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25 Surprising Things Your Dreams Reveal About You

Ever wonder what those crazy dreams could mean? Here’s what dream analysis can predict about your personality and your physical and emotional health.

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Dreams reveal how creative you arePhoto: ShutterStock

Your dreams can reveal how creative you are

Creative people are more likely to dream about unusual settings (rather than home or work) and about obstacles in the natural world, such as a log or a rock they can’t get around. In turn, dreams can also inspire creativity. In fact, these 13 world-changing ideas came from dreams.

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Dreams can reveal your political viewsPhoto: ShutterStock

Your political views

Self-described conservatives are more likely to have mundane, realistic dreams, while liberals have more bizarre dreams. Does that mean liberals are more open-minded? Or that they’re caught up in their own fantasies? Take your pick.

Here’s what your choice of dream vacation reveals about your personality.

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Dreams can reveal you have a heart problemPhoto: ShutterStock

That you’ve got a heart problem

People who have frequent nightmares may be significantly more likely to suffer from an irregular heartbeat or chest pain compared with those who don’t have them, found a study of older adults. That may be because heart problems can make it more difficult to breathe at night. Don’t miss this terrifying story of one woman’s battle with sleep hallucinations.

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Dreams can reveal if you're avoiding somethingPhoto: ShutterStock

If you’re avoiding something

Do you dream about being pursued by a stranger, a monster, or a giant tidal wave? This could indicate that you’re afraid to deal with something in your waking life. Ask yourself what issue, person, or emotion you’re not confronting.

Here are six more common dreams, decoded!

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Dreams can reveal how you'll recover from divorcePhoto: ShutterStock

How fast you’ll bounce back from your divorce

Divorced people who have longer, more dramatic dreams about the old relationship are more likely to adjust better to being single. Dreams may help divorced folks (and the rest of us) work through trauma.

Could a divorce be in your future? Don’t miss the eight secret signs your relationship is about to end.

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Dreams may take the place of religionPhoto: ShutterStock

How you pursue the big answers

Adults who attend church frequently may recall fewer dreams than those who don’t attend worship services regularly. If you’re not relying on religion to answer big life questions, then your dreams may become a resource for insight.

Even if you’re not spiritual, these three stories of children who have lived before should give you goosebumps.

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Dreams can reveal you have sleep apneaPhoto: ShutterStock

That you may have sleep apnea

If you have terrible dreams about drowning, choking, or suffocation, you could have sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop breathing for seconds at a time while asleep. One study found that those kinds of nightmares disappeared in 91 per cent of patients with sleep apnea after they were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Here are 13 more secrets sleep doctors want you to know.

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Dreams can reveal you're a workaholicPhoto: ShutterStock

That you’re a workaholic

Type A personalities tend to report more disturbing dreams than laid-back folks. Hard-driving types put more pressure on themselves, and that stress can appear in dreams.

Need to fall asleep fast? Here are seven natural sleep aids that actually work.

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Dreams can reveal if you'll ace a test Photo: Shutterstock

If you’ll ace a test

College students spent an hour learning how to navigate a complex maze. When tested later, the only students whose performance improved were those who had dreamed about the maze during a nap. Dreaming may consolidate memories, which boosts learning and problem-solving skills. Don’t miss these additional tricks to boost your concentration.

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Dreams can reveal if you can quit smoking Photo: Shutterstock

Whether you’ll give up smoking for good

One study found that the more you dream about smoking—and experience the guilt associated with falling off the wagon (even a phantom wagon)—the more likely you may be to quit. Ready to butt out for good? Here are 23 proven strategies to help you stop smoking.

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Dreams can reveal your risk for Parkinson'sPhoto: ShutterStock

Your risk of Parkinson’s

Photo: ShutterStock

Up to 90 per cent of people who act out violent dreams—by punching, kicking, or yelling while asleep—may eventually develop Parkinson’s disease. The behavior may indicate REM sleep behaviour disorder, an early sign of the disease. Don’t miss these five strategies that may help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

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Dreams can reveal how difficult your labour will bePhoto: ShutterStock

How easy your labour and delivery will be

Pregnant women who dream about labour shorten their birth experiences by an hour, according to research. Experts believe dreaming about labour helps the women anticipate and emotionally prepare for it, so they are able to relax and have easier deliveries in real life. Don’t miss these 12 tips for a deeper, more restful sleep.

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Dreams can reveal if you're depressedPhoto: ShutterStock

Whether you’re depressed…

Depressed people start dreaming much sooner than others, as early as 45 minutes after falling asleep, rather than the usual 90 minutes. These are other warning signs of depression.

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Dreams can reveal if you should see a therapistPhoto: ShutterStock

… And if you should see a therapist

Recurrent or repeated nightmares that keep you from sleeping are another hallmark sign of anxiety or depression. If your nightmares surge after a disturbing event, the trauma may be too big for your brain to psychologically digest. A sleep therapist or psychologist can help.

