Dreams are a natural part of sleep, but for some people, they can become recurring nightmares. Recurring dreams can be very distressing and embarrassing, and sometimes they can be a sign of a more serious mental health condition.
Generally, dreams can be boring, interesting, weird, or scary, and some of them are not even remembered. Repetitive or recurring dreams are different because the person has the same dream over and over again.
Many people have recurring or repeated dreams, and while some of these dreams may simply reflect your daytime activities, others may carry specific spiritual meaning.
Recurring or repetitive dreams can often be a sign that something is trying to communicate with you, and it’s important to pay attention to what the dream is telling you.
In some cases, the spiritual meaning of a repeated dream may only become clear after the dreamer has experienced it in waking life.
In this article, we will explain in detail the recurring dreams, and the common spiritual meanings they are trying to tell you based on different scenarios. So, stay connected.
Did You Know?
According to a survey conducted by Amerisleep, about 75 percent of Americans experienced repetitive dreams, and nearly 40 percent of them said their recurring dreams started in the early years of their lives.
Interestingly, 54 percent of the dreamers had repeated dreams about falling, while 51 percent experienced being chased in their recurrent dreams.
What are Recurring Dreams?
Repeated or Recurring dreams are dreams that a person constantly has over and over again. It can happen over a span of a few weeks to a few years and may involve anything from nightmares to normal dreams.
In some cases, recurring dreams function as a symptom of the psychological issue our subconscious mind is striving to address. Such dreams are a sign that our subconscious mind is attempting to bring our focus to some unsolved dilemma in our personal life or perhaps at a certain point in our life.
Recurring dreams not only disturb your sleep patterns, it also brings about psychological issues and hampers your daily activities. For that reason, it is crucial to closely examine and analyze the dream before putting an end to it.
Amerisleep has presented the list of 35 most common recurring dreams, and the percentages of the population experiencing those dreams.
Falling from a great height is the most common recurring dream, whereas having a glass in your mouth is the dream experienced by the lowest number of people.
What’s the Cause of Your Recurring Dream?
It’s possible that your dreams occur repeatedly, and you constantly fear having another nightmare. Or perhaps your recurring dream relates to a close relative suffering an accident, and you feel that way each time you close your eyes at night.
No matter the nature of the recurring nightmare you have, waking up terrified is a terrible feeling. And it can feel scarier to fall asleep when you know that you are most likely going to have another nightmare.
Recurring nightmares are a common experience that can be disruptive and anxiety-provoking.
Fortunately, understanding your nightmares or other repeated dreams could be the first step in addressing them. By understanding the root of your nightmares, you can start to make changes that will help minimize their impact.
Some of the potential causes of Repetitive Dreams are:
Unfulfilled Psychological or Physical Needs
Some sleep experts claim that recurring dreams of any type are a clue to unresolved psychological and physical needs, such as freedom, power, authority, and competency.
These needs are frequently a factor behind recurring nightmares, and in some instances, recurring dreams work as a strategy to get overcome and check out the encounters just before they happen. (source)
Unsolved Issues and Conflicts
Life’s traumatic events such as family and relationship conflicts can embed a memory of torment in your subconscious mind for a long time to come. It makes you afraid, nervous and stuck in fright. This stops you from accepting decisions that will enable you to succeed.
Traumas such as those from social violence, sexual abuse, divorce, or death can leave a range of lasting negative feelings that get reflected within the dream state as it attempts to get help, obtain understanding, and accept fate.
If you are unsure of your previous choices, recurring dreams may advise you to be careful and cautious about your next move.
Relationship problems, workplace fears, or other threatening and difficult situations can make it harder to take responsible action if you lack confidence. This can result in the presence of recurring dreams about negativity, failure, sorrow, or grief.
