Dream Series: Interpreting Dreaming of Falling

Falling dreams are one of the most common dreams we will have in our lifetime. The loss of control within the dream is so vivid that we are often physically jerked awake (parasomnia), the emotions and feelings are so intense they can linger long into our waking hours. Considering the, ahem, impact these dreams have, falling dreams are often associated with our hidden insecurities, social anxieties, or unstable situations in life. 

What is Parasomnia?

Parasomnia is a sleep disorder with symptoms of uncontrollable physical movement or verbal outbursts while sleeping. This can take the form of night terrors, where you wake suddenly with a physical jerk of your limbs as you wake up. The sudden muscle spasm is a result of falling in the dream or dreaming of taking a misstep while walking or climbing stairs. This may seem like a minor issue but parasomnia can have a great impact on your sleep health and that of your partners as both your sleep is disturbed. Along with the confusion, such a nightmare can leave you with. 

falling dreams are often associated with our hidden insecurities, social anxieties, or unstable situations in life

What does it mean?

Falling dreams could be an indication of unmanaged stress in your life. Feeling inadequate in your professional or personal relationships, or having too many balls in the air. Your subconscious is asking you to slow down and to not take something so seriously. Is there a situation in your life where you feel as if you’ve failed or it didn’t work out in the way you anticipated? You’re being asked to let go of a situation and surrender to the experience. This can be an overwhelming thought as most of us like to be in control of everything. However, some circumstances can trample over us, unraveling our lives and leaving us desperate to regain a grip on control.

Are falling dreams a good sign?

A falling dream can be unnerving but it’s ultimately a good sign. The reality of a troubling situation is being sorted out in your subconscious and your waking mind is playing catchup. Often in falling dreams its the impact of hitting the ground that wakes us. If you hit the ground and remain dreaming, it could indicate your ability to confront your fears has been strengthed and you’re in a better position than you were before, mentally. The same can be said if you remain in the dream and you’re observing your lifeless body on the ground. As unnerving as this sounds, it’s a strong indication of a life imbalance that is being mentally and emotionally sorted in your mind. 

Take note of your emotional state, are you anxious, overworked, not sleeping enough, drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, or eating an unhealthy diet? Of course, many external factors come into play when we’re suffering nightmares. More often than not, it’s stress and poor sleep health that is at the root cause. 

As unnerving as this sounds, it’s a strong indication of a life imbalance that is being mentally and emotionally sorted in your mind 

Type of dream

Falling on your back: this dream could mean you’re missing the support of those closest to you.

Falling on your hands: can indicate you’re caring for family members and in need of some help.

Lossing balance: could be experiencing instability and in desperate need of some grounding in life.

Lost grip: you could be losing control in life when you’re used to controlling everything, you may feel as if you’re holding on by a thread in your waking life. 

Being pushed: if pushed by someone you know it could indicate an aspect of your personality is similar to this person. That aspect of your personality has been abandoned and is seeking to be nourished or addressed.

Holding on: holding on tight in your dream means you’re struggling to maintain control but the situation is close to getting out of hand. This could mean a relationship is taking its toll and you’re emotionally drained.       

How can I prevent falling dreams and nightmares?

  • Learn to manage stress healthily with meditation and/or counseling
  • Seek help from loved ones if feeling overwhelmed 
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week
  • Get fresh air every day
  • Drink plenty of water every day
  • Limit or avoid caffeine/alcohol/ and processed foods 
  • Clean up your sleep health and nighttime routine 
  • Keep a dream journal, this will help you find meaning in your dreams
  • Be kind to yourself 

Although it may be impossible to prevent falling dreams and nightmares completely. Learning to release negative emotions and situations can have a great impact on our sleep health. Keeping a dream journal is also a great method in deciphering the meaning of your dreams. Although falling dreams can be unsettling, they are a sign that you’re working through something and must be kind to yourself during the process.