The Top 4 Anxiety Dreams and What They Mean About You

Dreaming about failing a test, losing your teeth or being chased? These common dreams can provide useful insight about your anxiety triggers.

If you’ve ever awoken from a dream in a cold sweat, you’re not alone. A recent analysis showed that close to 8% of the adult population has experienced sleep paralysis or night terrors, and a whopping 28% of students have, indicating an upward trend with young adults.

So what does it mean when we have anxiety dreams? Unsurprisingly, they often indicate fear is arising in some area of your life. Often, we have a gut instinct about what our anxiety dream references. But is there more to understand?

Understanding Anxiety Dreams

Certain dream motifs are repeated from dreamer to dreamer, and can point to universal human experiences and themes. The specific details of your anxiety dream can help you understand what triggers your anxiety, where it is showing up in your life, and the specific support you can use to keep it from taking over your actions.

I’ve outlined four of the most common anxiety dreams below, with ideas about what they could mean for you. To have a dream practice with depth, it’s important to weigh the suggestions below against the specific details of your dream and life experiences. Just keep what resonates, and release all that does not.

Dreams About Losing Your I.D., Keys, or Phone

When we carry particular objects with us all the time, we can come to see them as extensions of ourselves. If you have dreams like this, it could be pointing to an internal feeling of loss, a sense of losing yourself or your identity, and your fear around it. If you feel like you don’t know what the dream could relate to, try to observe when this feeling arises in your life. What are the circumstances? Do you feel like you’re searching in those moments, or that you’ve lost something?

Dreams About Arriving Late to Class, Failing A Test

Anxiety dreams about school, dreams about failing a test, or dreams about failure in general are almost universal. Even after being out of a school environment for years, dreams about being a poor student, dreams about missing class, or dreams of arriving late still come up. In school, we were socialized to value achievement, intellect and obedience. When you have dreams like this, they typically indicate that you are having anxiety around your performance, or perhaps a sense that there are rules you are struggling to follow. There may be authority figures that you are disappointing, or a generalized sense of getting an F. Where do you feel like you’re failing in life?

Dreams About Being Chased

Dreams about being chased or dreams about running for your life are incredibly common. They can feel very embodied, and bring up powerful feelings of fear and panic. It can be quite valuable to take note of the specific behaviors of the person you are terrified of. What did your pursuer do in the dream? If someone did that in real life, how would you react? What do you run from in your life?

Dreams about Losing Your Teeth, Dreams About Teeth Falling Out

Our teeth are incredibly sensitive, and incredibly strong. Certain acupuncture traditions say tooth pains are reflective of an “information overload.” Regardless of your opinion about the symbolism of teeth, a dream about losing them often includes some very uncomfortable feelings. When you have a dream like this, consider whether the dream is inserting this feeling into your consciousness, or reflecting it back to you because it was already present.

Anxiety dreams are never comfortable, but they can be quite illuminating if we are willing to look at them more closely. Have you ever had an interesting experience with your anxiety dreams? What other kinds of anxiety dreams do you have often? Your feedback is welcome!

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

67 comments

Hannah A
Hannah A1 months ago

thank you

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Olivia M
Past Member 1 months ago

Thank you

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Paula A
Paula A2 months ago

Thanks

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Shaz R
Past Member 2 months ago

I have some anxiety dreams. Thanks for the article.

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heather g
heather g2 months ago

I haven't been chased in my dreams or in real life for a long time. Meditation has made me more relaxed.

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Debbi W
Debbi W2 months ago

Fortunately, I haven't had any anxiety dreams.

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Debbie F
Debbie F2 months ago

Interesting! Thanks!

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tammy C
tammy C2 months ago

tyfs

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Renata B
Renata B2 months ago

Sometimes I have anxiety dreams but one of the list.

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Brandy S
Brandy S2 months ago

Thanks.

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