Having the same dream, again and again, is a well-known phenomenon — nearly two-thirds of the population report having recurring dreams. Being chased, finding yourself naked in a public place or in the middle of a natural disaster, losing your teeth, or forgetting to go to class for an entire semester are typical recurring scenarios in these dreams.
But where does the phenomenon come from? The science of dreams shows that recurring dreams may reflect unresolved conflicts in the dreamer’s life.
- Most recurring dreams include negative content such as danger, fear, sadness, guilt, and anger.
- Recurring dreams reflect events metaphorically, while traumatic dreams directly reproduce experiences of trauma.
- Dreams often incorporate real external stimuli, e.g., clenched teeth while sleeping can lead to a dream about losing teeth.
“Studies suggest that dreams, in general, help us regulate our emotions and adapt to stressful events.”