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Dream Types, Meanings and Purpose

Dreams are a gateway into the subconscious mind, but they are so much more than that. There are many dream experiences to be had, including healing dreams, recurring dreams, dreams providing a glimpse of the future and even encounters with departed loved ones.

Dreams imagery

I’ve had a few experiences whilst in the dream state that I've felt compelled to explore; you might have had similar. Here are some of the dreams that have had a profound impact on my waking life.

  • Healing dreams are when your subconscious mind works to clear out things you haven't fully processed in your waking life. This could be old traumas and issues that were painful that you weren't consciously able to process at the time, or perhaps something so disturbing that although you did work your way through your emotions at the time, there are more to be released. Emotions come in layers, so when we feel upset by something there may be other emotions hidden underneath the upper layers. For example, when we experience something shocking we firstly need to work through the feeling of shock. Once the shock has been processed, we may feel desperately sad. After the sadness has passed we may feel suddenly angry, and so on. This is why it’s so important that we allow whatever needs to be felt to come to the surface so that we can fully process the issues and challenges that crop up in our lives.  When we don’t fully process our emotions, the incident that triggered the emotional reaction may appear in our dreams. We don’t always witness the incident in the same way we experienced it in waking life, however, as dreams are often symbolic. But if the emotion that comes to the surface is one that links to an unresolved trauma, then you have had a healing dream.

  • Recurring dreams come to us with a message. Perhaps you have a recurring dream that your teeth fall out, or a dream where you are trapped inside something and you can't get out. When you experience these dreams, take a closer look at what's happening in your life. If the dream is one you’ve experienced before, try to remember what happened the last time you had that dream. Using the example of teeth falling out - if that type of dream is recurring, think back to the last time you had that dream; what were you experiencing in your waking life? Was it when you were changing jobs, or when you were in financial difficulties? For me, dreams in which I lose teeth represent a loss of some sort. I'm either literally losing something in my life that I'm trying to cling onto, or I'm worried about losing something. Journaling your dreams can be helpful particularly when it comes to recurring dreams.

  • Nightmares can be a form of healing dream. I sometimes have terrible nightmares, usually when I'm healing from something that has left me feeling afraid or powerless in my waking life. Like the healing dream, nightmares are a way for your subconscious to process emotions that may be too painful to process during your waking life - particularly intense fear. Whenever I'm working with my spirit guides to shed layers of fear, I have nightmares. It's often the same sort of dream and it's terrifying - but I always feel better knowing that I'm releasing fear through my sleep, and therefore healing from it. Nightmares can occur for other reasons though; they can happen after watching a scary movie, or when you’re on strong medication - in these instances they may not be healing dreams.

  • Dreams of passed loved ones can be dreams where you re-live memories from the life you shared with someone who is now on the other side, or they can in fact be meet-ups with your loved ones. In order to meet with a loved one on the other side, we must raise our vibration. If you're able to do this during sleep, you can meet your loved one through a dream. This is something that takes a bit of practice and you'll need to set an intention before you go to sleep that you want to meet with them. Your loved one will need to slightly lower their vibration in order to meet you whilst you sleep. Not all dreams of loved ones are meet-ups, you'll know if you've genuinely met them if you (a) remember your dream afterwards, and (b) feel incredibly uplifted when you wake up. Meeting someone from the spirit world in dream form will feel light, beautiful and uplifting. If it feels anything other than this, then it was a dream and not a meet-up.

  • Prophetic dreams are the dreams people have when they seemingly take a peek into the future. For anyone who has honed their psychic abilities in the waking state, they may be more prone to these kinds of dreams. The dream may show you something playing out, and then it occurs in waking life shortly afterwards - this can happen when we have a strong intention towards something and the law of attraction works in our favour to bring to us our desires. Our mind may ‘play out’ what we want to experience through sleep, right before the universe brings it into our physical world.  But these dreams can also happen where the dreamer sees something totally unexpected, something that wasn’t on their waking radar. These dreams are where the dreamer slips into a future timeline and then recalls the experience, only to find it plays out shortly afterwards. You can experiment with prophetic dreams by setting an intention before sleep to catch a glimpse of something coming up in your future, perhaps something fairly minor to begin with. Write down your intention and leave it on a piece of paper next to your bed - or use the free Dreams Journal listed on the members-only page of this website. Also set an intention to remember the dream upon waking and write down what you saw.

Sleep Protection 

It’s a good idea to protect your energy when you go to sleep. This is something that has became a standard part of my nighttime routine. I undertake a process called GCP before I go to bed which stands for Ground - Cleanse - Protect. Firstly I ground myself into my body; this can be done in many ways. I visualise tree roots coming out of the soles of my feet and plunging into the earth below me. Or you might want to do a body scan, tensing and relaxing each part of your body. Then I cleanse my energy field, again with visualisation by imagining one of the elements (usually air or water) removing anything from my energy field that shouldn’t be there. You might want to imagine being stood underneath a waterfall with the water washing you clean of any negative energies, or a bright light shining through your body and your aura, cleansing you. Then I imagine something surrounding my whole body and energy field, something quite large that sits a couple of feet around the outside of my body. This item must completely encapsulate me, so I visualise a bubble. I set the bubble with an intention to keep me safe from anything that isn’t for my highest good. And then I’m ready for sleep!

Using a practice like GCP is a great way to remain energetically safe whilst you sleep. There are negative energies around at night, but you can keep them away by undertaking a simple protection ritual like this one. You have control of your energy field, and you can protect yourself from these energies. Crystals can also help - I have black tourmaline by my bed, but be sure to only use a small crystal that isn’t overpowering; large powerful crystals can cause a sleep disturbance (so no amethyst clusters by the bed!)

Dreams Journal

I’ve created a free Dreams Journal to help you focus an intention before entering the sleep state, and write your notes after waking. You can print or download this journal, it’s editable in case you don’t have a printer. If you’re not already a member of my website, you’ll need to sign up (which is also free).

Dreamcatcher - for a post about dreams


This was an introduction to some of the types of dreams you may encounter, but there are also others. It’s an interesting and intriguing topic that can be researched for many hours, and there are different interpretations and opinions about the meaning and purpose of dreams. The above is based on my experiences and the information I’ve received from my guides; it may not be your experience. Keep an open mind when it comes to your dreams and you can discover all sorts of amazing things through the world of sleep! I’ve visited past lives through my dreams and I’ve had messages from my spirit guides and higher self. The possibilities are endless when our physical life is temporarily out of the way!

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