Dreams can be pretty strange, am I right?
From nightmares about being naked in front of a massive crowd of people or being chased by monsters, to sex dreams involving people who are most definitely not your partner, there's a whole lot of weird that happens while we're sleeping.
But what does it all mean?
If you've ever wondered whether your subconscious was trying to tell you something through an inappropriate dream, we might finally have some answers for you.
Psychologist and dream expert, Dr. Keith M. T. Hearne has explained what some of the most common dreams about sex and relationships could mean.
This comes after a new study by bed and mattress specialists, Bed SOS revealed that half of Brits (48 percent) dream about sex and one in seven have had a dream involving sex with someone unexpected, like a work colleague.
Dr. Hearne, who conducted the world’s first sleep-lab research into lucid dreams, explained: "Dreams, especially those that wake you suddenly, are probably best understood - not literally - but as symbolic messages, and verbal puns, from your wise unconscious.
"The emotion left on waking is probably the best indicator of whether the dream portrayed something good or bad.
"Our unconscious is very knowledgeable and is like a friend, guide and protector. It can encourage and prod us if we’re not achieving things it knows we can."
Here's a look at what he had to say about some of the most common dreams Brits have...
If you're cheated on by your partner in a dream
Sometimes such a dream is indicating to the dreamer that cheating is indeed happening. The subconscious is sensitive to subtle clues (e.g. pheromones) that go unnoticed consciously, and the dream is just about the only channel of communication to the consciousness.
But equally, a person who is lacking in trust may project that issue into their relationship. If the dream occurs in each relationship, the cause is more likely to be the latter.
Dreams about sex with someone inappropriate e.g. a work colleague
It is not unusual for human beings to be attracted to each other. In the generally friendly long-term situation of a work-place, little fantasies and flirtations often occur.
Most dreams are about our daily lives, and in REM (dreaming) sleep, a main feature is that males have a full erection, and women experience clitoral engorgement, so any friction can trigger such a dream.
Freud would have said that a part of our personality (the Id) which seeks basic gratification, would be responsible. In dreams it is safe to happen and can remain unspoken.
Men dreaming of being pregnant
Sometimes, men can feel great empathy with their partner and even experience symptoms of pregnancy. So in some cases it is a wish-fulfilment dream.
Now that the strict bi-polarity concept of the sexes is easing, this kind of dream becomes more comprehensible. In the symbolic, metaphorical, language of the subconscious, another possibility is that it positively represents some much-loved and developing project (say, a business idea, or a building plan).
Dreaming about being naked in public
The ‘metaphors in motion’ description of dreams often suffices to understand the real meaning. In this case, a feeling of embarrassment and shame probably accurately reveals the essential emotion, and the content symbolically displays the cause of the dream.
The dreamer should focus on what they have done or said to ‘show themselves up’. It may be a rebuke from the unconscious of unacceptable social behaviour. If, however, the feeling is of exhilaration, it may represent perhaps a new-found sense of freedom.
To find out more about the nation’s top 20 most common dreams, visit https://www.bedsos.co.uk/blog/2019/09/the-uks-most-common-dreams/
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