Dreaming LifeDreaming Life

If you fall in a dream, you may have lost control of something in your life. You may lack confidence or feel helpless. Falling in a dream can also be your way of unconsciously punishing yourself for something that is making you feel guilty.

If you have a fear of falling or a fear of heights in waking life, a dream that you are falling may simply be an expression of that fear.

A dream that you fall and then land unharmed can be a message from your unconscious that your situation is not as bad as you believed.

Freud believed that if you dream of falling, you are thinking of giving into a sexual urge.

Religious dream interpretation says that a dream that you are falling means that you have been falling from your path and haven't been following the way of God in waking life.

What were the circumstances that caused you to fall? This could give you a better understanding of what your dream means.

Falling and Lucid Dreams

If you are able to dream lucidly and can control the events of your dreams, you might be able to stop yourself from falling while in a dream. You can even turn a falling dream into a flying dream. See what happens if you stop worrying about how you will land and just let yourself float freely. Perhaps you would be better off if you stopped spending so much time worrying about your waking life situation as well.

Hypnic Jerks

If you start drifting off to sleep, begin dreaming that you are falling, and then jerk yourself awake as you are about to hit the ground, you have experienced a hypnic jerk, also known as a sleep start.

Some scientists believe that hypnic jerks happen when your muscles start to relax as you fall asleep. Your brain mistakenly thinks that this means you are falling and jerks you awake.

Others say that hypnic jerks are your brain's reaction to the slowing down of your metabolism as you fall asleep. As your muscles relax, your temperature decreases and your breathing slows down. Your brain starts to worry that your body is slowing down too much, so it causes your body to jerk to make sure it is still functioning.

Some people have sleep starts when they wake up. While some people feel their bodies jerking as they awaken, others hear loud noises. These are called auditory sleep starts, and this experience is known as exploding head syndrome. Some people can experience visual sleep starts, which means that they see bright lights when awakening.

Hypnic jerks can also take place during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

You will tend to experience hypnic jerks more frequently when you aren't getting enough sleep. Scientists believe that your brain gets confused by the lack of sleep, and when your muscles start to relax, the brain misinterprets this to mean that something is wrong and causes your body to jerk in response.

People with a condition known as periodic limb movement disorder can experience hypnic jerks every 20 to 30 seconds while they are asleep.