5 Common Nightmares We All Have

#2. Being Locked Up or Trapped -- Everyone's Miserable and Regrets Their Life Choices


Only 33 percent of Americans describe themselves as "happy." If you're in the other 67 percent, chances are one of the following applies: You've been at the same job way too long, and it sucks. Money's always a problem, but there are no non-felonious options to make more. You can't stand your significant other, but change makes you more uncomfortable than stagnation. You have way more bratty kids than you ever thought you'd have, and Grandma's not much help anymore because she's getting up there. The point is that you know your life is one great big confining rut -- you feel it, every waking moment of every day, and you don't do anything about it. And then you hit the hay, just to escape for a few hours. But after a terse dream-visit with Grandma, who's completely sick of your hell-spawn and for some reason now carries around an assault rifle, you find yourself in a room, and the walls start closing in -- closer and closer and closer -- like a Death Star trash compactor. There's no way out. You're trapped.

"I'll get you for this, Grandma! You're going to the home we saw on the news!"

And that's pretty much it. This one is kind of embarrassing for humanity, what with its trite and obvious interpretation. Then again, it's also pretty refreshing after the whole freaky "teeth falling out" thing.

#1. Public Nudity -- We Feel Vulnerable and Fear Being Found Out

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

While many of man's favorite pastimes involve being au naturel, nudity also exposes us to all sorts of nastiness like nether region wasp stings and "the sun." Plus clothing lets us craft a public persona that we can both project and hide behind. So when you dream of strolling through the grocery store wearing nothing but what your momma gave you, not only are you a wasp target, but now everyone knows just what you are. And it's something worse than a dairy aisle pervert. It's a useless life-charlatan.

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
"Yeah, I changed my mind about the sausage and meatballs ... can we just have a salad instead?"

It's not just you. Most of us feel like we'll be unmasked as a fraud at any second, whether it's because we are actually lousy parents, b.s.-ed our way into a job, or wear a man-girdle to make our clothed body appear marginally palatable to society at large.

Occasionally the "nudity nightmare" comes in a combo pack with the "big test nightmare" (which allows you to pick at your failure AND fraud scabs in half the time!). So tonight when you're snoozing, if you find yourself wedged into an old school desk, marinating in a pool of your own naked butt sweat, know that you're not alone.

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
The downside is having to fight other naked dream people for the non-lefty desk.

As that American Anthropologist article said: "Typical dreams mark a public domain. They intimate a common bond between us." And that bond is species-wide self-loathing.

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