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The 7 Most Common Types of Dreams

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There are many different types of dreams. To classify them all in neat little categories would be impossible, especially because dreams vary so much from person to person.

However, the more and more we share our dreams with others, and the more we learn to interpret our dreams, the easier it is to recognize that there are several very common dreaming types out there.

types of dreams

Here are the 7 most common types of dreams:

Release Dreams: Dreams That Help Us Process and Sort All the Information We Gather Each Day

These are dreams that often help you to work out a problem or experience in your subconscious. These dreams are the most common, and are our way of sorting through and purging all of the information we collect throughout our waking moments.

Release dreams can be full of symbolism and are sometimes difficult to decode for some. They are typically not frightening – though they sure can leave you waking up feeling confused!

Message Dreams: Yes, Your Dream is Trying to Tell You Something

In message dreams, the universe is trying to tell you something very important. Many recurring dreams fall into the “message dreams” category.

Message dreams sometimes use symbolism making them difficult to recognize the message, or they may be very obvious as to what they mean.

In most message dreams, you will wake up with a sense of needing to know something from the dream experience. Messages can be of any nature – relating to your happiness, overcoming fears, your career, your relationships. Being in tune to these messages can help you throughout your life.

Precognitive Dreams: Dreams Which May Predict the Future or Current Events

Precognitive dreams are the type of dreams that predict something that will happen or is happening while you are sleeping.

An example of a precognitive dream I had was dreaming my friend’s daughter was born – sure enough I woke up to a text message announcing her arrival!

Precognitive dreams can be difficult to distinguish from message and release dreams, but they happen often to some people.

different types of dreams

Lucid Dreams: Complete Control and Awareness While Dreaming

Lucid dreams are when you as the dreamer have complete control of the dream. You are fully aware that you are dreaming, and you have total control of what happens during the dream.

Lucid dreaming takes some practice – but it can be a very beneficial way to help you understand yourself better as well as help manifest your true desires in life. Learning to lucid dream can also help those who often have nightmares.

These types of dreams are very different from most others, because you are fully conscious while dreaming. If you’ve ever had a dream of yourself dreaming or a dream when you could recognize it was a dream, you were lucid dreaming and likely didn’t even know it!

Visitation Dreams: Talking With the Deceased

Have you ever dreamed of a deceased person you knew in your dreams? It is possible that this is a visitation dream. In these dreams, it very much is indeed true communication with loved ones.

A visitation dream will feel very real and be quite vivid in your mind. Dreaming of deceased loved ones often give a message of reassurance or peace and love, though they will occasionally offer guidance or a warning to you.

See our post on visitation dreams and read through the thousands of comments that affirm that yes, visitation dreams very much are real – and how to tell the difference between release dreams and dreams in which someone is communicating with you.

Wish Dreams: Dreams of Things You Desire

These are dreams when you get something you wish and hope for. They usually leave you waking up full of excitement or happiness.

An example dream might be taking a much needed vacation, finding a new career, or meeting a partner. Wish dreams can be great at helping you manifest the things you want into your waking life.

Nightmares: The Bad Dreams

Everyone has had a nightmare at some point or another. Nightmares are the dreams that terrify you or leave you deeply saddened. Nightmares are usually message dreams with a very strong way of telling you the message.

Nightmares can also happen from past traumatic events, as your conscious mind tries to understand what has happened. Understanding the cause of nightmares, learning to interpret the messages of your dreams, and learning how to have lucid dreams can help you deal with nightmares from recurring.


It can be difficult to recognize the type of dream you are having, especially if you are just getting started in dream interpretation. It can be particularly hard determining the differences between release dreams, message dreams, and precognitive dreams.

Fortunately, the more experienced you become at dream interpretation, the easier it will be to tell the differences between what type of dream you are experiencing. All it takes is a little bit of practice!

Have you had some or all of these types of dreams? What dream types would you like to know more about? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below!

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9 thoughts on “The 7 Most Common Types of Dreams”

