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Health & Lifestyle

Uncovered: This Is How The Uk And The Us Dream

In this article

Dreaming is one thing we all have in common. Each night, during our different stage cycles, we dream up to six times for a total of up to 2 hours.

But, while we might forget some of our most vivid dreams - this is thought to be because of the conditions that occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep - there are some that keep us awake, and even searching for answers.

We have uncovered the most common dreams, before reviewing 279,750 searches to reveal the most searched for dream in every US state and UK county. From this, we can share exactly when we have these dreams and what they mean.

Young girl asleep with galaxy background all around her, and on her t shirt.

THIS is the most common dream for both the UK and the US

According to our data, dreams of teeth falling out are the most common for both dreamers with 109,560 searches in the UK and the US.

This type of dream took first place for all UK counties and US states. However, Nevada and Georgia are the ONLY locations from either the UK or the US that have different common dreams. People in Nevada are more likely to dream about getting lost than their teeth falling out. Whereas people in Georgia have more dreams about drowning than their teeth.

Inbaal Honigman, celebrity psychic and dreams expert, says

Teeth are a sign of life's ages and stages. We are born with none, go through two sets in childhood and adulthood, and start to lose them again in old age.

Dreaming about losing teeth is natural since it's a rite of passage that we've all gone through. It's a dream that symbolises loss, like leaving a relationship behind or even moving house.

Pregnancy is the second most common dream

Similarly, dreams about pregnancy are the second most common in the UK and the US, with searches for those higher than 17 other common dreams, and falling just behind searches for dreams of teeth falling out.

Many pregnancy dreams are simply predictive dreams, of course. Many parents-to-be dream of their pregnancy even before the home pregnancy kit turns pink, and it's common to see your baby's gender or predict the date of birth correctly. Beyond fertility, pregnancy in a dream can represent a new business idea or a creative project.

Inbaal Honigman

The US could be luckier than the UK according to their dreams

While pregnancy is still the most common second dream in the US, Americans are much more likely to dream about spiders than those in the UK, with 25,200 searches for dreams relating to spiders in the US alone. And seeing spiders could be considered a good omen.

In many cultures, spiders are a symbol of good luck or money. In ancient Rome, this type of dream was believed to bring good fortune. However, of course, dreams are subjective to the individual. 

Spiders are the original weavers, suggesting that dreaming of them could mean that you are weaving your dreams into reality. 

Additionally, some may think of a spider’s web as a symbol of being trapped. And, while this dream could signify there are worries keeping you in place, it could also mean that you are willing and able to break away from the web trapping you. 

Interestingly, in the UK, we are more likely to dream about spiders in September, which is the start of Autumn. When the seasons change, our sleep quality and REM sleep and, subsequently, our dreams, are impacted due to the changes in light. As the clocks go back and daylight hours change, our internal body clock needs to become accustomed to a new nightly routine.

Woman sleep with a spider's web behind her head.

Other common lucky dreams for the UK and US include those featuring fire OR flying

Dreams including fire and/or flying are in the top 10 UK and US dreams, but that doesn’t mean they are bad luck. In fact, quite the opposite. 

While you might assume fire dreams to be a signal of bad luck, it could be considered a good luck charm - signifying destroying negative emotions. Likewise, dreaming of flying can mean good things are coming, along with a sense of freedom.

Inbaal says:

Dreams of both fire and flying represent ascension. We fly upwards and fire roars upwards, getting us closer to our goals, getting us closer to the divine. Both types of dreams are about risk-taking activities, where the results justify the means.

But when it comes to dreams, who are the more spiritual?

Brits are more likely to search for the meaning behind their dreams

Brits are more spiritual than the US. Britons are searching for their dreams more than US residents. But why is this?

Almost half of Brits believe dreams have a meaning. Further to that, almost a third said that their opinion had changed of someone due to their dream, showing the importance we put behind our dreams.

44%
of Brits think their dreams hold meaning
31%
changed their view of someone based on a dream

Searching for meaning in dreams has been important for thousands of years. Dream meanings can give us insight into our inner workings psychologically, and if you believe in prophetic dreams, then we can gain insight into the rest of the world, too.

Inbaal

Interestingly, however, we tend to look for the meaning in our dreams during specific times of the year.