Here’s how much sleep you really need—according to science.

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Dreams can reveal what medication you're takingPhoto: ShutterStock

What medications you’re taking

Many drugs are known to cause bad dreams, including antidepressants, antibiotics, statins, and some antihistamines. Don’t miss the surprising connection between sleep deprivation and aging.

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Dreams can reveal if death is nearPhoto: ShutterStock

Death may be near

The closer a person is to passing, the more likely he or she is to dream about loved ones who’ve passed on.

Here are three strategies that might help you cope with the loss of a loved one.

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Dreams can predict if you'll fight with your spousePhoto: ShutterStock

How likely you are to fight with your spouse

Did you dream about your partner’s infidelity? You just increased the chances that you’re going to argue with him or her the next day, according to a University of Maryland study. Having a “sex” dream, on the other hand, boosts feelings of love and intimacy.

Check out the seven secrets to a lasting relationship.

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Dreams can predict migrainesPhoto: ShutterStock

If you’re about to have a migraine

One study of 37 migraine sufferers found that patients often have bad dreams that involve themes of anger and aggression before a migraine comes on. One theory is if the headache develops at night, the pain may trigger the nightmare. The good news? You might find relief with these 10 proven migraine remedies.

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Dreams can suggest you're out of tune with your emotionsPhoto: ShutterStock

If you’re out of tune with your emotions

Many researchers believe dreams—especially nightmares—are your brain’s way of making sense of your experiences. If a dream reoccurs and does not change much over time, it could be a sign you’re having trouble dealing with something emotionally. To resolve those issues, consider how the dream made you feel and which real-life circumstances might be prompting those emotions in you.

It turns out even your favourite ice cream flavour can reveal certainly personality traits!

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Dreams can reveal your problem solving stylePhoto: ShutterStock

What kind of problem solver you are

Those who recognize that they’re asleep while they’re dreaming (called lucid dreamers) are 25 per cent better at solving problems compared to non-lucid dreamers, according to a study published in the journal Dreaming. Researchers speculate that if you’re insightful enough to realize that you’re dreaming while asleep, then that may translate into better insight for solving problems while you’re awake.

This is what your favourite type of music says about your personality.

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Dreams can reveal who you're closest toPhoto: ShutterStock

Who you’re closest to

The people you have the strongest relationships with appear most frequently in your dreams, researchers have found. “Your dreams are a very accurate mirror of your emotional relationships,” says psychologist Kelly Bulkeley, PhD. “So when I’m analyzing your dreams, and you dream most often of your father, I can predict that you are closer emotionally to your father and that’s highly likely to be accurate.”

This is.what your handwriting says about your personality type.

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Dreams can signal changePhoto: ShutterStock

That you have to prepare for change

Sometimes dreams act as a rehearsal for upcoming challenges. Rosalind Cartwright, Ph.D., a psychologist and the founder of the Sleep Disorder Service and Research Center at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, says your brain takes any “emotionally hot” material and uses dreams to process them. When you wake, you’ll be able to deal with the situation better. Here are three more ways you can embrace change.

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Dreams can reveal if you're getting sickPhoto: ShutterStock

That you’re sick

According to the Mayo Clinic, being sick—especially with a fever— could trigger nightmares. And if you ignore or explain away symptoms, your nightmares might be the wakeup call that you need to look after your health. Here are 25 more things you need to know about sleep.

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Dreams can reveal low blood sugarPhoto: ShutterStock

If your blood sugar is low

People who suffer from diabetes experience nightmares when they have a large dip in blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. This is a severe symptom that could occur if you take too much insulin, reports.

On the other hand, here are eight sneaky things can can raise your blood sugar levels.

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Dreams can be linked to menstrual cyclePhoto: ShutterStock

Your period might be approaching

Some women report having wild dreams right before their period. And hormones do play a role in dreams. OB/GYN physician Dr. Christiane Northrup says that the day before your period, women are in a hormonal flux—causing erratic sleep and dreams. The theory is that the week before your period starts there is less REM sleep. Dreams, however, mainly occur when you are in REM. So when you are on or expecting your period, you’re not necessarily dreaming more, but you’re waking up and remembering more due to the uncomfortable nature of your menstrual cycle. Next, check out these little changes you can make to sleep better.

Sources: Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, a psychologist specializing in dream research; Michael Howell, MD, a neurologist at the University of Minnesota; Stephanie Silberman, PhD, a board-certified sleep specialist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, author of The Twenty-Four Hour Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives; Veronica Tonay, PhD, author of The Creative Dreamer: Using Your Dreams to Unlock Your Creativity; Michael Schredl, PhD, of the Central Institute of Mental Health’s sleep laboratory in Mannheim, Germany

Originally published as 25 Surprising Things Your Dreams Reveal About You on

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest