Dream: I am falling or drowning

Description: You are falling through the air, frightened. A variation may be that you are sinking in water, in danger of drowning.

Frequency: Falling is one of the most common nightmares; drowning dreams are less so. Falling dreams usually occur when you feel insecure, and drowning dreams take place when you feel overwhelmed. Falling dreams may be accompanied by an actual fall from bed. Drowning dreams have been associated with severe edema.


Usual meanings: Falling dreams often signify that you feel insecure or as though you have no support. Drowning dreams often occur when you feel overwhelmed by having too much to do and are feeling ready to give up.

Questions to ask yourself:

If your dream is about falling:

  • What situation have you "fallen into" that needs attention?
  • Who or what has "let you down" recently?
  • What can you do about the situation?

If your dream is about drowning:

  • What situation in your waking life feels overwhelming?
  • Where do you feel inundated with work?
  • What can you do about this problem?