The most common dreams in the UK

As mentioned, ‘teeth falling out’ is the most common dream in the UK. But we can reveal the meanings behind the 18 most searched for dreams across the nation.

Infographic depicting the most common dreams in the UK, such as teeth falling out, failing an exam, being cheated on and spiders.

The most common dreams in the US

Similar to the UK, ‘teeth falling out’ is also the most searched for dream in the US. Now, we can share the meanings for the 18 most common dreams in the US, and what they could mean for you.

Infographic depicting the most common dreams in the US and what they mean.

Why do we dream at certain times during the year? 

If you’ve ever had one of the dreams mentioned above, you are not alone. As you can see, we tend to have specific dreams at different times in the year. To really dig deeper, we have taken the top 10 dreams (the dreams with the highest search volume from the 18 we researched) to reveal exactly why we dream them at certain times.

1. Teeth falling out 

Most likely to dream: April 

Dream meaning: A common interpretation of this dream is loss, which can be related to a number of things, such as job loss, losing a loved one or even a missing possession.

2. Pregnancy 

Most likely to dream: July (US) and October (UK)

Dream meaning: While this could also mean you are dreaming about your child, there are other meanings. A new opportunity or part of your life is coming, and you are preparing to embrace this new change. 

Interestingly, US residents are most likely to search for this dream in July. This is the hottest month of the year for most major US states and, with extreme temperatures, comes vivid dreams. 

In extreme heat, your body can experience anxiety dreams, as the temperature can place your body into an anxious state. These types of dreams can cause you stress and even leave you feeling more tired than you did before you went to sleep. 

Due to this, you are more likely to experience vivid dreams - not necessarily nightmares. And, as the heat can cause you to wake up at the end of a REM cycle (when dreams typically happen), you are more likely to remember your dream and, therefore, search for an explanation.

However, those in the UK are likely to search for these dreams more in October, and there have been studies that have linked those who have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and nightmares. This study found that those with SAD symptoms were more likely to experience frequent nightmares and even insomnia, highlighting how a change in season could be behind the dreams we experience in October.

Pregnant red haired woman holding her belly with the moon in the background.

3. Spiders 

Most likely to dream: August (US) and September (UK)

Dream meaning: This can mean good luck or good fortune. However, this type of dream can also suggest there are hidden worries lurking and you may need to address them. 

The weather in the US is increasingly hot in August and, last year, the US experienced their third-hottest summer on record. As mentioned above, those changes in heat can cause disruptions in your sleep - affecting your core body temperature - and lead you to wake up during REM sleep, which is when you are more likely to dream. So, you are more likely to remember and search for your dream in these hot months. 

In the UK, we are more likely to dream about spiders in September. This month is the start of Autumn and, as we know, the season change can bring about disruptions to your sleep. 

Our serotonin - which is needed to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin - reduces as it gets darker, and that makes us want to sleep earlier and can impact how alert we are when we wake up. So, with those disruptions and grogginess, it’s no surprise people are searching for ‘spider dreams in September’.

4. Flying 

Most likely to dream: April (US) and August (UK) 

Dream meaning: Another positive dream, this can reflect your ability to soar above any negative obstacles. 

In the UK, we are more likely to dream about this in August which could tie into the heat of the month. As we get hotter, we are less likely to sleep through the night and, therefore, we could experience anxiety dreams which can keep us awake and cause stress, while also making us more likely to remember our dreams, hence the high searches in August.

Man in field lifting off the ground as he begins to fly.

5. Falling over

Most likely to dream: April 

Dream meaning: If you experience falling in your dream, it can indicate a feeling of losing control and anxiety and fear over doing so.

6. Fire 

Most likely to dream: April

Dream meaning: As mentioned, this can signify good fortune as we soar to the divine and destroy any negative emotions and fears.

7. Hair falling out 

Most likely to dream: October 

Dream meaning: Dreaming of hair falling out could signify a number of things, and could be interpreted as a loss of control, or a fear of ageing or even death. 

Both countries are most likely to dream about hair falling out in October, which could be due to the season change as we move into Autumn. As mentioned, the change in daylight hours - as we move towards darker months - affects our melatonin production, which is what leads us to sleep. 

What is positive, however, is that as we move into the darker times, our melatonin production increases which is what we need to sleep. We just need to adjust to the new sleep routine.

