Dreams more vivid than usual right now? Here's why, and what they could mean

Dreams sleep. (Getty Images)
Are you noticing your dreams more than usual at the moment? (Getty Images)

Noticed you've been dreaming more than usual lately? Or are your dreams particularly vivid or unusual?

Well you're likely not alone, as April seems to be a prime time for dreaming, influenced by the season and clock change.

Here, a sleep and dreams expert explains why this can affect our dreaming life so much, and what the deeper meaning of the most likely dreams to occur at this time could be.

Why are your dreams more present right now?

Dreams spring season change. (Getty Images)
Remembering your dreams could feel more common right now. (Getty Images)

"If you’ve ever wondered when you are more likely to dream, the answer is spring (more specifically, April)," says Martin Seeley, CEO and senior sleep expert at MattressNextDay.

"A study found that we experience the most disruption to our sleep in the spring season. This is because our wake times are earlier due to the longer daylight hours and, therefore, our sleep duration decreases. It’s also been recorded that our time asleep is shorter when there are longer days.

"In fact, the same study revealed that, during spring, our time asleep is reduced by 25 minutes – even when going to bed two minutes earlier than in winter.

"This could be attributed to melatonin production, which is a hormone that helps you sleep. Melatonin is regulated by light and darkness; when there is more light (such as in spring and summer), you don’t produce as much."

But the knock-on effect on our dreams? "The clocks changing to hail the start of spring can affect your sleep for up to a week following the time change. The same can be said in autumn, where very few people 'gain' the extra hour of sleep. Due to that disruption, your body could respond in the same way it would when you feel anxious, heightening the dreams you have and leaving you more likely to search for an answer.

"Alongside the change in daylight comes temperature changes and heat, which can have a significant impact on your sleep. In warmer weather, you tend to experience more nighttime awakenings, which could mean as you're waking up, you're remembering those dreams and, therefore, more likely to search and look for meaning in them.

"Allergies are also a common sleep disruptor in spring. REM sleep can be impacted by allergies and this stage of sleep is where most dreams occur, meaning you could have more vivid dreams and see significant effects of this stage in your sleep."

Why can the type of dreams we have change through the year?

Young man sleeping peacefully at night, lying with closed eyes in comfortable bed in bedroom at home. Healthy male sleep, recreation and wellness
What dreams have you been having? (Getty Images)

Inbal Honigman, celebrity psychic and dreams analyst, explains, "Since our dreams are a window to our soul, there are many factors that influence them. Our dreams could be calmer when we’re at a job we love, or more anxious when we’re job-searching.

"Similarly, dreams can change with the seasons – some people favour the warmer days of summer and struggle with the short days of winter, whereas some find it stressful when they’re sweaty and the kids are off school in summer, and favour the quietude of winter. As we make our way through the wheel of the year, our dreams follow suit and change, as the seasons move and rotate."

The top 10 most common dreams in April – and what they mean

Sleep dream. (Getty Images)
Dig in to what your dreams could be telling you. (Getty Images)

From analysing 279,750 dream-related Google searches across the year, of the 18 most common dreams in the UK and US, these 10 were more searched for in April, MattressNextDay uncovered.

1. Teeth falling out (26,600 searches)

"Teeth are a sign of life’s ages and stages. We are born with none, go through two sets in childhood and adulthood, and start to lose them again in old age. Therefore, dreaming about losing teeth symbolises loss, like leaving a relationship behind or even moving house," she explains.

2. Pregnancy (9,500 searches)

The pregnant woman has a silhouette.
Ever had a pregnancy dream? (Getty Images)

"Many pregnancy dreams are simply predictive dreams. Parents-to-be dream of their pregnancy even before the home pregnancy kit turns pink, and it’s common to see your baby’s gender or predict the date of birth correctly. Beyond fertility, pregnancy in a dream can represent the wanting of a new job or creative project, like a ‘new lease of life’," the psychic and dreams analyst explains.

3. Spiders (7,800 searches)

"Dreaming of spiders often represents a need to confront your fears and insecurities head-on. Just like spiders face the challenge of creating and maintaining their webs with precision, you are being prompted to tackle your life challenges with resilience and determination. It’s a time to face challenges with resilience and determination," says Honigman.

"Pay attention to the details in your dreams for more specific insights into your unique situation."

4. Falling (2,900 searches)

illustration of man falling from the sky, minimal concept
Falling dreams are particularly common. (Getty Images)

On this one, Seeley explains, “When you dream of falling, this is actually a physiological reaction to the body going to sleep. As the nervous systems begin to calm, and your heart rate and blood pressure drop, this can trigger a falling dream, otherwise known as a 'hypnic jerk'.

"The movements can be minor but sometimes, they’re violent enough to wake you up. These sudden movements typically last only a second or two, but they can be quite startling if you’re not expecting them [thinking of nodding off on a plane, anyone?]. While they’re not a dream, if they happen a lot, they’re a metaphorical nightmare as they disrupt your sleep."

5. Hair falling out (2,780 searches)

"Losing hair in a dream can symbolise concerns about ageing, stress, or feeling out of control. It’s a reflection of your inner thoughts and anxieties about physical appearance and self-image," says Honigman.

6. Fire (2,760 searches)

"To dream of fire can mean many things. It can symbolise passion, light, destruction, anger and more. The trick to working out what your fire dream means is to look at the rest of the dream. If you were unafraid of the fire, then it could be a reference to your own internal fire. Your views and opinions could be changing, bringing forth a renewal of self. If you are burned by fire, it indicates that your temper is raging, and you are ‘burning up inside’," she explains.

7. Ghosts (1,470 searches)

Seeley says, "Ghostly apparitions are often the effect of a sleep disorder called sleep paralysis. We move through different stages of sleep through the night. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is when we dream. We’re also paralysed at this stage so that we don’t act our dreams out. But sometimes we can partially wake, experiencing hallucinations but struggling to move. It can be terrifying, but it does explain why you could ‘see’ a person or figure near your bed or in your room and also feel unable to move."

8. Being cheated on (1,300 searches)

A wom.an in morning and deep sorrow standing in a corner of a room at home screaming in misery
Remember your dreams are just dreams. (Getty Images)

"One of the most upsetting love-related dreams one can have is where cheating occurs. The sense of betrayal, shame and hopelessness that go along with infidelity can ruin a good night’s sleep," says Honigman.

"If you dream of an ex-partner cheating, you might be trying to make sense of the split. You could be worried that their loyalty was never for you, and you may be suspicious that they were cheating in real life too. Or if you dream of your current partner cheating on you, this dream shows your own insecurities rather than any unfaithful thoughts about your partner."

9. Drowning (1,300 searches)

"Drowning in a dream is often a fear of losing yourself in some way. Whether this is from being overwhelmed by work, a relationship issue, or stress, there’s the fear of ‘drowning’ under the weight of emotions and being unable to handle or process them. Even if you’re not in turmoil, simply dealing with life’s daily struggles and trying to survive as a well-functioning human being in today’s society is enough to induce these dreams."

10. Getting lost (830 searches)

Man in a green hedge maze
Ever felt lost in a maze in your dream? (Getty Images)

"To dream of being lost can invoke feelings of frustration, not fitting in, and confusion. If you have a situation in your waking life where you are anxious that you may not find your way, these dreams can help you find direction. It can also be a dream for those grieving, a way to process the loss of a person, or part of yourself that is missing. Although other people in your dreams can often represent other parts of yourself, so it could also be that you feel you have lost an aspect of yourself."

Remember though, as life-like as they can feel, they are just dreams. Which one have you experienced most?

Watch: Tips if you're struggling to sleep