Good, Bad Dreams May Mean Something

Adopted from the Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2002

Everyone experiences dreams, but many people have trouble remembering what they are.

Dreams take people to places and situations that may seem real. People dream of many different things such as their house catching on fire, falling off a cliff or being chased by a faceless person. So, what do the dreams mean? Dr. Richard Evans, director of social psychology at the University of Houston, said that people often dream to relieve tension and stress. Evans said that no one can tell a person what all his or her dreams mean, but there are themes in dreams that can give someone a clue as to their meaning. For example, a dream about falling often indicates a fear of losing control, Evans said.

Having the same dream over and over may mean that you're trying to solve a problem. "Just like in life itself, you're trying to solve a problem," Evans said. "And the dream becomes a cognitive problem solver, trying to resolve it until the problem is solved. They may never solve it."

Many people even dream they're walking around nude. "That's one of the many types of insecurity that people have and dreams reflect things like having no clothes on, being lost in the shuffle, being embarrassed," Evans said. "People are acting out their basic insecurities."

Another common dream is teeth falling out. Evans said that could mean a person is afraid of some type of injury or bodily harm. The good news about dreams is that it means a person is sleeping well, Evans said.