A study revealed that those with higher unmet needs and who experienced more frustrations during their waking life had a recurring dreams at night more frequently than others. (source)
Medication and Substance Abuse
Substances like medication, drugs, and alcohol may interfere with brain chemicals and intensify the chances of having recurring dreams. Studies have found that sedatives, beta-blockers, and amphetamines are more likely to incite nightmares. In some cases, withdrawing substances can also result in recurring nightmares. (source)
Psychological and Mental Disorders
Sometimes, the trauma of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or sexual abuse may result in repeated nightmares. In some cases, this is the result of the emotional trauma that the person endured.
These symptoms can be prevented with counseling from experts and taking medicines for anxiety.
The relative frequency of indications of psychological difficulties such as danger, violence, and abuse in dreams is considered a mental health disorder known as a borderline personality disorder (BPD).
These recurring dreams produce fear, anxiety, and anger in those who experience them. The dreamer may exhibit extreme agitation and violent behavior after waking up from these dreams.
List of 30 Recurring Dreams and Their Spiritual Meanings
Here, we have mentioned the psychological and spiritual meanings of 30 most common recurring dreams, along with other least common repeated dreams.
1. Recurring Dreams About Falling
The repetitive dream of falling is common in people who are having a major life problem with work, relationships, or elsewhere.
A falling dream points to a deficiency of confidence and failure. This indicates that you are unable to properly handle things. Experiencing a falling dream probably reflects fear and vulnerability in waking life.
You feel out of control in various aspects of your life while falling down. Within this dream, you become helpless to those various circumstances and represent a lack of control of your everyday life.
2. Recurring Dreams About Being Chased
If you are convinced that you are in a dangerous or otherwise volatile situation, and you intend to avoid or understand why things seem to be not going well, you are likely to have a recurring dream of being chased.
How fast you are being chased in a repetitive dream indicates the level of deliberate avoidance you have used. Perhaps you’ve been afraid, or perhaps you’ve been avoiding something uncomfortable.
This recurring dream is a piece of advice from your subconscious about facing reality, so you can progress.
If you’ve avoided facing certain situations in your waking life, or delayed putting it on hold, you may dream of being chased.
It hints you should face the reality of your circumstances, so life can go more smoothly. You might be running away from an issue that requires you to act, which is manifesting through recurring nightmares.
According to Ian Wallace, a best-selling author and popular broadcaster on the subject of dreams and psychology, the recurring dream of being chased carries good spiritual meaning or omen.
In spite of the ghastly nature of this dream, he believes that this dream is a signal to focus our full attention on our obsession with a current problem.
Lauren Lawrence found that the reoccurring dream about being chased is experienced by women more frequently than men.
3. Recurring Dreams of Being Back in School
A recurring dream about going back to school means anxiety in real life, with too much pressure that you might not be able to manage. This dream symbolizes anxiety of shedding your identity, insecurity, and lack of confidence and worth.
When you constantly dream about school, it also signifies change, learning new skills, adapting, and moving away from rigid circumstances.
4. Recurring Dreams of Being Unprepared for Important Event or A Test
Recurring dreams of being unprepared for an important event or a test can be anxiety-provoking. Dreams that feature feeling unprepared or “not ready” are often indicative of a person’s fear of failure or being overwhelmed.
Dreams that include feeling pressure to perform well or having perfect knowledge can be a sign that the person is feeling inadequate in some way. While these dreams may feel like a reality at the time, they are generally benign and do not always have negative consequences.
5. Recurring Dreams About Flying
People who have recurrent dreams about flying often find themselves waking up feeling relieved and positive. These dreams can be interpreted in a number of ways, but for some people, they serve as a reminder to let go of their current issues and allow things to “fall naturally into place.”
Likewise, the recurrent dream about flying often indicates that there is an out-of-control situation in the dreamer’s life.
Your recurring dream about flying is a beneficial omen, suggesting you have the ability to enjoy freedom and abundance, feel independent of others, and exert power. You are responsible for creating unprecedented progress.
6. Recurring Dreams About Death
People of all ages experience recurring dreams about death. Death may be the most feared dream, but it is not the only one. People also dream about being hurt, losing a loved one, or experiencing other personal fears.
