What It Means When You Dream About Feeling Lost

Once your head hits the pillow every night, your body enters four stages of sleep. While most of your dreams occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep, they can also occur during the other three. As you cycle through these four stages of sleep throughout the night, you'll be in the REM stage for about two hours each night. It's during the REM stage where your dreams are the most vivid, according to the Sleep Foundation.

Although everyone dreams, not everyone remembers them. However, some dreams will have you waking up feeling fear or panic, such as falling or being chased. Founding father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud believed that your dreams reveal what's going on deep down inside of you, according to Psychology Today. They will sometimes give you information about something you're not dealing with in your waking life. Using the theory of Freud, a dream about being lost could signify feeling lost about something in your life.

Dreams might have subjective meanings

Although it might be fun to look up a dream dictionary and find that your dream might signify good luck, psychologically speaking, your dreams are a little more subjective to your life's circumstances. In other words, dreaming about a spider might indicate one thing to one person and a completely different thing to someone else, according to PsychCentral.

Contemporary psychologists believe that dreams serve a different purpose. Some schools of thought believe that dreams serve to manage your emotions or rehearse potential threats. A 2020 article in Human Brain Mapping found that the parts of the brain associated with fear are active when you have a fearful dream. Consequently, this can reduce emotional responses in the brain when you're confronted with a fearful situation while you're awake. Other dream theories believe that dreams keep your brains active while your memories process.

Your dreams can also be a reflection of your mental health, per a 2018 article in Scientific Reports. When you feel at peace in your life, you tend to have peaceful dreams. On the other hand, if you have anxiety, you could experience negative emotions in your dreams. If your dream about being lost is frightening and persists over time, a mental health professional could help determine if it's a symptom of anxiety or a sleep disorder (per PsychCentral).

How to interpret your dreams

Because your dreams are subjective, you can try to interpret them on your own. If your dream about being lost is a one-time thing, sit back and recall the dream, scene by scene. Remember your feelings, any thoughts you had, and any peculiar details. The fact that you could remember a peculiar detail could indicate something important (per Healthline).

Writing down the dream in a journal can also help you recall more details and thoughts about the dream. If possible, note any conversations, locations, and specific objects. Identify any of the characters in your dream. After you've summarized the dream on paper, begin to make connections between these details and feelings and what's going on in your life. For example, if you dream about being lost while walking on city streets, that fear could signify the fear of not heading in the right direction in your life.

Then again, your dream about being lost could just be a way for your mind to handle some of the emotions in your waking life. Or your mind could just be giving you a screensaver while it's processing episodes from your life into your memory. In other words, dreaming about being lost might not mean anything.