Whether they know it or not, everyone dreams. In fact, on average, we’ll spend roughly two hours every night dreaming.

While Dream Analysis remains a polemic issue, researchers within the field believe that the reasons behind your dreams are windows to your darkest fears and greatest hopes.

Here we tackle 4 common dreams you’re likely to experience - based on a fascinating sleep and dream database created by Dr Kelly Bulkeley which collates and studies in-depth reports from a wide variety of people.

Have you dreamt any of the below? If so, you may just be about to discover why...

The Chase

Night terrors are pretty common and possibly offer an insight into our deepest and darkest fears. One of the most common themes in a night terror is being chased – which may be a biological hangover from our ancestors who had to be more aware of large predators than we need to be today.

Another theory is that the threat in the dream may be a representation of something or someone in the ‘real world’ that you feel threatened by. Are you feeling intimidated by someone in your work or social life? This may be the source behind your night-terrors.

The Exam

Exam-time is never fun for anyone. The students, the teachers, the examiners…so it’s probably no surprise they crop up – unwillingly- into our dreams.

Interestingly, in Dr Bulkeley’s study, females were 14% more likely to experience this dream than males.

The fall

Everyone's felt that ‘jolting’ feeling where they suddenly awaken in shock after dreaming of falling. One theory behind this suggests that falling represents a sudden change in our lives and how that, quite literally, can turn your world upside down.

The one that makes you blush…

Men, in particular, are highly likely to have had a dream involving a sexual experience. In fact, males posted an 85% response rate to this type of dream, with females posting a considerably lower 58% response rate.

While this may pertain to a certain stereotype, we still don’t know exactly why men are more likely to experience sexual dreams.

The nature vs nurture debate will rage-on, with both biological and environmental theories making a case – but no current research has the empirical answer we all desire…