What Are The Most Common Dreams In Every Country In The World?
What Are The Most Common Dreams In Every Country In The World?

The Daily Mail (UK) recently published an interesting study about common nightmares in several cultures around the world. Based on the search data provided by Google, the team has unraveled the unique nightmares of the world. The results show that, in each country, the population has its own obsessions.

In the UK, bees are often seen in nightmares. According to Psych News Daily, the bee in a dream can represent the "hive mentality", that is, the dreamer is obsessed with their responsibilities to the community (company, school, family). They are feeling anxious, and lost in society and bring their fears into their dreams.

As for the data collected in the US, the nightmare that the people of the United States often encounter is an eye exam, a broken toe, or the loud sound of a tuba in a symphony orchestra. Experts say this could be a sign of the fear of being overly scrutinized by others.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the obsession with people's dreams is often associated with the natural environment such as bad weather, and dangerous animals such as bugs, and snakes. Understandably, Australia is famous for being a country with many animals of huge size and extremely dangerous.

What about in Germany? German adults often have nightmares about traveling. According to psychologists, this can be a fear of directions in life.

The French often have scary dreams about FaceTime, the Italians are obsessed with food. Especially in Vietnam, the research team shows that Vietnamese people often wonder about their ex-lovers. The phrase "dreaming about an ex-lover" is also always in the top search terms at Google Vietnam.

Mr. Rex Isap from Happy Beds - which commissioned the research - said: "Most dreams are just when your brain processes emotions during the day. There is nothing to worry about these dreams at all."

Table of Content

What are Dreams?

Photo: Stock photos
Photo: Stock photos

Dreams are one of the most fascinating and mystifying aspects of sleep. Since Sigmund Freud helped draw attention to the potential importance of dreams in the late 19th century, considerable research has worked to unravel both the neuroscience and psychology of dreams.

Despite this advancing scientific knowledge, there is much that remains unknown about both sleep and dreams. Even the most fundamental question — why do we dream at all? — is still subject to significant debate.

Dreams are images, thoughts, or feelings that occur during sleep. Visual imagery is the most common, but dreams can involve all of the senses. Some people dream in color while others dream in black and white, and people who are blind tend to have more dream components related to sound, taste, and smell.

Studies have revealed diverse types of dream content, but some typical characteristics of dreaming include:

→ It has a first-person perspective.

→ It is involuntary.

→ The content may be illogical or even incoherent.

→ The content includes other people who interact with the dreamer and one another.

→ It provokes strong emotions.

Elements of waking life are incorporated into content.

Although these features are not universal, they are found at least to some extent in most normal dreams.

Why Do We Dream?

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Debate continues among sleep experts about why we dream. Different theories about the purpose of dreaming include:

→ Building memory: Dreaming has been associated with consolidation of memory, which suggests that dreaming may serve an important cognitive function of strengthening memory and informational recall.

→ Processing emotion: The ability to engage with and rehearse feelings in different imagined contexts may be part of the brain’s method for managing emotions.

→ Mental housekeeping: Periods of dreaming could be the brain’s way of “straightening up,” clearing away partial, erroneous, or unnecessary information.

→ Instant replay: Dream content may be a form of distorted instant replay in which recent events are reviewed and analyzed.

→ Incidental brain activity: This view holds that dreaming is just a by-product of sleep that has no essential purpose or meaning.

Experts in the fields of neuroscience and psychology continue to conduct experiments to discover what is happening in the brain during sleep, but even with ongoing research, it may be impossible to conclusively prove any theory for why we dream.

What are Nightmares?

In sleep medicine, a nightmare is a bad dream that causes a person to wake up from sleep11. This definition is distinct from common usage that may refer to any threatening, scary, or bothersome dream as a nightmare. While bad dreams are normal and usually benign, frequent nightmares may interfere with a person’s sleep and cause impaired thinking and mood12 during the daytime.

Do dreams have meanings?

Photo: City Mattress
Photo: City Mattress

How to interpret dreams, and whether they have meaning at all, are matters of considerable controversy. While some psychologists have argued that dreams provide insight into a person’s psyche or everyday life, others find their content to be too inconsistent or bewildering to reliably deliver meaning.

Virtually all experts acknowledge that dreams can involve content that ties back to waking experiences although the content may be changed or misrepresented. For example, in describing dreams, people often reference people who they recognize clearly even if their appearance is distorted in the dream9.

The meaning of real-life details appearing in dreams, though, is far from settled. The “continuity hypothesis” in dream research holds that dreams and waking life are intertwined with one another and thus involve overlapping themes and content. The “discontinuity hypothesis,” on the other hand, sees thinking during dreams and wakefulness as structurally distinct.

