Dream: I am lost or trapped

A lady laying down in bed having sleep paralysis.
Being dream trapped can be caused by stress and frustrations in your waking life, and your subconscious mind is working on ways to help you feel free and unstuck. Matt Henry Gunther / Getty Images

Description: You are lost, perhaps feeling desperate. You may be trying to find your way in a forest, in city streets, inside a large building, or in some other maze-like structure. Or you may dream that you are unable to move, perhaps powerless to scream or breathe. The circumstances vary. You may be buried alive, or caught in a web or a cage, or trapped in some other manner, usually feeling terrified.

Frequency: Lost or trapped dreams are common. Some people have them frequently, others only in crisis. They typically occur when you feel great confusion or conflict about how to act in some waking situation.


Usual meanings: You may feel be feeling lost, trapped or confused by something, that you've lost your way and don't know what to do or where to turn.

Questions to ask yourself:

Being lost variation:

  • Where were you trying to go in the dream? Home? School? Business?
  • Where did you become lost? What is it about the area in which you became lost that was most disturbing?
  • What circumstances seemed to lead you astray?
  • What action did you take to find your way in the dream?
  • What area of life is currently mystifying to you?

Being trapped variation:

  • Where did you become stuck in the dream?
  • What is restricting your movement?
  • How did you try to rescue yourself in the dream?
  • What waking situation in your waking life does this remind you of?