Dreams about death are often related to unresolved issues in the person’s life. Some people interpret recurrent dreams about death as a warning from their subconscious that they are in danger. Others believe that dreaming about death is a way to prepare for the moment of death.
This dream represents the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or leaving an old home. It represents a significant part of your day-to-day routine that is ending and dying. You are unhappy about the change and worried because of it.
This dream represents losing something important in life. Upon reflection, dreams of death are often symbolic of the end of something; they are synonymous with the close of big changes in life.
7. Recurring Dreams of Having Your Teeth Fall Out
The reoccurring dream of teeth falling out could reveal the onset of a facet of agony such as the death of a close relative, job loss, loss of a liked one, or abrupt family breakups.
This symbolic representation of the dream is related to unease and negative emotional conditions. Keep an eye on your well-being to forestall such a scenario.
A dream about your teeth falling out also has psychological or spiritual significance, as it typically suggests forthcoming changes in the external sphere that you’re not presently aware of.
Symbolically, teeth can be viewed as a metaphor for mental strength and physical strength. Taking a positive view indicates you can recover your lost strength with persistence and perseverance.
8. Recurring Dreams of Being Lost
Recurring dreams of being lost are often perplexing and can be disturbing. However, the meaning of this dream may be more complex than initially thought.
Experts say that the dream may represent a fear of abandonment or feeling alone in the world. Additionally, the dream may reflect an individual’s anxieties or unresolved issues from the past.
While the meaning of a recurring dream cannot be definitively determined, it can help to explore its nuances in order to better understand oneself.
9. Recurring Dreams of Being Unable to Move or Walking in a Slow Motion
Almost everyone has had a dream where they can’t move or they’re walking in slow motion.
This dream can have a wide range of meanings but is often symbolic of some fear or anxiety the individual is feeling.
Some people may interpret this dream as a warning about an upcoming danger, while others may see it as a representation of their own limitations.
10. Recurring Dreams About Missing Train, Plane, or Bus
If you have ever had a dream in which you are missing a train, plane, or bus, there could be a reason.
For some, the fear of being away from loved ones may be at the root of such dreams. For others, anxiety about an upcoming event such as a job interview can cause this type of dream.
11. Recurring Dreams of Being Unable to Speak, Scream, or Shout
Recurring dreams in which a person can’t speak, scream, or shout are often terrifying. The individual may feel like they are trapped and can’t get out. This is usually caused by a fear of being trapped or suffocated.
It can be difficult to deal with the fear and eventually the dream will stop happening, but it can occasionally recur.
12. Recurring Dreams About Snakes, Spiders, or Other Animals
In a dream, being frightened of tiny creatures, such as spiders and worms, may indicate that you’re having irritation and little worries, and the problems keep rising if you don’t take the necessary steps to manage them.
When you start dreaming of bugs, it is an evident indication of exactly where you need to begin dealing with the tension if you have not done so already.
Repetitive dreams about spiders are a reminder to stay far away from harmful bonds. Remember to refrain from situations that may trigger you to be trapped by someone you do not know well.
It is advised that you remain vigilant around untrustworthy individuals and take note of your plan of action so that you may stay away from them.
13. Recurring Dreams of Thief Stealing Your Property
It’s normal to have a recurring dream of thieves stealing your property, such as your car, house, or other possessions.
Dreams about theft usually reflect feelings of vulnerability and insecurity in your waking life. You may be feeling like someone is out to get you or that you can’t trust anyone.
The dream may also be a way of expressing feelings of anger or resentment towards someone who has wronged you.
Alternatively, the dream may represent some aspect of yourself that you feel is being stolen away from you, such as your independence or self-esteem.
To get the most out of your dreams, it’s important to explore the underlying emotional issues they are trying to address.
14. Recurring Dreams About Money or wealth Coming in
When it comes to recurring dreams, they often have a specific meaning.
Dreams about money or wealth coming in could symbolize that the dreamer is on the right track and their hard work is starting to pay off.
