Most of us nod off as our sleeping brain uses this time to make sense of our day-to-day experiences. We continue to fall deeper and deeper into a slumber as our dream world unfolds, putting us face-to-face with our unconscious fears and desires. This could manifest into a cycle of bad dreams from seeing zombies to being cheated on.
So, what is the meaning behind these nightmares?
Santoro notes a common nightmare we all get is being Un.clad in front of people. This dream is often accompanied by an audience of fully clothed people. Dreaming of being Un.clad in front of people can represent a fear of revealing something to others; a secret we’re worried people have or soon will discover; a loss of identity; or feeling ashamed or misjudged about something we took or said.
Other dreams take us to a more supernatural world where ghosts, zombies, and the undead surface. For example, seeing a ghost in our dream doesn’t mean impending doom. The dead can symbolize regret, thoughts we find upsetting, or a repressed memory trying to break through. A ghost can also signify a task or goal we’re having trouble achieving.
Some of us, whether we’re in a relationship or not, will dream about being cheated on. This doesn’t necessarily mean our partner did so in real life, or even that we’re worried they will. Often, this means we’re worried about the stability of our relationship, or maybe even our career. We dream a person closest to us betrayed us emotionally, because of a lack of trust in ourselves or our decisions.
Understanding the symbolism behind our nightmares can help us better cope with fears and desires in real life.