Every night for 90 minutes to two hours, most human beings dream. Sometimes the dream’s meaning is pretty straightforward: if you’re worried about a test, you’ll probably imagine flunking it, and if you’re missing an old friend, they might appear in your dream world.

But sometimes dreams aren’t always so simple for us to understand and many of us seem to experience the same weird dreams.

“Whatever you are told in a dream is something you are really telling yourself,” says Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of Dream On It, Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, “they are conversation with the self after all.”

Could it be that our subconscious minds are trying to tell us something as we drift off into the land of nod? We put a selection of dreams following five very common themes to Lauri, to get her take on what our brains are REALLY trying to tell us when we hit the hay.

1. Babies

A 5 months old baby
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

The dream: “I had a baby (I’m not sure it was actually mine I just acquired it) which no one would look after for me. I tried so many people but they wouldn’t. So I put it in the freezer… I knew if I put it in there it would freeze for a bit and wouldn’t need looking after. Then when I got back from my weekend away I unfroze it and things carried on as before.”

The meaning: “Unless you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, babies in dreams are more about something new in your life that needs your care and attention. The baby was given to you as opposed to you giving birth to it so that tells us the dreams are about some responsibility that was handed to you as opposed to some project or idea that you created. And whatever it is, it is something that – like a baby – will continue to grow and develop if properly taken care of.

“You put the baby in the freezer, which tells us you may have grown cold towards and uninterested in this new responsibility so you put it on hold for a while until you warmed up to it again. You did seem to warm up to the responsibility because you began showing it off. It also seems to have become important enough to you that you had concern that you may have ‘dropped the ball’ so to speak.”

2. Teeth

A dental nurse holds some false teeth.
(Andrew Milligan/PA)

The dream: “I have a recurring dream where I do normal things, but then as soon as I open my mouth my teeth feel really loose and clumped together. From then on, whenever I move my mouth, small amounts of teeth come loose and fall out. Later on, when I close my mouth, I can feel large groups of them come loose all together under the slightest bit of pressure and they fall out in massive balls.”

The meaning: “When your teeth come out in your dreams it is usually because you have allowed something out of your mouth in real life – something that probably should remain in your mouth! So, if someone has the habit of saying things without thinking about it first, saying things you regret later, this will be a common dream.

“In your case, your teeth group together in a ball before coming out. That tells me that you may hold your tongue and not speak out until you have several things to say, and then it all comes out at once!

“This is a recurring dream because it is a recurring behaviour. If you can work on saying things in a timely manner instead of letting things build up before you speak up, this dream will change and eventually stop.”

3. Being chased or under attack

bent fence with hole
(noddymini via Flickr)

The dream: “I was at work when suddenly a man in a helicopter appeared outside the window and started dropping bombs near my office. I hurried home and tried to gather up my things as quick as I could, but the bomber had found me and started dropping bombs around my flat.

“I ran out of the building and to the motorway, where two childhood friends and I tried to crawl back to our families’ homes without being detected by the bomber. Right at the end of the dream, he saw us again and attacked.”

The meaning: “Whatever you are told in a dream is something you are really telling yourself (dreams are a conversation with the self after all), so what is it in real life you need to be alarmed or wary of?

“In my research, I have found that dropping bombs can often symbolise bad news being dropped on you, and this could be bad news coming from a higher up, a boss or an authority figure.  Running from something in a dream can almost always be connected to some sort of avoidance in real life.”

4. Lateness

alarm clock
(68397968@N07 via Flickr)

The dream: “I wake up late for work in a room that resembled my childhood bedroom, but it has all these hi-tech gadgets in it. I’m with my ex and we race to the train station. We then find the train is running late because of a parade.

“I say let’s go to another train station or I’ll be really late, but we get caught up in some weird castle building and end up walking to a bar at the top. My ex starts drinking shots of vodka. Then I woke up properly and realised I actually was running late for my train!”

The meaning: ”Running late in a dream can often be connected to fear of missing out on opportunity in real life or running out of time to reach a goal, and you actually were running late in real life but let’s see if the dream doesn’t go deeper. You wake up in the dream which means you may have had a recent realisation or “woken up” to some sort of reality in your real life.

“Your train is running late because of a parade. In real life, do you worry you are missing out on relationship goals because you got stuck in a relationship that was all about games and show boating (the parade)? The train tracks turn into a road because you were not ‘on the right track’ with that relationship.  The bar and the drinking may both be referencing unclear thinking. Stay on the right track! You’ll go farther.”

5. Being unprepared

A woman looking stressed
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The dream: “I turned up to a red carpet event where a load of famous models were all posing for pictures, but I had forgotten to bring a camera so I just had to stand around and watch. I was so annoyed at myself (in the dream).”

The meaning: ”Being unprepared in a dream can usually be connected to feeling unprepared for something in real life OR ill-equipped to handle something. The elements in your dream are clues as to what it is you are feeling unprepared for.

“The red carpet is often about feeling worthy, deserving of praise or recognition. Just as you weren’t able to participate in photographing the models in the dream, have you recently had to sit something out in real life. Cameras are used to document events so we can remember them, so to the dreaming mind they often represent lessons you need to remember.”