Alternatively, this dream could also be a sign that the dreamer needs to be more mindful of their spending habits.
Another interpretation of this dream could suggest that the dreamer is being rewarded for their positive attitude and good deeds.
15. Recurring Dreams About Driving Out-of-Control Vehicle
It’s easy to understand why a person might have a recurrent dream about driving an out-of-control vehicle, especially if they are afraid of driving.
For some people, the dream may represent their fear of losing control of their life. The dream may also be a warning from the subconscious to pay attention to what is happening in their life.
If someone is constantly feeling like they are in danger or out of control, the dream may be a way for their subconscious to tell them that they need to take action and regain control of their life.
Likewise, if you are in a dream where your vehicle gets out of control, it’s an indicator that you’re making important choices without considering all the consequences.
In waking life, it’s also a sign that instability is developing. An out-of-control vehicle means to hurry.
16. Recurring Dreams of Meeting a Popular Celebrity
Most people have had at least one recurring dream where they meet a celebrity. These dreams can be exciting, or they can be downright terrifying. But what do they mean?
Some dream experts believe that dreaming about meeting a celebrity is actually a sign of self-importance. You may be feeling like you’re on top of the world, or that you’re more special than other people.
Alternatively, this dream could represent your desire for fame and recognition.
On the other hand, some believe that these dreams are actually warnings from your subconscious mind. It may be trying to tell you that you’re spending too much time focusing on celebrities and their lives, instead of living your own life.
17. Recurring Dreams of Meeting a Stranger
When we have a recurring dream, it can be difficult to determine the meaning. Dreams are often complex and can be interpreted in many ways.
However, meeting a stranger in a recurring dream could symbolize that you are ready to meet new people and explore new relationships.
It could also represent the beginning of a new phase in your life. Alternatively, the stranger could represent something that is new and unknown to you.
If you are feeling lost or uncertain about the future, meeting a stranger in your dreams could be a sign that you are ready to find your way.
18. Recurring Dreams of Visiting a Wonderful Place
Recurring dreams of visiting a wonderful place are often interpreted as a sign from the universe that you are on the right track. This is because wonderful places represent things that are important to you.
They might be memories from your past, places you want to go in your future, or even places that you fantasize about. The meaning of a recurring dream of visiting a wonderful place will depend on what is important to you.
19. Recurring Dreams of Seeing the End of the World
Recurring dreams of seeing the end of the world are not just a fear or anxiety dream but have different meanings for different people.
For some, it might represent a fear of death or change, while others interpret it as a sign that they are on the right path in life.
Some believe that these dreams are a way for people to prepare for what is coming. Others think that they are a means of connecting with divine forces. Whatever the case may be, these dreams are intriguing and fascinating.
20. Recurring Dreams of Unable to Find a Toilet
People have recurrent dreams of needing to use the bathroom but not being able to find a toilet.
Some people interpret this dream as representing fear or anxiety about going to the bathroom. Others see it as a warning that something is wrong with their health.
Many people believe that dreaming about needing to use the bathroom but not being able to find a toilet means that they are in danger or that there is something they need to take care of.
21. Recurring Dreams of Visiting a Secret or Unused room
Recurring dreams of visiting a secret or unused room could have different meanings for different people.
For some, it could represent a fear of abandonment or be left out. For others, it could be a feeling of excitement or curiosity.
Whatever the reason behind the dream, it’s important to remember that it is just a dream and there is no real danger involved.
22. Recurring Dreams of Being in a Movie or TV Show
Recurring dreams of being in a movie or TV show typically represent an individual’s interest or fascination with the entertainment industry.
These dreams may also be indicative of a person’s personal feelings or concerns about their own life. People who enjoy watching movies or TV shows may have these dreams as a way of reliving these experiences vicariously.
Alternatively, these dreams may be indicative of an individual’s anxiety or feeling of being out of control.
