniably a very frightening dream to have, and it ought to be treated with caution. While it is not necessarily indicative of a person actually harboring dangerous tendencies, it is the result of a grave problem in waking life. Firstly, it may mean an unhealthy abundance of anger, resentment, or frustration.

recurring dream - killing

Warner Brothers/Getty Images

But beyond that, the message could be that the dreamer needs to rethink how and what they watch. It could mean that the dreamer has been playing overly violent video games with too much frequency, or seeing too much violence on television or in film, to the point that it has become unhealthy.

17. Dreams About Being Naked in Public

It’s the kind of recurring dream where you wake up and you’re just grateful it was only a dream: being naked at work, in school, or simply on the street. You’re far from alone if you’ve had this cringe-worthy dream, but did you ever stop to wonder what it meant?

naked recurring dream

Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix

This dream trope is commonly interpreted as showing that you are feeling particularly vulnerable, especially if you are on the cusp of a big life change, such as a new job or public engagement. However, in some cases, you may find yourself unfazed by the fact that you are without clothing in public in your dream. In this case, your dream can indicate a healthy degree of self-confidence; you are confident in being you.

18. Dreams About Shadowy Figures

Few nightmares could be more eerie than dreaming of encountering a series of figures whose form you can’t fully make out. They may be cloaked, they may be shrouded in shadow, but as you experience this recurring dream, you can’t discern who these unwanted visitors are. Don’t freak out too much — this doesn’t mean your house is haunted.

shadow figures shadowy scary nightmares recurring dream

Wikimedia Commons/nikowsk

What it can mean is that these figures actually represent a sense of doubt about what is yet to come, worries about the future that need to be addressed and assuaged. Alternatively, seeing these figures while semi-conscious can indicate you suffer from sleep paralysis.

19. Dreams About a Long Road

A typically recurring dream reported by many is imagining yourself walking down a road, aimlessly, with its final destination yet to be determined. More often than not, going on your way down this road is neither positive nor negative, just neutral.

long road easy rider recurring dream

Getty Images/Hulton Archives

Analysts point out that the road itself is not the crux of the dream, as it quite clearly represents one’s own direction in life. What’s more telling is the nature of the road and what its attributes can represent. Is it bumpy? Is the journey calm? Maybe it’s quite exhausting. All of these could be your subconscious helping you reflect on your current direction in life.

20. Dreams About Waking Up

This recurring dream can be amusing in small doses, but can get rather frustrating if it is frequent. You think that you have woken up, and you go about your morning routine. It’s only when you realize something is slightly off that you become aware of the fact that you’re actually still dreaming!

waking up recurring dream

Flickr/Lars Plougmann

If this keeps happening, it is generally a sign that something about the next day is vexing you. If the dream is continuously experienced, there could be a problem with the way that you face anxieties, for it indicates that you are constantly dreading the challenges of the upcoming day.

21. Dreams About Bodies of Water

One of the most basic needs and objects in our world is water. While having a recurring dream involving a body of water doesn’t necessarily have to be negative, and the water itself could be gentle and cool, its significance can greatly vary.

water recurring dream


The dreamer must consider what attributes he or she associates with water in everyday life, as well as how swimming feels to them. Depending on that, the water could be either entrapping and overwhelming, or freeing. Its depth could indicate having strong, deep feelings about a person or a reaction to a current process in waking life.

22. Dreams About Machinery Not Working

Here’s a recurring dream that might leave you worried your appliances will continue to malfunction even after you wake up. Whether it involves one particular device or a series of them, in this dream scenario, you find that appliances simply will not work, or are dead. Most frequently, this involves an inability to use your phone.

phone technology machinery recurring dream

DreamWorks/Universal Pictures via IMDB

This type of dream is thought to indicate your innate fear that you yourself might not perform as you wish you would, and that fear is transforming into anxiety. Another interpretation is that you are having difficulty creating an emotional connection to another person.

23. Dreams About Babies

While having a recurring dream about being pregnant is thought to symbolize creativity yet to be tapped into, a recurring dream about babies bears a slightly different meaning. Babies bring to us incredibly drastic changes in our lives, whether in our emotional development or the sharp alterations to the rhythm of our daily routine.

babies baby princess royal recurring dream

Flickr/Bengt Nyman

Seeing them in your dreams repeatedly is thought to indicate that something new and special is on the cusp of coming into your  life — or that you know something big is about to happen, and you’re eagerly expecting it. It could also herald the beginning of a great shift.

24. Dream About the Inability to Run

Feeling your feet locked in place is a humbling, if terrifying, feeling. In this genre of recurring dream, no matter what the circumstances are or how much your life depends on it, you find that you’re unable to run away. In a similar vein, you may find that you can run, but strangely enough, it’s happening in slow motion.

recurring dream

Flickr/Anna Tesar

The dream can leave the dreamer feeling powerless, unable to control their surroundings or take the necessary actions. If so, it may be high time for some self-love, because this type of dream is said to indicate low levels of self-esteem.

25. Dreams About Being Late to Something

You set an alarm but you missed it, you had a critical appointment and you didn’t make it on time, or worst of all, you’re rushing on the way to your own wedding. Whether or not we identify as a white rabbit, we’ve all experienced those awful dreams in which we’re late to an important event, coupled with (hopefully) a sigh of relief when we wake up.

recurring dream being late

Getty Images/Ajr_images

If you keep having this dream, it means you’re in need of a good confidence boost, as you don’t have enough faith that you will accomplish the tasks you need to get done. It could also mean that you’re in over your head, and are cramming your schedule so much that it’s time to reevaluate your time management.

Sources: Mental FlossBuzzfeed

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