What Do Recurring Dreams Or Nightmares REALLY Mean?


🌙 Written by Stefan Zugor, international lucid dreaming expert and teacher. Learn how to lucid dream in 7 days or less.

Have you ever experienced a recurring dream about someone or a scene over and over again? Perhaps, yes. These are what you call recurring dreams. Why do we have them? What do they mean? 

To learn more about it, this article will discuss the meaning and explanation of these dream.

What are Recurring Dreams?

Recurring dreams are dreams you experience over and over again for a long period of time.

They have the same setting and people in it.

They can be pleasant or nightmarish dreams.

It depends on the experience of the dreamer.

Why do I have recurring dreams or nightmares?

Dreams are a reflection of a person’s feelings, and thoughts.

Through dreams, it allows a person to gain personal insights and understanding of scenes in their waking life.

Recurring dreams usually mean that there is something in your life that is bothering your or causing you stress.

They can be either pleasant dreams or nightmares.

It repeats itself because you haven’t solved that problem.

They reoccur because you haven’t addressed the problem or you’re trying to ignore it.

Since dreams can include important narratives in your life, it can visualize your unresolved problems in the past, present and future.

If your dreams could talk, it would probably say “Hey! When are you going to solve me?”

It’s reminding you to pay attention to it for you to overcome it.

Hence, recurring dreams are powerful tools for growth and personal achievement.

Another, reason for this is you experienced some sort of trauma in your past that you are still trying to deal with.

These anxiety-based dreams will repeat events or tasks that are unfinished. These kind of recurring dreams will continue to repeat itself until you have solved the problem.

Or these dreams are due to trauma from war or abuse. People like veterans or abused children will have recurring dreams of the traumatic events they have experienced.

A recurring nightmare can also be experienced by anyone even if they do not suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).

These nightmares can be an avenue for people to reflect and grow on themselves.

A recurring dream can also be pleasurable.

An example would be: a person has recurring dreams of making love with a movie star that he or she finds attractive.

There are ways of fighting recurring dreams such as transforming the chaser into something good or building the courage to change the dream.

How to Understand Recurring Dreams?

Understanding your recurring dreams can be a bit tricky since your dreams highlight an issue that you are denying or ignoring.

It might be the first thing you thought about since you are trying to avoid the topic in your conscious mind.

So, how do you figure out the meaning?

You can ask these questions to yourself when you want to understand the meaning of a dream:

  • What have you ignored or sacrificed in your life? (Examples: education, a new job, having children, meeting a friend, ending a relationship, etc.)
  • What problems in life have you not addressed? (Examples: spirituality, faith, childhood dreams, goal as an adult, issues with your family, etc.)
  • What are the things you believe that do not have control over in your life?
  • Review a few suggested interpretations from our dream interpretations below. Do any of the suggestions appeal to you? If an interpretation feels like it’s correct, then it probably is.
  • If you are unable to find a suitable interpretation to your dream, which possible interpretations did you ignore or dismiss? It is difficult to accept the given interpretation but allow the idea to work on you. It may likely be the meaning or it will point you towards the true meaning which you’d rather not face.

Meaning of recurring dream about chasing

“I regularly wake up sweating after dreaming about being chased.” Most dreamers report of being chased as the theme of their dreams.

It may be the scene repeating over and over again or it can be through different scenarios or context.

Some reported of being chased at different places and scenes for a long period of time.

The theme is still there which is being chased.

We have understood that unlocking the meaning of a dream can help us move from the dream.

So, what could the dream possibly mean?

It would mean you are avoiding certain issues in your life or you’re going through a rough situation that you would prefer to stick your head in the sand.

If this is so, you are being invited by your subconscious to face the reality so you can move on from it.

It can also mean literally such as being chased by an attacker in an alley a few years before.

Being chased may reflect a memory or a general fear of being chased in real life.

If you are the one doing the chasing, the meaning for this is you are pursuing a goal, dream, relationship, etc.

Your feelings of commitment and aggression can be reflected on this.

No matter what the circumstance is, you have to reflect on your dream and your life for you to understand your recurring dream.

Meaning of Recurring dreams about being terminated

“I know things are okay at work, but I have a recurring dream of being fired.”

A dream about being fired at work can mean you are lacking control in your life. It can me the loss of balance in your life, the lack of intimacy in your relationship, or a fear of losing your relationship.

If these assumptions are true, it might be the time to assess your relationship and find that balance.

Recurring dream about spiders

“I often dream I’m surrounded by spiders, snakes or any slimy-crawlies”. When you dream about spiders or tiny creatures, it may mean that your worries or little irritations are bothering you.