8&9. Cheating on your partner AND drowning 

Most likely to dream: April 

Dream meanings: These two types of dreams both have the same search volume in the UK and the US, and they could mean a few different things. With regards to dreaming of cheating, it could suggest that you are missing something from your life and looking for something deeper. 

For those who dream of drowning, it could indicate that you are feeling overwhelmed and at risk of drowning in your fears.

Woman floating underwater in a long white dress. Depiction of drowning.

10. Getting lost

Most likely to dream: September (US) and April (UK) 

Dream meaning: This typically denotes anxiety from things within your life, and you are feeling unsure of the correct path to choose. You need to think clearly about what YOU want. 

The US dream about this most in September, based on the searches increasing most for this dream in this month. Again, this could be attributed to the change in weather and daylight hours. 

But, of course, dreams are subjective and personal to every one of us. But the above are suggestions for what your dreams could mean, you just need to firgure out how it relates to your life!

Sleep expert reveals WHY you dream more as the seasons change

While we, of course, dream throughout the year, April is the most common time to search for your dreams.

Martin Seeley, the CEO and Senior Sleep Expert here at MattressNextDay says:

If you’ve ever wondered when you are more likely to dream, the answer is spring (more specifically, April). 

A study found that we experience the most disruption to our sleep in the spring season. This is because our wake times are earlier - due to the longer daylight hours - and, therefore, our sleep duration decreases. It’s also been recorded that our time asleep is shorter when there are longer days.

In fact, the same study revealed that, during spring, our time asleep is reduced by 25 minutes - even when going to bed two minutes earlier than in winter.

This could be attributed to melatonin production, which is a hormone that helps you sleep. Melatonin is regulated by light and darkness; when there is more light (such as in spring and summer), you don’t produce as much melatonin. With less light, you produce more.

Five ways to hack your dreams to make them positive

If your dreams are stopping you from sleeping - perhaps you keep having nightmares - there are ways you can improve your sleep quality and have good dreams.

1. DON’T sleep on your left side 

There have been previous studies into which side promotes the best dreams. For those sleeping on your left side, we have bad news. You are more likely to experience nightmares on your left side, significantly more, in fact. 40% of left-side sleepers suffered from nightmares, compared to 14.6% on their right side. 

Instead, try to sleep on your back if you are able - or your right side - and note down any changes in dreams when tracking your new sleeping position.

40%
of left-side sleepers have nightmares

2. Write down your dream to control it 

Keen a pen and paper at the side of your bed to write down your dream as soon as you wake. You can start to identify themes and patterns in your dreams. More importantly, before bed, you can recite positive affirmations to ‘control’ your dreams. Examples such as ‘I am in control of my dreams’ and ‘I am going to sleep well tonight’ can help improve your sleep quality. 

3. Practice meditation to have happier dreams

Meditation or other stress-relieving practices are not only beneficial for your physical and mental health, but they can actually encourage positive dreams. 

A study found that those who have a better ‘peace of mind’ had more positive dreams, whereas symptoms of anxiety were more likely to experience negative dreams. 

Meditation can also reduce symptoms of insomnia and pain from sleeping. For more information, we can reveal the best places for you to meditate in the UK

Woman sat on her bed cross legged, meditating before going to sleep.

4. Avoid alcohol if you suffer from nightmares 

Alcohol can significantly impact your sleep quality and lead to nightmares. You are more likely to wake up more in the night when you've been drinking alcohol, which leads to more REM sleep as opposed to NREM sleep (deep sleep).

During REM sleep, there is more dream recall which is why you find you are having more vivid dreams and or nightmares.

5. Reduce screen time 

Screen time just before bed has been linked to reduced sleep quality. And if you have noticed the same in your child, it could be their TV.

A study discovered that children with TVs in their rooms scored higher for ‘night terrors’ and ‘nightmares’ compared to those without TVs and, overall, sleep was worse for those with electronics in their rooms.  

Ideally, stop screen time two hours before you go to sleep and place your phone in a drawer so you are not tempted to use it.

If you are still struggling to sleep, our experts can reveal the ultimate bedtime routine.

Methodology: 

We uncovered 18 of the most common and searched for dreams. For each individual dream, we analysed two variations of the dream (for example, ‘dream about losing teeth’ and ‘teeth falling out dream’). We then analysed the search volume for the 36 keywords in all 50 US states and all 48 UK counties.

An image of the author, Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Bio & articles

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