Whether we remember them or not, we all dream. Every night, part of our sleep cycle involves dreaming as our brains process and refresh after the day.
And whether they're simply random electrical connections made by the brain as it processes and compartmentalises information or something deeper, there's no doubt that what they might mean is endlessly fascinating.
So we asked psychologist and dreams expert Ian Wallace, working with time4sleep, what common dreams people have, and what they really mean.
Weird Dream #1 – Celebrity encounter
In this dream, you are really surprised when your favourite celebrity appears and happily starts chatting with you as if you are firm and trusted friends.
Meaning: Celebrities symbolise talent and also represent the power to freely make their own decisions. The personal quality that attracted you to the celebrity is an aspect of your own character that you are beginning to recognise in yourself. The action from this dream is to behave more like a celebrity, by openly displaying your abilities, rather than concealing them. By acknowledging your own talents, you will trust yourself more and become more celebrated for your unique skills.
Weird Dream #2 – Finding an unused room
In this dream, you notice a door in your house that you’re certain wasn’t there before. As you open the door, you find yourself in a room that you had totally forgotten about.
Meaning: Dreaming about finding an unused room in your house indicates that you are opening up to the possibility of stepping into an exciting new opportunity in your day-to-day life. The room often seems familiar as it symbolises an aspect of your abilities that you really enjoyed expressing in the past. The reason that the room was forgotten about was that you previously felt that you had to close the door on this part of your life and move on from it. The action from this dream is to open yourself back up to your forgotten talents so you can step back into all the possibilities that they might hold.
Weird Dream #3 – Return of an ex-lover
In this dream, you are surprised to find yourself in a passionate encounter with an ex-lover. Although you are excited to be with them again, you also feel quite guilty.
Meaning: When you dream about being in an intimate situation with an ex-lover, events in your current day-to-day life are triggering memories of the characteristics that you most closely associate with your ex. Rather than being mere wish fulfilment, you are using your ex to symbolise that these characteristics are becoming apparent in your waking life again. An ex-lover often appears in a dream to warn you of possibly repeating past relationship patterns with your current partner. The action from this dream is to confidently let go of old behaviours that are no longer of any value to you, so that you can truly be with your chosen partner.
In this dream, although you may have left your childhood home some time ago, you find yourself visiting it again. It can often feel as if you are looking for something you left there.
Meaning: Dreaming about visiting your childhood home indicates that you are revisiting some of the fundamental influences that have helped to form your identity. Although you have successfully built on many of these foundational experiences in your day-to-day life, there may be other aspects of your talents that you didn’t have the chance to develop so fully.
When you search through your childhood home, you are usually trying to reconnect with these qualities so that you can develop them now. The action from this dream is to recognise aspects of your potential that you would like to develop further by having the confidence to take the steps that you need.
Weird Dream #5 – Abducted by aliens
Dreaming about being abducted by aliens often begins with a sudden realisation that the normal people around you are actually alien life forms in very convincing human disguises.
Meaning: When you dream that you have been abducted by aliens, it suggests that you are experiencing some unusual situations in your day-to-day life that might seem quite unfamiliar and alien to you. Being abducted indicates that you have no real control over this and feel that you are being forced to follow the wishes of other people.
This can often happen when you move into a new and unfamiliar social circle or place of work, and it can seem like a completely different world to the one you are used to. The action from this dream is to use this opportunity to learn new skills and find out more about yourself.
Weird Dream #6 – Wild animal in the garden
In this dream, you are out in your garden when a wild animal breaks cover and chases after you. Even though you make it to the safety of your house, the animal continually tries to follow you inside.
Meaning: Dreaming about an animal chasing you in your garden indicates that you are thinking about how you control your instinctive impulses in waking life. Your house symbolises yourself and the garden represents the close friends and relationships that you cultivate in your social circle. The wild animal reflects the instinctive and impulsive part of you, which you often try and contain in social settings.
You may be concerned that you can’t fully control these instincts and this may result in some embarrassing situations for you. The action from this dream is to become more acquainted with your instincts and this will help your social life to healthily bloom.
Weird Dream 7 – Dressed in the wrong clothes
In this dream, you are out in a public place, when you suddenly realise that you are dressed in the wrong clothes. Parts of your outfit may seem normal but the rest is completely inappropriate.
Meaning: When you dream that you are wearing the wrong clothes in a public situation, it suggests that you are reflecting on how your behaviours may appear to other people in your day-to-day life. Your clothes symbolise the image of yourself that you choose to present to the people around you.
Feeling that you are wearing the wrong clothes indicates that there may be a mismatch between who you feel you really are and who you are trying to appear to be. The action from this dream is just to display your individuality rather than trying to conform to the expectations of other people.
What is your most common dream? Tell us over on Twitter.