OUR dreams are often an insight into what's really going on in our minds, but sometimes they can leave us feeling distressed.
We've all woken up sweating after a bad dream, whether it's being chased, getting shot, or losing a tooth, these dreams can often wake us out of our slumber.
Experts have said that some dreams are connected to the subconscious and could even mean you need medical attention.
It was previously reported that many Brits have experienced an increase in vivid dreams since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as many continue to feel anxious about the situation.
Fear and phobia expert, Lauren Rosenberg, as well as environmental psychologist, Lee Chambers have uncovered what the top 10 nightmares Brits are experiencing really mean.
1. Getting shot
Compared to this time last year, there was an 84 per cent increase in the number of Brits that searched "what does it mean when you get shot".
Each month around 390 people search for an explanation to dreams which involve them being shot.
The experts, working in conjunction with MattressNextDay said that experiencing death as a result of a shooting in your dream – means that you are being hurt by someone in your waking life.
They added: "If you survive – then this suggests that you are passionate and fighting for something in your waking life."
2. Being in a fire
A popular dinner party question is often when other guests would ask you what personal belongings you would save if you were caught in a fire – but dreaming about this can be distressing.
The experts say that dreaming of fire can mean many things.
"If you were unafraid of the fire, then it suggests you are ‘on fire’ with drive and creativity.
"If you are burned from the fire, it indicates that your temper is raging, and you are ‘burning up inside’.
"Alternatively, it could be trying to warn you against risky or dangerous activities of ‘playing with fire’."
On average around 2,400 people a month google "what does it mean when you dream you are in a fire".
Compared to this time last year there has been a 53 per cent increase on Brits searching this term.
3. Teeth falling out
Many of us have been unable to get to the dentist due to the coronavirus pandemic and this could have spurred on some anxiety about our oral health.
On average 27,100 people every month google the meaning to dreams of their teeth falling out.
Compared to this time last year the number of people searching for dreams about their teeth has gone up by 50 per cent.
Lee said this is often a sign of psychological stress.
"If you are under intense pressure, significantly worried about major life changes or neglecting your self-care, this dream can be extremely common.
"Whilst it is scary in the moment, it is likely a sign to look at your overall health and wellbeing.”
4. Seeing a ghost
Scary movies can often make us feel on edge afterwards and on average around 1,600 people search for "what does it mean when you see a ghost in your dream", each month.
This dream has also seen an uptick in searches and is up 46 per cent since last year.
The experts added: "Whilst this may seem like a scary thought, it’s usually a subconscious expression that you are suffering from grief or loss.
"However, if the ghost is a deceased relative or loved one, this will feel distinctly different, and usually more positive."
The experts say that dreams about drowning can often indicate that you are losing yourself in some way.
They said: "Whether it’s being overwhelmed by work, a relationship or stress.
"You will feel like you are ‘drowning’ under the weight of emotions, and being unable to handle or process them."
On average around 1,900 people each month search for this dream and since this time last year searches have spiked by 26 per cent.
Other common nightmares and what they mean
While the top ten are the most searched – the experts have outlined other common dreams.
Being late: Linked to an unconscious fear of missing out on an opportunity. This year, many activities related to work, family and friends have all been downscaled, so many people may have a subconscious fear of FOMO.
Being bald: Whilst this could be taken literally, it’s mostly linked to you feeling insecure or vulnerable about certain aspects of your life.
Being pregnant: Indicates feelings about some change in life, and the concerns and worries of this change.
Seeing a dead person: Signifies the end of something, whether it’s a relationship, job or even phase of your life.
Falling: Symbolic way of alerting you that something in your working life makes you feel out of control.
6. Being chased
On average around 2,900 each month search for dreams involving them being chased and searches for these dreams have gone up 24 per cent since this time last year.
The experts said that dreaming about being chased suggests that you are avoiding a person that needs attention.
They added: "The key to figuring out this dream is to focus on who or what is chasing you, and what the person or thing represents.
"You may just be running away from your fears or something you feel uncomfortable addressing."
7. Being naked in public
The thought of forgetting our clothes or someone moving them when we get out of the shower can be anxiety inducing.
On average around 590 people each month search for dreams involving this and since last year, searches for dreams on this topic have gone up 23 per cent.
The experts say that this can be linked to feeling embarrassed about something that other people don’t know about you.
8. Being attacked
Experts say that when you dream about being attacked it's not about wanting to hurt yourself or others – but is about resolving conflict.
They added: "Perhaps there is something in your life that you need to get rid of – such as a behaviour or belief you have outgrown."
On average around 480 people search for dreams like this each month and since last year the number of people searching has gone up by 23 per cent.
9. Surrounding by bugs
Dreaming about being surrounded by bugs could make you feel as though you are taking part in a bush tucker trial on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
But experts say that dreams that follow this pattern indicates negative feelings.
On average around 260 people a month search for dreams related to this and this has gone up by 23 per cent since last year.
The experts added: "Dreaming about insects, especially in large numbers, is often a symbol of negative thoughts or feelings – such as guilt or anxiety – that are haunting you, or, more metaphorically are crawling through your unconscious mind."
10. Getting lost
Around 720 people a month search for dreams about getting lost and this has gone up by 22 per cent in the last year.
The experts said: "This is often linked to a situation in your waking life where you are anxious about not finding your way, however, these dreams can help you find direction.
"Or it can symbolise that you feel like you have lost an aspect of yourself. "
While these dreams are the most common, other dreams that are plaguing Brits include those about being late.
Experts say that this could indicate that you're fearful of missing out on an opportunity.
Other common dreams include going bald, which indicates an insecurity about your apperance.
Dreaming about being pregnant could mean that you are worried about changes in life.
Another common dream is falling – this symbolises you are losing control of some aspects of your life.
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