It’s usually pretty easy to read into the meaning behind bad dreams, but good dreams can be a bit more cryptic. We decode some of the common ones here.

By Jennifer King Lindley
Photo courtesy of Caroline So


Discovering a new room in your house

What it might mean

Learning something new about yourself

Related: How to Have Happier Dreams and Get a Good Night's Rest




What it might mean 

Rising above your cares or reaching high goals




What it might mean





What it might mean

Very creative, giving birth to a new idea or project



Swimming underwater in a beautiful location

What it might mean

A sense of freedom, “bathing” in the positive aspects of yourself

Also see: How to Get Back to Sleep After a Nightmare

Mars and Venus in Dreamland

Bad dreams differ by gender, according to research at the University of Montreal. Men report more nightmares about natural disasters: floods, earthquakes, wars, plagues of insects. Women dream more of interpersonal conflict—fights with friends, colleagues and family members.

Total Recall

Are you one of those people who thinks they NEVER dream? “We all dream. You’re just not remembering your dreams,” says Lauri Loewenberg, a dream analyst and author of Dream on It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life. Light sleepers naturally recollect more because they often wake up in the middle of theirs. Thankfully, dream recall is like a muscle—you can strengthen it with some exercise:

Don’t move.

Linger quietly in the exact position you woke up in for a few minutes. “If you leap up instantly and dash for the shower, it’s like unplugging from your dream,” explains Loewenberg. 

Find one detail.

Try to recall any thin thread you can. “You might only remember red lipstick. Ask yourself who was wearing it. What was she doing? How did you feel about her?” says Loewenberg. Other details may quickly follow.   

Write it down.

Keeping a bedside journal can help connect you to the dreaming part of your brain. Write down your dreams or sketch them out and give each one a title. Where the Heck are My Airline Tickets?