What It Means When You Dream About Someone You Know Vs. Don't Know

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Dreams can directly influence our waking lives, and often do. For many of us, we spend the morning wrapped up in the haze of a dream we've just come out of. Sometimes our dreams leave temporary impressions that fade as soon as we get out of bed, and sometimes the things we dream about stick with us throughout the day as if they actually happened to us. If there's a person who has recently slipped into your subconscious and you're wondering what it means when you dream about someone, you're not alone. Many of us wake up feeling confused, uncomfortable, and curious when we have a dream about someone we know.

Whether it's a scary dream, a sexy dream, or a completely random nonsensical dream that involves so many guest stars that it's hard to make sense of it at all, it can be startling to see a familiar face in your dreamscape. And if we're being honest, we especially know just how awkward it can get when you have a sex dream about someone you know, or worse, a death dream. While there are many ways to decode dreams, analyze the symbols and unpack the hidden meanings, sometimes a dream is just a bit of nonsensical debris left over from the day — and sometimes it's not. Bustle talked to sleep expert and PhD Dr. Michael J. Breus about what it means when people we know make a cameo in our dreams, because if you're reading this article, you recently had a dream about someone and are dying to know what the heck it means.

A Dream About Someone You're Close With

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Though we might want to believe that our dreams are exponentially significant and meaningful, according to Dr. Breus, "most often when you dream about someone you know, it's because you were thinking about them or interacting with them [in your waking life]." And typically not because of anything else more profound.

A Dream About Someone You Haven't Seen In A While

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Perhaps more interestingly, if you have a dream about someone you haven't seen in a while, according to Dr. Breus, it might because "a date is occurring or coming up that's the anniversary of something you did with that person." For example, you might have a seemingly random dream about a childhood friend, only to find out that their birthday is approaching and your subconscious picked up on the date before you did.

A Dream About Someone You've Never Met

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When we dream about people we've never met, according to Dr. Breus, it's likely because we recently saw them or were reminded of them. So, if you recently had a dream about Liam Neeson, it might not be because he's your soulmate, it might be because you watched one of his movies last week and forgot about it.