We all have that one recurring dream that comes back to haunt us in our sleep, but new US research has shown that women actually have more nightmares than men!
The study revealed that women dream about falling or being cheated on by their partner more than anything else, whereas men are more likely to dream about flying or finding money. Experts have suggested that this may be because women are more prone to anxiety than men, and nightmares are essentially subconscious anxieties playing out.
Here are the 10 most common nightmares and what they actually mean, so you can finally put your mind at ease...
1) Being chased
Being chased is the most common dream around the world and suggests you are in pursuit of a goal but are perhaps encountering a frustration or a challenge in obtaining it. It may be that you are unsure of how to actually reach your goal or that you feel like it might be threatened in some way.
This type of nightmare can often relate to a feeling that you are not in control of something going on in your life. This may be down to work, relationships, money, or a fear of letting something go.
3) A partner leaving or cheating
A nightmare in which your partner leaves or cheats often reflects feelings of insecurity in your relationship - this may be a fear of not being good enough for you partner, or another underlying anxiety you haven't addressed. It could also relate to a personal fear of losing touch with your fundamental needs, which may be making you feel less attractive and less confident than usual.
4) Teeth falling out
In your dreams your teeth often represent power and confidence, therefore teeth falling out in a dream can symbolise a loss of confidence or a knock to your self-esteem. A nightmare in which your teeth fall out could also depict a fear of ageing or a fear of being less productive in something.
5) Being naked in front of people
Realising that you're standing in front of a crowd of people completely naked is a common nightmare often played out in TV shows and films. This kind of nightmare relates to feeling vulnerable and exposed in some areas of your life. It could also be that you are ashamed of yourself or something you may have done or said and you are worried what other people will think of you.
A nightmare where you are drowning in water may relate to a situation in your life where you are becoming deeply involved with something emotionally and immersing yourself in these feelings of commitment. A drowning nightmare whereby your head slips under the water could mean that you are overwhelmed by something and feel out of your depth. Likewise a dream where you are unable to breath might relate to you not being able to put your feelings into words.
7) Missing an important event or being late
Whether it's a work meeting, a doctors appointment or meeting up with a friend, a dream where you are late for an event or even miss it entirely can relate to losing the opportunity to experience fulfilment. In the dream you may feel rushed and flustered, this could symbolise you feeling like time is running out for you to accomplish a certain goal you have set for yourself.
A nightmare involving an accident or injury can often represent feelings of weakness in your personal life, this dream could relate to an emotional wounding or embarrassment you've faced.
9) Your house being on fire or flooding
A nightmare in which your house catches fire or floods could reflect a creative transformation taking place in your life, or highlight the need for you to take creative action in order to transform your life. This nightmare could also relate to a feeling that your individuality and security are under threat.
10) Feeling trapped
A feeling of claustrophobia in a dream can reflect an inability to get out of a bad situation - one with no possibility of escaping. This could relate to an underlying feeling that you are unable to reach your full potential.