It can also mean you are not able to catch up on your tasks that it is slowly creeping in.

It may also mean you have loaned or borrowed money to someone, and they are slowly knocking on your door, demanding payment.

If this is so, you have to create a checklist on the things you must do and finish.

Plan your course of action and make daily goals to finish each task.

When you start dreaming about bugs, it means you have to think and make actions to avoid these problems bottling up and creeping up on you.

Recurring dream about flying

“I dreamed of flying into the sky like Superman!”

Dreaming of flying in the sky can mirror how your life is in real life.

It means you are living with confidence, liberty and aggressiveness. You believe anything is possible and everything can be achieved.

If that is so, how about you capitalize on your belief and feeling to try something new? Like learning a new skill, starting out a new business or travelling to different countries.

But be warned because flying can mean you are not grounded in your current situation.

You might only be planning goals that are not attainable. If so, do try to reflect on it and plan an action plan.

Recurring dream about falling

“I dreamed of falling from the sky.”

It is a terrible experience to dream of falling while you’re riding an airplane or flying in the sky.

It means your unconscious mind is letting go of your beliefs and notions that does not fit with your new beliefs of higher consciousness.

It can also mean you have changed your spiritual or political belief, for something like this to happen.

Although the dream may seem negative and scary, it’s actually a positive sign.

Recurring dream about dream falling out

“I had a horrible dream where each of my teeth falling out and I’m only 22!”

When you dreamed of your teeth falling out it means something has left you powerless.

This can be when you are in situation and you can’t control it.

It can also mean you have lost someone close to you.

Recurring dreams about a house

“I’ve been dreaming of houses for several nights.”

When you’re dreaming about a house, whether it’s your old house or just a random dream house, it represents you.

Yes, the house represents you.

A recurring dream about a house talks about everything about you and how you live your life.

Your mind uses the house to show you yourself and your state of mind, so you can better understand yourself.

From the style of the home, to the paintings in the walls, and the arrangement of the decors, everything is a representation of your personality, and decision-making.

It is basically a blueprint of yourself.

The house can also mean you are still getting to know yourself.

If it is unfamiliar to you, then it means you are still in the process of growing and understanding yourself. You are in the process of discovering your skills, talents and capabilities.

However, it can also mean you are not feeling “at home” with yourself. You want to make a bit of changes and improvements.

Recurring dreams about death

“I dreamed of dying and it was horrible.”

Often times, when you dream of dying it leaves you scared and lonely.

It is often dealt with negativity unless you have realized that death is merely the next stage in life.

A dream about death can mean you are accepting the changes in your life.

Flying in a lucid dream

Whether you are moving to a new place to start fresh or you want to take on a different career, this all means you are up to a new start.

When we change it means a part of dies and makes way for a new and improved person.

It’s not really all that bad.

Actually, we’re all dying every day in little ways, as well as being born again.

Think of a phoenix.

From it’s ashes, rises a new and brighter self.

It’s not the most exciting dream you can have, but a positive change in your life can be rewarding. Your mind and body are just catching up to the changes hence, you are dreaming of it.

Recurring Dreams About Ex-Partner

“I’ve been dreaming about for over a week and I want it to stop.”

If you just came out from a recent breakup, chances are you may not have fully ehaled or got over it.

It’s normal for you to dream about your past partner because you may still have unsolved issues with him or her. Or you are still in the process of healing.

But, if you are in a relationship and you have recurring dreams about your ex-partner, this means you are having similar patterns of relationships with your past to your current one.

These similar patters needed to be nipped in the bud.

It will also allow you to get a better clarity of what went wrong in your past relationship, so you won’t do it again with your current one.

Use this recurring dream to address shortcomings in your relationship.

Recurring Dreams about Failing

“I dream over and over about failing at my job or getting a failed grade at school. “

Whether you dreamed of failing in school or at work, this doesn’t mean your dream is rooted in your reality.

It can mean you are constantly worrying about your performance at work or at school, that it manifests itself in your dream where you are failing.

Since you are having recurring dreams about this, it’s time for you to work on your fears and affirm to yourself that you are capable and knowing.

You have to address your lack of self-confidence and belief in oneself.

By doing so, you are not only removing the fear of failure, but you are also affirming that you are doing great at your job or at school.


Recurring dreams indicates the presence of an unresolved problem or conflict that you are trying to ignore or avoid. Each recurring dream has different explanations and warnings for you to take note of. It’s important for you to solve each one to avoid having the deeper problems and allow peace with your mind.

I wrote a HUGE post about the most common dream meanings, and their TRUE meanings. 

That should help you understand more.

I also have a program explaining how to discover ANY meaning to any dream.