Why Do You Dream of Falling? What Does it all Mean?

Richmond Gbenga · Mar 02 2020

Dreaming of falling is something that happens a couple of times to everyone, right? And yet, not many people know why they fall in their dreams, or what it means.

Some people even believe the myth that they’d die if they don’t wake up before hitting the ground. Actually, people have fallen to the ground in their dreams…and lived to tell the tale!

The experience of falling in your dream happens in different ways.

Imagine getting back home after a hectic day at work, and while reheating last night’s leftover in the microwave, you drift off on the sofa only to experience a sudden jolt.

Or, you actually get on a real bed, fall into a deep slumber only to jerk back to full consciousness in the middle of the night…after experiencing the sensation of falling.


As far as falling dreams go, there are two sides to the story.

From a scientific viewpoint, the phenomenon is called a hypnic jerk. It usually occurs as you go from being awake and just before you enter deep sleep.

Thing is as you drift off, your muscles relax while your blood pressure and heart rate drop. The brain misinterprets this as ‘falling’ [in real life] and literally gives the command that jerks you out of sleep into a wakeful state.

This twitch or jerk is often caused by…

A) Caffeine:

Too much caffeine in the system can make you experience plenty of unpleasant hypnic jerks. What to do? Dial down on the coffee.

B) Stress or anxiety:

If you’ve had a really stressful day or something happened that got you really worried, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a hypnic jerk in your sleep. What to do? Try to relax and clear your head before bedtime. A stress-relieving supplement can help.

C) Unease in the bed:

If you’re having a hard time drifting to sleep, perhaps it’s time to get a new mattress…or pillow. Never trade a good night’s sleep for anything in the world. Why? It’s critical to your overall well-being.

There’s also the idea that you could be receiving a crucial message from your subconscious.

Dreams have meanings and a falling dream can be an indication of insecurity, instability or anxiety. It could also be that something big is approaching that you need to unravel.

If you dream of losing balance, this can stem from a situation in your life where you’re feeling overwhelmed…and this loss of control could be playing out in your finances, relationships or other critical areas of your life. Perhaps, this could be a unique way of bringing all of that to your attention so you can address them before they get out of hand.

If you get pushed in your dream, it could mean that someone else is responsible for your being out of control…and this is probably a good time to reassess your relationships and watch out for negative influences.

If you see someone else falling in your dream, it’s probably an indication that they’re out of balance in one or more areas of their life. And, depending on whether you’re in control or helpless in their “falling” situation, it could mean that you can do something to help, or not.

So, there you have it!

Dreaming of falling can be scary - no doubt - but it could be a wake-up call to examine your lifestyle, get in or out of a relationship, or take time off to relax…and that’s definitely a good thing!

Would you like to watch the video version of this wellness episode by Natalie? Cool! Click right here and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button. Did you find this piece educative? Would you like to share your ‘falling’ experience? Great! Tag us @nestednaturals and use hashtag #SleepWakeThrive -- we’d love to hear from you!