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What do Dreams About Falling Mean?

by | Apr 12, 2023

  • Dreaming about falling typically means you are losing control in waking life.
  • Dreams of falling don’t mean you’re going to fall off a building in real life, but it merely represents something symbolic.
  • To dream of falling can mean something in your life is not going well.

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To dream of falling from a cliff, a building, or from the sky can be scary, but out of many possible meanings, none relate to falling in real life. Dreams about falling are actually one of the most common types of dreams, and more often than not, people have had at least one or two dreams about falling one way or another in their lifetime.

Although dreams of falling are common, it doesn’t mean you should brush it off as something random. According to Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis and famous dream interpreter, dreams are the “royal roadmap” to the unconscious.

If you want to learn more about yourself, dreams can be a tool to help you better understand your inner desires, fears, and emotional state.

In this article, we’ll discuss the general symbolism of dreams about falling, the most common types of falling dreams, and their possible interpretations.

General Symbolism of Dreams About Falling

If you find yourself dreaming that you are falling, you surely would want to know if there is any significance to a dream that elicits an emotional reaction from you. You may wake up disturbed, but understanding its possible meaning can help you make sense of the dream.

According to Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, M.D., falling dreams typically suggest fear, anxiety, terror, and a loss of control in your real life. Falling may also represent helplessness, as according to Berrios, dreams about falling from a certain height can indicate you’re losing grip on significant things in your life.

Spiritual Meaning of Falling in Dreams

If you’re on the quest to achieve spiritual enlightenment or searching for spiritual connection, this dream can symbolize your lack of a proper direction. You may have started on a good foot, but now you’ve tripped and fallen.

Falling signifies walking in the dark and tripping, so you fall to the ground. This means you haven’t seen the light that will lead you in the right direction of your spiritual journey.

It may be time to reconsider the path you’re taking, take a pause, and re-evaluate your plans.

Why Do We Dream About Falling?

We dream about falling because our subconscious mind reminds us of our emotional state. Sometimes we are in denial or don’t address things that are bothering us in real life, so they stay trapped in our thoughts.

Dreams reflect our emotional state, so when you dream of falling, it represents emotional issues that must be addressed in waking life.

Physiological Explanations for Dreams of Falling

One reason for a falling dream is a physiological change. When you go deep into sleep, your blood pressure and heart rate drop. This “falling” of vital statistics can lead to a dream about literally falling.

Another physiological explanation for dreams of falling is The Hypnagogic Jerk. It is a syndrome where your body acts out a physical movement in your dream. An example would be kicking your legs, waving your arms, or embracing yourself in anticipation of a fall.

This “Hypnic Jerk,” as it’s otherwise called, also often happens in dreams about falling or taking a misstep. There is no need for concern as it’s a typical symptom that doesn’t have significant health effects except for maybe sleep disruption.

In the following section, we’ll talk about the most common dealing dreams and their possible interpretations.

Common Dreams About Falling

Here are the most common dreams about falling and their possible meanings:

1. Dreaming of Falling into Water

Water represents emotions in dreams. If you dream of falling into a body of water, it can mean you must dive into your feelings in real life. You may have been repressing your feelings, but now you must navigate your emotional state.

It could mean you’ve wanted to express yourself for a while, and diving into the water in your dreams is a metaphor for plunging into your emotions.

2. Dreaming of Slipping and Falling

Dreaming of slipping and falling could mean you’re doing something you’re afraid of failing. Maybe you’re about to open a business, or you’re diving into a new relationship, or you just had a new job, but you’re anxious and scared that things won’t go your way. Or it could also represent something that’s already not going well in your life.

3. Dreaming of Falling From a Cliff

Typically, you don’t know what’s underneath a cliff. Or if you can see what’s under, it’s most likely a body of water, rocks, or dry land. This can mean you lack stability and security in your waking life and feel like crashing.

If you don’t see anything underneath the cliff and you’re doing a free fall in your dream, it could mean you’re facing a problem in your life with no one and nothing to hold on to.

It could also mean you anticipate the end or failure of a relationship, job, or business.

4. Dreaming of Falling From the Sky

The view from the sky is immense, and this means the dream is dramatic. One possible meaning could be a significant change that’s about to happen in your life. You are miles from the ground, and this significant change will feel immensely emotional or exciting.

It could also mean you’ve just lost everything in your life, and you’re falling to oblivion from the heavens. From having everything in life, you fall into the vast earth, where you are but a mere dot. Falling from the sky in a dream can mean falling from grace.

5. Dreaming of Falling, then Waking Up

If you were falling from a dream and suddenly woke up, it could result from the Hypnic Jerk. This symptom typically occurs during the transitional period between wakefulness and sleep, which can explain waking up in the middle of a dream.

6. Dream of Someone Else Falling

If you see a family member, friend, or stranger falling in a dream, it could mean that you are worried about the person. You may have noticed they weren’t themselves in real life, so you got concerned, and they appeared in your dream.

If the person is someone you love, it could also signify your fear of losing that person. Dreams sometimes express our fears, so your loved one falling and crashing to the ground can be a manifestation of this fear.

7. Dreaming of Being Stuck in a Falling Elevator

Being stuck in a falling elevator is the stuff of nightmares. To dream of this can symbolize your fears about a particular issue in your life, such as your finances, relationships, career, material possessions, or even about losing your status.

Related: Common Nightmares That Are Actually Warnings

A Word of Advice

Dreams of falling can leave you feeling unsettled and disturbed. Falling means you are not in control, and the result of crashing can be terrifying.

The many symbolism of falling in a dream includes feeling out of control, overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. So if you look at your waking life and can identify your stress triggers, you need to be proactive about managing them.

If dreaming about falling is making you lose sleep or leaving you with negative emotions, there are things you can do to prevent these dreams and nightmares from happening.

First, you need to take care of yourself. Avoid drinking caffeine before sleep, eat healthy food, exercise, and have a healthy lifestyle. Stress and illness can sometimes contribute to nightmares, so take care of yourself first.

Second, find the triggers of your dreams. Remember the symbolism of this dream? Look for the areas of your life when you feel out of control, your fears, your anxieties, and people in your life who are toxic. Work on these triggers and ensure you can find solutions to your negative emotions.

Third, watch funny, happy videos before you sleep. You can also read a good book or spend quality time with loved ones. Feel good before you hit the bed so your subconscious mind fills your dreams with happy thoughts.

Dreams about falling are mirrors of your emotional state. Listen to your dreams and know that they help you improve self-awareness.


1. What does it mean when you dream about falling from a high place?

The higher the climb, the harder the fall. If you dream of falling from a high place, it can indicate you’re worried about a significant adverse change in your life. You may anticipate financial problems, a conflict in your relationship, or even a betrayal from close friends.

2. What does it mean if you fall into your dream and wake up?

If you dream of falling, waking up means you are in a hypnagogic state, which happens in the stage of sleep between sleeping and waking. It has more to do with psychological reactions to a dream rather than having significant meaning.

3. What causes falling dreams?

Falling dreams can be caused by stress, anxiety, and fears, which are emotional states that reflect in your dreams.

4. What does it mean when you dream about falling and landing on your feet?

When you fall and land on your feet, it could mean you have the strength and a better position to confront your problems. You may have lost, but you are confident in your ability to overcome obstacles that come your way.

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