Decoding Dreams: What do they actually mean?

NORFOLK, Va. — Sleep. It's what we do every night but every single night, whether you know it or not, you're dreaming.

"Everybody dreams but most people don`t remember their dreams and we don`t know why."

So why do we dream the things we dream? Why do we have nightmares? These are questions as old as time and the answer lies within the head you lay on your pillow every night.

"Why people dream certain things and when they dream them is an unanswered question."

Dr. Jerome Blackman is a board certified psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Virginia Beach. He said there are common dreams that people have, like being chased, falling or seeing a dead loved one, but each dream is specific to the dreamer. They may have an obvious meaning, or the true concept could be hidden by symbols.

"The one persistent thing you see in dreams are emotions that may be hidden."

WTKR broke down the dreams people told them about. Cate Curtis has recurring dreams about her teeth falling out.

"Someone opened the door and knocked into my teeth and they fell out, or when I'm clenching my jaw and my teeth fall out."

Blackman said often times dreams about physical injury have to do with stress.

"The correlation probably has to do about anxiety about something. Dreams about the body often have to do with how you look and how your life is going and how things are organized in your life."

Another dreamer said he has a recurring dream where he is going up a hotel escalator with his future wife on their wedding day after the ceremony.

"And I see my wife and all I see is the back of her head, and I wonder who is this person. Is it going to be déjà vu one day — do I know this person and I just wonder what`s up with it."

Blackman broke down this dream in two ways.

"There is a conflict present. He wishes to be married but he's afraid he would not get to know the person well enough before he marries her."

Dreams can also help people handle major emotions, like grief.

"I had a really close friend pass away in college and I remember seeing him in a dream driving on a golf cart saying take care, and that was the only time I've ever dreamed about someone who has passed away," said another dreamer.

"Those dreams fall into wish fulfillment and there a defense against grief. They lost a loved one and they wish they were still living," explained Blackman.

But not all dreams are wishes, as Freud once thought. Blackman said we now know that the main thing that comes out in dreams are hidden emotions.

"So why? Because people cant express themselves?"

"The why is the unanswered question."

As we continue to sleep and dream, doctors continue to wonder what it all means and why our minds come up with the dreams we have.