23. Recurring Dreams of Being Trapped, Crushed, or Drowning
A recurring dream of being stuck, crushed, or drowning suggests being confused and trapped by your partner. Maybe you have been in an overwhelming bond where your significant other controls all the details of your life.
As much as you dislike it, you could not break free from this bond. These dreams signify self-doubt, poor self-worth, and the inability to voice your opinion in public.
You may want to be competent enough to meet your daily needs from outside the home. This means that you are stuck in outmoded ideas and traditions that convey a lack of strength and lack of achievement.
You are susceptible to the requirements of others and have become a captive; you are unable to escape from it.
24. Recurring Dreams About Plane Crash
The recurring dream about a plane crash may reflect your anxiety over the forthcoming failure of a project. This forces you to remember what you’ve learned about dealing with such scenarios in real life, thereby providing important cognitive material.
For example, if you dream of regaining control over an airplane that is approaching the ground, this dream might indicate that you have the ability to achieve this in more realistic and less glamorous ways.
These dreams symbolize difficulties that will arise in the path of accomplishing these objectives. It symbolizes fear and anxieties regarding future events; a perspective that will denote fear of a lot of material that can’t be controlled, even if one desires it.
25. Recurring Dreams of Having Glass in Your Mouth
There is no one answer to how to deal with a recurrent dream of having a glass in your mouth. For some, it can be alarming and cause extreme anxiety. For others, it can be a source of embarrassment and an indication of a fear or phobia.
However, for the majority of people with this type of dream, it is simply a nuisance that needs to be dealt with in some way.
26. Recurring Dreams About Your Ex: Ex-Boyfriend/Girlfriend, or Ex-Husband/Wife
Dreaming about a former lover over and over again suggests the need for closure and intimacy that could be present in your personal connection. When you fantasize about an ex-boyfriend, it may indicate your natural innate desire for neediness, warmth, and devotion.
This dream hinted at unresolved issues, hurt, or suffering between you and him. Even after so many years have passed, the issues that were revealed may emerge in your subconscious because there is an unsuccessful relationship between you.
27. Recurring Dreams About the Same Place or Person
People often have recurrent dreams about the same place, even if they’ve never been there before. Dreams can be a way for our subconscious mind to communicate with us. So, what’s the spiritual meaning of these dreams?
Some people believe that dreaming about a specific place or thing can help us connect with that place or thing in our waking life. Other people believe that dreams are a way to connect with our subconscious mind and figure out unresolved issues from our past.
Whenever recurring dreams focus on a particular place, it could mean it has a more profound meaning for you.
Maybe you want to visit this location in real life; a mere dream fulfillment would be enough. If the location is dangerous or frightening, it could mean unresolved conflicts, fear, and concerns from real-world life.
This recurring dream about the same person typically symbolizes wish fulfillment. Perhaps you desire to have a loving and respectable human being in your waking life.
This symbolism brings positive feelings, but sometimes this dream symbol has negative meaning as well.
28. Recurring Dreams About Tornado
A recurring tornado dream reveals your anxieties and concerns that are beyond your ability to manage. Daily stress is having an adverse impact on your mental health; maybe this is the reason behind your recurring nightmare.
It indicates great internal tension and a profound emotional elevation. Tornadoes are destructive and powerful; so, in dreams, they symbolize generalized anxiety and a lack of peace of mind.
You are unable to control your mental agonies well, but that leads to a host of distressing issues and upsets. Perhaps it’s a symptom of suppressed rage that you’ve built up. There is a strong connection between dreams and actual life events, indicating your own turbulent state of mind.
29. Recurring Dreams of Being Fired
Dreams about being fired might mean that you’re feeling as though you have less control over your life, or it might have to do with the balance of power in a significant partnership. It could also symbolize a deep fear that your relationship with those matters will come to an end.
Throughout these recurring dreams, if you are neither feeling useless in the workplace nor are anxious about it, it may be worthwhile to reflect on whether your relationship with your employer has fulfilled the necessary expectations.
