Recurring dreams?

For fun, is anyone here willing to share about a type of dream they have over and over again?

Last night I dreamed I was in a restaurant getting water from some sort of machine, except it wouldn’t turn off when my glass was filled and kept spilling water everywhere, and whatever buttons I pushed or wires I pulled, I couldn’t get it to stop.

A related dream I’ve often had is inadvertently taking something apart and then being unable to put it back together, and when I try to systematically examine it to figure things out, I discover that the parts have bewilderingly changed shape.

Another variant is the experience of being lost, perhaps in a gigantic building or on the streets of a strange city. I have an idea of where I want to go and try to find a way to get there amid many dead ends. Yet a systematic approach fails because when I retrace my steps I find everything appears different from when I first passed through.

Here’s another sort of dream that I also think is related – I need to put together something in disarray against an impending deadline – perhaps many tiny objects from a board game are scattered all over and I need to collect and sort them in windy conditions before rain shortly arrives.

I suppose these dreams reveal my subconscious thought, and some of you might be thinking that the interpretation is clear. Anyone else willing to share?

The question I have is if we are accountable for the sins we commit in our dreams…


Augustine addresses this, IIRC. Maybe @jacob.mentzel can chime in.

For my part, I have no question that the answer is yes, at least some of the time.


Time for a poll.

Do you have a recurring dream or dreams?

  • Yes, it’s like Groundhog Day
  • Yes, every once in a while
  • No, I never have
  • I used to but not anymore

0 voters

I used to have two recurring dreams.

One was that I was falling backward and then I would awake with a start.

The second was more odd. It was that I was trying to escape some horrible person who wanted to hurt or kill me. He may be evil or grotesquely ugly. I would have to run for safety. It would always be a very short distance to safety compared to the distance he would have to traverse in order to catch me. But as I began to run my feet would become bogged down, heavy, sinking. And I would be unable to escape. I would be caught by this unspeakable evil and then it would end.

Weird. It’s been years.

This is less of a recurring dream and more like a recurring trope inside of lots of different dreams I have. I’ll basically have the same dream twice, with the first time setting a baseline for what is “supposed” to happen, but the second time always has something go wrong. I’ll have a vague memory of what’s “supposed” to be happening, and I’ll frantically try to get things back on track. It never works. Usually what goes wrong is either objects not behaving properly (impossibly sticky and infinitely malleable, like some sort of cosmic taffy) or people not understanding what they are supposed to be doing no matter how much I try to explain it to them.

Yikes! There’s a reason people get obsessed about dreams and trying to interpret them.

I used to have a recurring dream, but I’ve forgotten what it was now.

But I just remembered that I do still have a recurring dream every once in a while. I dream that I simply cannot get enough air. I’m trying as hard as I can to breathe, but something is preventing me. Sometimes I’m underwater, trying to swim as fast as I can to the surface, but it keeps getting further away. Other times I can’t figure out why I can’t breathe or I’m having an allergic reaction or something else is preventing me. Anyway, I always do my best to remain calm, breathe deeply and slowly (if I’m not underwater), until eventually I’m working as hard as I can to breathe. Sometimes I try to get help, but I never can. Eventually I start to panic.

When I truly get into a desperate panic I wake up right as I move my face out of my pillow so I can breathe. It’s always clear I haven’t been getting enough air in real life. Scary stuff. Thankfully it typically only happens when my nose is really stuffed up.

I have several recurring dreams. One always involves some sort of island floating in the clouds. I carry on whatever business I’m supposed to in the dream and then, inevitably, I come to the edge of the island and fall off into the clouds. I always wake up before anything else happens.
The other dream I have fairly often is the classic dream all students have, which is sleeping in too long and not showing up to an exam or an important presentation, something along those lines. I’ve even woken up from that dream and begun my day in a state of dread about missing whatever it was I was supposed to attend, before realizing that it was just a dream and I’ll be just fine.

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My dream – really – is that I suddenly remember that I am supposed to administer an exam that I had completely forgotten about and did not prepare.

Edited to add:

One time my wife dreamed that I had taken up with another woman, and she was still feeling angry with me awhile after waking up.


I would think yes, because our sinful hearts generated them. But we’re not accountable for the sins we commit in other people’s dreams, so if your wife wakes up mad at the argument you had in her subconscious, you’re off the hook. :wink:

Ha! I didn’t even see @Joel’s post before I wrote this.


When I was a very small child, preschool or kindergarten age, I had a recurring dream about being unjustly imprisoned.

Having to leave my childhood church was pretty traumatic for me, and I dreamed about it almost nightly the first year – I would be there, trying to avoid being seen. The frequency gradually decreased, but I still, thirty years later, end up back there every once in a while.

When I worked in retail, I had a recurring dream of trying to close up the store while customers continued to pour in. I did finally realize that I hate people and have no business working with the public. :laughing:


Two recurring dreams.

First, I dream that I can almost fly, and I am vaulting over buildings and stuff. I can basically do super high jumps, in somewhat slow motion, and then I just kinda glide in slow motion back to the earth. It’s pretty sweet.

Second, I dream that I am protecting my family from an attacker, and I have a pistol, but when I shoot, it’s basically a BB gun or blank that does absolutely nothing. Frustrating.

My wife has dreams where I am mean to her. The other day, she told me she had a dream where the baby puked all over her, and she was asking me to help her. But I replied something like, “Well, I don’t find you very attractive, so I can’t help you.”

I think she has self conscious issues. :slight_smile:

I used to have similar dreams as a kid when my athsma was really bad, and I would wake upon experiencing stridor.

Hopefully you don’t have undiagnosed sleep apnea. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the concern but it’s quite clearly always my face in the pillow causing the trouble.

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My Dad got me my first regular job working for someone else other than him when I was 14. It was for a neighboring dairy farmer about 2 miles down the road, and I worked there all day Saturday. The farmer knew my dad well, and had actually immigrated from the Netherlands from the same small town as my grandparents, and was close to them as well. Two of my uncles had worked for him when they where in high school. For the first year and a half I worked for him, I would dream every Friday night about making some major mess up, getting fired, disgracing the family name, and sometimes being disowned.

Maybe your dad is Tim Bayly?


I never had this dream until I heard the hosts of a firearms-oriented podcast talk about it. Fortunately I only had it once.

I have not had a recurring dream in many years—when I was a kid I would often have the one where the bad guy would chase me and I’d wake up right when he’d get me. I’d have the falling one also, and wake up right when I was about to hit the ground.

But I do have a recurring setting for my dreams. Of the dreams I remember upon waking, probably 50% take place in the house I grew up in. I moved out for college well over half my life ago, and my parents haven’t even owned the place in several years, but I still have dreams set there all the time.

I generally don’t remember dreams except for nightmares. And my nightmare is most often making shipwreck of my faith and life in some horrific way. I wake up and thank God it was just a dream. God be merciful to me a sinner. My takeaway is the same I have most days walking away from jail. There but for the grace of God go I.

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The heir without air.

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