The two most common statements I hear from people are; I had the weirdest dream last night, and; Is it normal to dream about _______ (fill in the blank)? Rarely do friends, family or clients feel the need to tell me about the dream they had where they were holding laundry or walking the dog.
When it comes to dreams, strange, bizarre and confusing is the norm.
I've been asked repeatedly if it's normal to dream about a specific person, place or thing.
- Is it normal to dream about sex every night?
- Is it normal to dream about my teeth falling out?
- Is it normal to dream about being chased by Bigfoot?
In addition to the above types of questions, I also get asked questions like:
- Is it normal to dream that I turn into a half woman, half horse being that can jump over tall buildings -even though I'm a man?
- Is it normal to dream that I keep getting killed over and over again?
- Is it normal to dream that everything is made of glass?
First, let me assure you that almost anything in a dream is normal. Our unconscious creates images it feels conveys the message in the most elegant and efficient way possible. However, or conscious mind does not always understand what the imagery is supposed to be. So instead of a beautiful woman riding a horse through a cityscape, our dream gets jumbled into an image of a half woman, half horse that jumps over tall buildings.
There are a number of common dream that are universal. Every human on the planet, at some time, has had these types of dreams. Here are the top ten:
- Being chased
- Being attacked
- Getting lost
- Being unable to move (and or speak)
- Being humiliated or embarrassed
- Falling or crashing
- Teeth falling out or broken
- Unable to find something (or someone)
As for the content of the dreams …
As I already said, when it comes to dreams, almost anything's normal. What is not normal, for example, is if you never have people in your dreams, or if every dream has the same elements over and over and over.
In an intriguing case study reported several years ago, a seemingly healthy adult male helped help from a psychiatrist for difficulties in his social life. As part of his therapy, he was instructed to keep a dream journal. In the two years he recorded his dreams, not one contained a single living thing; no people, animals or plants; not even the dreamer himself.
Another more disturbing case was studied and reported by Calvin Hall, a number of years ago. Hall was provided with a series of dreams from an unknown person (by a colleague). The dreams all featured unnatural, confusing and distorted sexual and body imagery. There were marked omissions that are generally found in dreams, such as family, friends, home settings. It was later revealed to Hall that the dreams were those of a sex offender who had apparently been abused by a family member.
Note: Do not confuse dreaming about sex and body parts with sexual deviance or abnormality. It's perfectly natural to dream about sex and every possible body part. Men tend to dream about sex four times more than women do, yet regardless gender dreams about sex much in relation to all other types of dreams … a mere ten percent (average).
Recurring elements do not needarily signal a problem either. Quite often our unconscious will repeat the same theme or element until we finally get the message it's trying to express. However, if you constantly dream about blue horses in ballet slippers, for example, or any one element or theme, over and over, you may want to speak with a mental health professional.
Anything and everything you've ever seen, read, or experienced, and even those you have not can and does make up the story and imagination of your dreams. I once dreamed of a bear (brown stuffed trees) tree and giggled when I realized the message was “a bare (leafless) tree. them as stories being told in code … a code that only you can decipher.