|Dreams: Common Dreams
Have you ever talked to a friend about a dream you've had, only to find out that he or she has had the same one? Scientists and doctors have listened to thousands of people describe their dreams, and have come up with lists of what they call "universal dreams," or dreams containing stories or images that are common to many people. The details of these dreams are different to each dreamer, but the main ideas are usually the same.
Here's a list of some universal dreams. Count how many of these you've had:
So why do so many people have dreams that contain these basic ideas or themes? If you look at the list, you might notice that these aren't things that happen everyday, but they aren't too way-out either. In fact, these dreams are based around desires, fears, or anxieties that almost all people share. Nobody wants to fail, or be embarrassed, or get lost, or lose something important. If we're stressed out about things like this, they might pop up in our dreams, even if the details are different from what we've been thinking about while awake.
On the other hand, it's very common to have fantasies about being able to fly, or finding something valuable, or about meeting someone famous, so these sorts of things can also appear in dreams.
Every person in the world is unique, but we share a lot of the same fears and fantasies. Because our minds think about these things a lot, they tend to pop up in our dreams.