While analysis of dreams may be a component of personal or psychological self-reflection, it’s hard to state, based on the existing evidence, that there is a definitive method for interpreting and understanding the meaning of dreams in waking, everyday life.

The meanings of the most common dreams in several countries in the world?

Photo: Healthline
Photo: Healthline

1. United Kingdom

Bees have been around for at least 100 million years and have evolved into one of the most important pollinators on earth.

The alarming presence of bees in a dream can suggest an upcoming event or situation that will cause you stress or anxiety.

Kind of like when you’re sitting peacefully in a park, and then a bee decides to focus all its attention on you.

A bee dream can also symbolize your desire for change, or it could signify your need to take action on something important.

In a dream, a hive can represent one’s ability (or inability) to make decisions for themselves as an individual; in essence, it stands for autonomy (or indeed lack of autonomy).

In other words, do you want to be and remain part of the hive (the family), or do you prefer to go it alone, and walk your own path?

As the need for autonomy gains in importance, one’s need for community can diminish.

A beehive dream can also represent the complicated process of coming to an agreement on a common goal among people with different opinions.

If you dream about a burning beehive or dead bees, it could mean that your work is “going up in flames,” as it were, that or you’re experiencing an unlucky streak.

Because bees are also a symbol of fertility, the presence of an empty beehive in a dream can be interpreted as a sign that you have been worrying about (not) having children, or about your children “leaving the nest.”

When we dream about bees, it symbolizes our fears and desires, such as wanting to be sociable, yet at the same time feeling like we don’t fit in.

As mentioned above, bees can represent unity, cooperation and growth. They are also symbols of hard work and productivity.

2. United States

Toes help us walk and get places. What was going on with your toes in our dream? If your toes are damaged or hurt suggest that you are going to be dealing with a set back in life lesson. Depending on the condition of your toes can hold a different meaning to your dream.

A broken toe is usually a negative dream symbol. As such, dreaming of broken toes, likely from falling or a similar accident, portends a death in the family. Your toes allude to your circle of friends and family supporting you and keeping you grounded. They give you a sense of balance and so having broken toes suggests an imbalance in your family life. The loss of a close friend or family member could have adverse effects on your mental and emotional well-being. It could take you a while to find your bearing and start functioning normally again. Allow yourself to properly grieve so you would not have to suffer a bigger emotional meltdown in the future.

Injuring your toes in dreams has to do with the state of your assets or properties. Depending on the extent of your injury, it can refer to a small setback or damage to your property or it can be a serious headache. If it is a minor injury, such as stubbing a toe or a small gash, the issue with your property may be easily resolved. For instance, you could get into a minor accident which your insurance would cover anyway. Or perhaps something in your house or apartment may need to be fixed. However, if it was a serious injury involving multiple toes, then you would likely need more time and effort to fix it. You could get burglarized or get into a nasty spat with relatives because of inheritance and similar disputes.

If you experienced a dream about seeing or holding a broken ring, it could be symbolic of certain differences which you might face in your relationship. It could also mean that your relationship might suffer from conflicts and disagreements with your lover or spouse.

A broken harp signifies severe illness. You will soon fall ill and this will linger for a very long period of time. If you see this in your dream, try to take the necessary precaution to care for your health. Go see a doctor or a specialist if you are feeling something different.

3. Australia

Dreaming about dangerous animals shows that you have a solid soul, despite an interest for social or spiritual ideals. You have a dual personnality. On one hand, you are constant, and like the ease and the joys of life. On the other hand, you can easily be striking, fiery and seductive. Dreaming about dangerous animals reveals that you need to use your energy as much as your money.

Dreaming about dangerous animals reveals that you are an understanding, humane and solid. Outgoing but very private, you have your own idea of life. Dreaming of dangerous animals means that you are captivated by great trip and have an amazing sense of organization.

But dreaming about dangerous animals also reveals that you desire to take care of everything, and that only you know how to do it. You can easily be single minded, manic and fussy about some things. You always need to make a good impression on people around you. Dreaming of dangerous animals signifies that you are demanding with your family. You abhor lateness and love being needed.

Dreaming about dangerous animals reveals that you fall in love with the partner who will be willing to fire up your desire. Perpetually roaming in your youth, multiplying your love experiences, from your thirties on, you are trying to find the rare bird. Dreaming about dangerous animals reveals that you are an traveler. You want to travel with a partner who will be willing to share your ideal of freedom.

Dreaming about dangerous animals also proves that you have a very honest nature and that you have a lot of love to give. You will need a partner who sees you and whom you admire. You need someone who encourages you to come out of your cocoon and make you discover things. Dreaming about dangerous animals reveals that you can’t stand dominant-dominated relationships. You want to be in an healthy relationship.

