Dreams Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


I've heard that if we actually hit the ground while falling in our dream, we really die. This concerns me as I fall all the time in my dreams, though I don't recall ever hitting the ground. Is there anything to this?


I understand your concern, we all get a little frightened when we loose control over what is happening to us. The Hitting-Bottom theory is a popular folk tale, but many, many people have hit and lived to tell about it, myself included. The falling dream itself is one of the most popular and early remembered of all dreams. While some theories talk about falling having to do with how easily we used to fall as children, and other theories talk about the falling indicating a fear of loss in security or of a relationship. The best and most recent ideas take another approach.

Falling is very close to ...flying! By telling ourselves before we go to sleep that we would prefer to fly than fall, we can often take control of the fall and turn the dream into a flying dream, which is exhilarating in contrast to fear-filled. Both of these can be converted into questions.

1. What in my life seems to be falling out of control?
2. How can I turn this out-of-control part from falling into flying?

Often, like in the dream, just being aware that you can is enough to make the switch from falling to flying.


Richard Wilkerson is general editor for The Internet Dream E-zine, Electric Dreams, and director of DreamGate, the Internet Communications and Dream Education Center. He writes the Cyberphile column for the Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter.


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