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Falling Dreams: What Does it Mean When You Dream That You’re Falling?

Falling Dreams: What Does it Mean When You Dream That You’re Falling?


Aoife O.
Aug 21, 2020

Falling dreams can be interpreted differently by different people. Some may focus on the feelings involved while others may put focus on the dream setting. Some may think that they ought to lay off on the spicy food before bed!  

A falling dream can indicate that you’re holding on to a situation in life that is not serving your best interests. Thus, learning to relax and relinquish some control could make you feel better. Falling dreams are often associated with our hidden insecurities, social anxieties, or unstable situations in life. 

Types of Falling Dreams and Their Interpretations 

What does it mean when you dream about falling from the sky? What do falling dreams mean or what is a tornado dream meaning? These are questions sleep experts are asked every day. Falling dreams are so common that you’ve probably had more than one in your lifetime. 

  • 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

  • Losing 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

  • Slipping: Dreaming of slipping and falling to your death can have you waking in tears, it simply means that you might be about to make a decision that could cause emotional upheaval

  • Others Falling: What does it mean when you dream about someone else falling? This could indicate that you may be on the receiving end of someone’s bad judgment, it can also be an opportunity to help a loved one or stranger

  • Falling in Water: Dreaming falling in water means you need to take note of your emotional wellbeing, you may be learning things about yourself that you never realized before

  • Falling Position: Dream interpretations falling on your back means you need some support from loved ones, falling on your hands means you’re about to be asked for help, if falling in your dreams and you land on your side you could be wavering between two important decisions

Hypnagogic jerk is a sleep disorder with symptoms of uncontrollable physical movement or verbal outbursts while sleeping.

Why Do We Dream About Falling?

Physiological Explanations for Dreams of Falling (The Hypnagogic Jerk)

Parasomnia (Hypnagogic Jerk) 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 dreaming of falling off a building 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 part.

Physiological Explanations for Dreams of Falling

Dreams of falling 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 dreams of falling it's the impact of hitting the ground that wakes you. If you hit the ground and remain dreaming, it could indicate your ability to confront your fears has been strengthened 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. Sometimes we can even experience a false awakening loop which is a dream within a dream.

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. 

In the phase between being asleep and being awake, sleep paralysis (hypnagogic state) can occur. This can be unsettling as many people report seeing aliens or shadowy figures around their bed. It simply means you’ve woken up from a dream but your body has not yet received the signal from your brain to move. During sleep, your brain limits your body movements so you don’t act out your dreams and hurt yourself. Visit this REM sleep calculator to learn more. Paralysis is unsettling but won’t harm you in any way. 

Learning to release negative emotions can have a great impact on sleep health.

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


Why do we dream about falling is simple. Learning to release negative emotions and situations can have a great impact on sleep health. Falling dream meaning doesn’t need to have a complex answer. 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. Keeping a dream journal is also a great method in deciphering the meaning of your dreams. Although it may be impossible to prevent falling dreams and nightmares completely you can gain a greater insight into your psyche and life by embracing, and even enjoying them.

For the best night of restful sleep, shop Nolah's Natural Latex Mattress now!

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.

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