4. Germany

A dream about travelling is a good sign primarily because it suggests that some movement is taking place in your life. It means that your life is not dull and stagnant but a constant journey that leads you to different destinations. And here, different destinations mean new goals, new challenges, new achievements and new alliances. When you always have something new to do in life, you avoid monotony. Travelling transforms a mundane life into a happening journey that gives you new thrills, enjoyment, surprises and sometimes little shocks. Nonetheless, travelling helps you learn new lessons because your experience teaches you a variety of things.

Hence, when you dream about travelling, it could indicate that you are either about to begin a new journey in your life or are in transit.

Another way of interpreting this dream is that you are a travel freak, and you love visiting new places and discovering the unseen aspects of life. In such a scenario, your dream reflects your thoughts about your favourite hobby, travelling.

However, if the dream about travelling leaves you depressed when you wake up, then it could mean that you are yet to accomplish your goal. You have travelled miles but haven't been able to reach your destination. In this case, you may have to analyse the route that you have opted for and may have to make slight changes to bring about the desired result.

5. France

Dream about being on facetime expresses that you will combine work and personal life without any problem, A book will appear in your path that could help you achieve what you set out to do, You are not facing and confronting your fears, A disappointment, a loving disappointment, will now open the door to new opportunities in love, It’s one thing to feel butterflies in your stomach and quite another to feel true love.

They will not affect you at all, it is more an opportunity to learn to laugh at yourself, It will be a subtle and even shy move, but it will work because you discreetly draw their attention, You have high self-esteem, Some negative or evil force has taken over you, If you have business, today you will have an offer or a possibility to expand and improve it.

Dream about being on facetime expresses that you might want to take a couple of days off, You will take advantage of the free time to start putting order in many things around you, You are experiencing an uplift in your spirits, You will feel very restless and will not know what to do or with whom to position yourself, The best thing is to try to stress as little as possible today and run away from tensions.

Today you will tell someone all that is happening to you, even if you are far away, Your positive attitude will make those around you walk through life more easily and safely, The next professional step you must take is close and you will have to be brave, You may have some extra money and not have enough left over to pay for it, You need to express yourself to those around you.

6. Italy

Then there's the intersection of food and sex. Apples, bananas, figs, mangos, nuts, pineapples, pomegranate, and strawberries are all said to represent sex or sexual desires in some form.

According to Dr. Tonay, if dreaming consists of a metaphorical language, and food is the nurturing sustenance, the dreams with food often reflect ways we nurture ourselves, and how well.

"Ideally, when you dream about food, you dream about eating things that are good for you, that actually do provide nutrients and sustenance and energy," Dr. Tonay explained. "But if you dream about pastries, desserts, and so on, that may indicate you are attempting to nurture yourself with unhealthy, but briefly satisfying, 'food' (which may represent actual food, people, situations, or activities)."

"On the other hand, if in dreams you feel deprived of or tempted by a certain food, you may actually need the specific kind of "nurturance" that food represents. For example, you love donuts, and dream while you're eating a salad, that you long for a donut. Beyond the obvious wish-fulfillment motive of the dream ('I would love to eat a donut!'), consider that what you really need is what donuts represent to you."

7. Vietnam

One interpretation of seeing your ex in a dream is that you’re not quite over them. If you still have feelings for your ex, it’s unsurprising that they appear in your dreams because dreams can appear to replicate reality. However, your real-world feelings toward your ex do not necessarily have to be romantic ones. You may also experience frustration, anger, sadness, or jealousy.

A possible cause for dreaming about an ex may be recalling past trauma in your relationship. Research shows that stressful emotions and trauma during waking hours can impact your dreams.

Trauma can also come from the death of a partner or loved one. Dreaming about a deceased partner can be a tool for managing grief5. A trained therapist can help you explore the meanings of these dreams and assist in processing your grief and trauma.

Whether by scrolling through social media or bumping into them at the grocery store, seeing your ex can trigger their appearance in your dreams. An ex showing up in your dreams may simply be part of memory consolidation. Research shows that dreams most frequently incorporate events one or seven days after the event experience.

A dream about an ex might not be about your previous partner at all. Instead, your ex can represent something else in your life. Some researchers propose that recognizing the emotional state or feelings in the dream is key to interpreting and understanding the dream’s meaning.

If you’re wondering what seeing an ex in your dream means, consider how you feel about them and what memories you associate with them. Those emotions may be the more significant component of the dream rather than your ex. For example, if your ex brings feelings of stress or frustration, consider what in your current life is causing those same emotions. Keep in mind that major life changes, such as pregnancy or trauma, can also affect your dreams.