In the real world, unemployment is a hazard, uncertainty, and low success. When recurrent dreams of this shape occur, it means you’re uncertain about your own future. You are undecided about your next step.
Recurrent dream wherein you’re fired also indicates your doubts and fears about your overt lifetime. It is representative of your internal fear that pertains to your occupation.
30. Repeated Dream About Failing a Test
If you have a recurring nightmare of failing the exams or tests, you are likely self-critical and suffer from self-doubt. You have been unable to progress smoothly during a difficult time in your life.
A recurring dream of failing in tests or examinations denotes difficulties, vulnerabilities, and shortcomings in real life. You may feel nervous in living day by day, and for that reason, you do not possess so much confidence.
Failing in tests also indicates weakness in the direction of authority and the feeling of low performance.
Lauren Lawrence has found that perfectionists have recurring stress-linked nightmares. She reckons that the dream evokes one to be alert.
She believes that in adults, these nightmares make reference to school or work. This is due to the fact that both areas are filled with potentially tough circumstances. She concludes that the dream reflects work stress.
How Can You Stop Recurring Dreams from Happening Again?
It’s not just one bad dream that can keep you up at night. It’s the ones that keep coming back, over and over again. But what can you do to stop them from happening in the first place?
There are a few things you can do, but the most important thing is to seek out professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you work through your dreams, and possibly even prevent them from recurring in the future.
Before visiting your dream and sleep counselor, try these simple but effective tips at home every night for a few weeks.
Monitor your sleep and record them in a diary.
Dreams can occasionally be informing you of something. So, to figure out what your dreams are trying to tell you, write out a sleep log.
Just sleep and write down whatever dream you experience when you wake up. Write down any object, person, figure, or anything in the background that you notice.
Write about the dream in such a way as if someone else wrote the story of your dream in a small manner, and do not include any of your own input.
Write about the dream when you wake in the middle of the night, keeping detailed accounts of it in your log book. Write down two or three of these recurring dreams until you understand them completely.
Study and Analyze Dream Structure
The next step is to evaluate the dream. You may work with a psychoanalyst, dream interpreter, or a therapist for this, as they’ll be more appropriate for helping you through this process.
Alternatively, you could attempt to decipher the message your dream is trying to give you. Do you continue to have reoccurring dreams after a recent traumatic event or perhaps one in your childhood?
Dying or losing a relative, being neglected when you were younger, being treated badly by someone, the end of the relationship, and professional difficulties will lead to resentment, fear, worrying about failures, and frequent bad dreams.
Implement Necessary Action
Clearly observing and analyzing dreams and then taking steps to resolve any or all of their attached issues can develop your capability to solve the problem related to the reoccurring dreams.
Whether it is related to work stress, a relationship issue, or the death of a loved one, you can focus to solve that particular issue.
Take Help from Meditation, Yoga, and Medicines
Someone with recurring dreams may find that they experience a lot of anxiety and stress. So, take time to meditate, do yoga, and do deep breathing exercises to relax your body and mind.
Apart from that, there are various kinds of medicine that are designed to block the basic stage of sleep, in which dreams occur. So, such medication might be used to get over recurring dreams as well.
Introduce Positive Affirmation to Change the Dream
Repeat to yourself now that you are seeing positive and happy moments in your dreams every day. At some later time during the day, repeat the new dream you want to see over and over several times before you sleep.
If you do so, your dreams can eventually change, which can aid you in removing the recurring bad dream.
A Word from Spiritual Posts
Dreams are often seen as irrational and unconnected to reality, but that does not mean they can’t offer insights into our emotions, motivations, and unfulfilled desires.
For some people, dreams may be a way to explore difficult topics or unresolved issues. It’s also been said that certain dreams may reflect our future path or destiny.
While it’s important to remember that dreams are not always logical, they can still offer a valuable look into our inner thoughts and feelings.
Your recurring dreams can sometimes provide you with extra details or encouragement as you continue facing a particular obstacle. Seeking guidance on this issue, with the help of a professional, may improve your sleep quality and psychological health.