  1. Im 16 years old, my uncle passed away 5 years ago at a very young age. The first months after he past i had dreams where i was with him but it was the night he died i could see what happend and i couldnt do anything about it, i had this same dream for at least 4 times a week and went on for quite some time and it really upset me. This wasnt a visitation dream and i think the reason i wasl having these dreams were because my mind hasnt been put to rest as they told us he died of natural causes but was in his thirtys so we dont believe that and i also had alot of guilt when we lost him, he was more like a brother to me than an uncle he was very childish. i never told him how much i love him ever and ive felt bad about this ever since but in september 2014 i had a dream the night before my first day starting at my school, i was at my great nans house but my nans wasnt there, was just me and scott. He told me that he loved me and that he was proud of me and to keep it up because im going to make it, i said i love him and i miss him all the world and then he got up and left. I woke up emotional but felt like a huge weight had been lifted and i knew that was him talking to me. When he passed away i was 11, i went down hill from that point, i was depressed but i hid it well, i started cutting but no one had a clue. By the time i was 12 i was taking drugs, smoking, staying out late and getting introuble with police my mum and dad couldnt control me and i hurt them alot with my attitude to life.. i wouldnt go to school to the point my where my mum would walk me through the gates but i would just walk back out once she left. When i was 13 i met my boyfriend and we were together for 6 months before i fell pregnant at 14, i wasnr ideal and please dont judge me. We kept our son and ive turned my life around and i continue to do so. Me and my boyfriend have been together for 3 years and our son is 18 months old. My boyfriend stuck by me and helped me get back on track dispite my dad and older brothers almost killing him lol. But anyway when i found out i was expecting i kept it from my mum knowing she would make me abort anf i started going to school every single day (Being sick on the way) and i told my mum after i had my 12 week scan when i was 14 weeks pregnant and my family where devistated. But they eventually came around. When my son was just 2 months old i started back at school 3 days a week in november until january were i then started full time and my son was in day care while i was learning. I started at my new school in september 2014 because they told.me i had the option to re-do year 10 (im ment to be in year 11) and seeing as my school was egar to get rid of me giving me slips for collages ect (i want yo be a midwife so i needed my grades) so i decied to move and start a fresh and go back into year ten to ensure i get my grades so anyway sorry for the detail that was me cutting a long story short even tho i just basically wrote you a book. Anyway, thats why hearing my uncle tell me he is proud and that he loves me have gave me even more motivation and now ive found this site i know for sure this was my uncle.

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  2. Your story is really amazing… i am so glad you got the message from you uncle without that i cant even to begin to imagine, where you would have been in your life… i wish i could get such a nice dream from my mother. she was murdered at the age 46 last year 1st of feb 2014!! i wish i could talk to her and tell her how much i love her and wish i was a better daughter to her, wish i could hear her say she loves me and tell me that i am doing alright with my little one! i have so many people in my life that judge me as a mother, that i feel i do everything wrong! i think i just need her approval in a way, saying that i am not that bad! the dreams i had of her she doesnt say a thing i just walk with her in the woods or sit in a restaurant with her.

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  3. The few dreams I have are so real they probably scare me from remembering them.

    I have had three dreams in the last few months. No real story: one entailed a gray furry spider quite large it seemed to mimic the gray paisley pattern crawling up the coverlet towards my partner’s head. Another was vivid glass decorative fell crashing from furniture top. Was sure I would step in it and then remembered there was no such ornament on the furniture top. One particularly scary dream 4 years ago was a visitation from an Indian as from India familiar with phenomena outside of normal reality. At the time I was second reading ‘Merging With Siva”. After the dream I quit the book.

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    • Hi Christine,
      These are all great examples of processing dreams! Dreams are a very natural way for our brains to sort of organize and know what to do with all the information and everything else we experience in life. Thanks for sharing the experience with us!

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  4. i have had the same dream for the past few monts. i was in a mysterious island with a few friends of mine whome i cherish…but something really bad happened..,my best friend died in that dream,we were just enjoying in that island….when i woke up i called her and told never to go to a beach..haha,this seems so stupid…but i got really scared and didnt want to lose her.(sorry for bad english)

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  5. I just had a nightmare about being a robber trying to get into my house through the backdoor and me being the one to discover it. In my dream I also told my parents, and later in the dream i am looking out my window and my dad is outside with the robber and he is about to kill him until the robber pulls out a knife and kills my dad and me and my brothers saw it happen. And then I woke up. I have been reading articles about this trying to figure out what this means, I then read we can have predictive dreams/nightmares and this has me feeling terrified. I really hope this isn’t one of those predictive dreams and this is making me feel really scared. Before I went to sleep last night I was mad at my dad a little, but also sad. I’ve always feared losing someone I loved, and also of robbers getting into our homes, I am also terrified of robbers killing my loved ones. Please reply to my comment, I am freaking out and I just really hope it isn’t a predictive dream.

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  6. I had this dream twice in one night the bridge fell and all the cars went in the water that’s like my biggest fear is wrecking my car in the water can anyone help me with this

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  7. I dreamed of the “Rapture”. I was in a room and there was a friend with me. All of a sudden I heard a low rumbling sound that was loud. I knew what it was and yelled, ” the rapture is happening.” I could see myself and my friend and we were alone. Was I taken or left behind?

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  8. I believe I have Lucid and recurring dreams. Often I have both dreams at the same time. For an example; I often dream I’m in a nice, clean, quiet well kept neighborhood meaning the streets look freshly paved, the lines on the street are freshly painted and the sidewalk looks like they’re made out of marble.
    In these type of dreams I know I’m dreaming and sometimes I talk to people telling them I’m dreaming. One dream I had I was telling someone about another dream I had.
    I know I can fly in these type of dreams and I’m unable to touch anyone as my hand goes right through them. The same happens when people try to touch me. That is how I prove to them I’m dreaming.
    Each time I realize I’m dreaming and talking to people; I always ask what year it is. Some hesitate to tell me but each time someone did tell me; the year always starts with the number “40′.
    Sometimes I dream about wild animals such as bears, wolves and or tigers. Their fur has a rich dark bright color and they appear to be the size of giants. One interesting thing is they always obey my commands and are very playful.
    I could go on and on but I’m not sure how much space I have to write.

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