8. Canada – Dreams of losing teeth

People have been guessing about the meaning of dreams for as long as humans have been around. From writers of Jewish texts like the Torah and Talmud to Ancient Egyptian and Greek philosophers, many thinkers originally believed dreams to be a means of communication from the divine. Dreams about teeth falling out were also thought to prophesy events, ranging from paying off debts to losing a loved one.

Over the course of history, these themes of loss and death have been consistent in many other interpretations. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung both believed dreams to be symbols of deep psychological significance, and their influence has shaped many ideas about teeth dreams. It may come as no surprise that Freud believed dreams about teeth falling out were signs of subconscious sexual needs and fears. He did, however, recognize the possibility that they could be related to dental stimulation. From a scientific perspective, this seems much more plausible, but the idea was not scientifically pursued.

More recently, one aspect that puzzles scientific thinkers is that teeth dreams do not fit into the continuity hypothesis about dreaming. The continuity hypothesis asserts that the content of our dreams reflects the content of our waking thoughts and experiences. While dreaming about your teeth rotting or falling out can be a shocking experience, it isn’t something many people go through in waking life.

Currently, many ideas about teeth dreams are based on old superstitions that lingered. And, although these ideas have not been confirmed by science, they may still prime us to feel worried or anxious should we have a dream about our teeth falling out.

9. Russia – Dreams of snake

Dreams of snakes vary as wildly as snakes themselves – some deal with constriction, others with venomous bites, many come from water, others from the shadows. Some are unseen threats until the last minute. As with many dreams that seem to be relics of our evolution, or evidence of some primordial Jungian unconscious, dreams of snakes can be deeply unsettling. And while these dreams are as old as time, many of the current variations are modified by our contemporary culture, which provides the frame of reference for the dream’s meaning.

1. Change and renewal:

Dreams of snakes shedding skin obviously carry an interpretation of change across cultures, but there are several cultures which see the change in the body wrought by a venomous bite to mean the same.

2. Oppression and paralysis:

Dreams of constriction carry obvious overtones of oppression, but the same is true of dreams featuring snakes with multiple heads – which indicate that you’re struggling with multiple options and need to decide on your course of action.

3. Relationships:

In dreams that deal with being surrounded or chased by snakes, interpretations often infer an anxiety about the people in the dreamer’s life, suggesting that the mind is encouraging a close appraisal of relationships for fear of a hidden enemy.

Related: What does it mean to cheat in a dream?

4. Sex and sexuality:

In various cultures, the snake can be seen as either an embodiment of male or female sexual energy. Interpretations of snake dreams involving bedrooms, and those where the dreamer is consuming or being consumed by a snake, can indicate either intimidation by intimacy or a need for it.

10. Denmark – Dreams of pregnancy

There are many possible meanings related to pregnancy dreams, and these vivid dreams often stay with people, especially if pregnancy is not something that is top of mind in real life. Research on sleep and dream shows that some dreams are simply completely random brain activity. Other research suggests that dreams are a way to peek into your subconscious thoughts through symbolism. A dream analyst or dream expert can be of help, but since dreaming of pregnancy scenarios is actually a common dream experience, there are several reliable interpretations that you can count on to begin to understand these vivid dreams.

Of course, there is always a tiny chance that a dream about being pregnant can mean that somewhere deep down you know that you are pregnant in real life. Most likely though, this is not the case. Pregnancy can be a dream symbol that new life will be occurring in your life in a very different way. It can point to a new beginning in your life, a new creative project happening at work, or even a new relationship starting.

Dreaming of giving birth usually means that there are big changes on the horizon in your life. Maybe you have a new idea brewing or a new project that you can’t wait to start. In this case, giving birth represents something positive coming your way.

If you dream of taking a pregnancy test and finding out that you are pregnant, it symbolizes that something life changing is about to happen.The dream could also be a message that you are sending to yourself that it is time for a change.

Do Dreams Affect Sleep?

In most cases, dreams don’t affect sleep. Dreaming is part of healthy sleep and is generally considered to be completely normal and without any negative effects on sleep.

Nightmares are the exception. Because nightmares involve awakenings, they can become problematic if they occur frequently. Distressing dreams may cause a person to avoid sleep, leading to insufficient sleep. When they do sleep, the prior sleep deprivation can induce a REM sleep rebound that actually worsens nightmares. This negative cycle can cause some people with frequent nightmares to experience insomnia as a chronic sleep problem.

For this reason, people who have nightmares more than once a week, have fragmented sleep, or have daytime sleepiness or changes to their thinking or mood should talk with a doctor13 . A doctor can review these symptoms to identify the potential causes and treatments of their sleeping problem.

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