What Our Dreams Can Tell Us About Work

woman in bed

This is a collaborative post.

The importance of sleep is well-known to us – if not through the various studies illustrating the key processes sleep enables, instead through our visceral responses to the alarm clock each morning. While dreaming might seem like an incidental event that happens while we sleep, dreams can be just as important to our mind as sleep is to our body – and could tell us important things about our professional lives.

sleep clock bed

What Are We Dreaming About?

Work-related dreams are a particularly common occurrence in the UK – which is no surprise, given the amount of time we spend in our day-to-day lives at work or at the office. Corporate roller banner producers, instantprint, surveyed 1000 UK office workers to discover exactly what it is we’re dreaming about when it comes to the workplace – and the results were telling.

Feeling Unprepared for Tasks

One of the most common kinds of workplace dreams related to a feeling of unpreparedness when it comes to workplace tasks, with 17% of respondents having experienced such a dream. We’ve all had a dream of this type before, and it is more commonly rendered in media as the quintessential ‘unprepared for a school exam’ stress dream. Dreaming about being unrehearsed for a meeting or presentation can hint at an anxiety surrounding efficacy in a role, or overall stress at the nature of your position.

Never Arriving at Work

15% of UK workers have dreamt about setting off for work and never arriving. This can be a visceral kind of dream experience, and possibly indicative of serious anxieties surrounding your morning routine or ability to meet deadlines.

A Regular Day at the Office

Another 17% of respondents had experienced a dream in which they simply carried out a regular day at the office – no peculiarities or drama, simply a normal working day. This is as common as it is peculiar, but has a simple explanation. Dreaming about regular processes is simply a way for our brain to manage and consolidate the learning of information. Dreaming about work in this way can simply mean you’re settling in.

The instantprint survey captures a telling snapshot of our night-time habits and the professional anxieties that many of us have in common. Indeed, the more common forms of work-related dreams can indicate areas for potential address or improvement concerning our professional lives.

For example, consistently dreaming about being unprepared for meetings or deadlines – indicating a wider anxiety about your workload and personal aptitude – could be addressed through the routine writing of to-do lists and reminder notes each day. Alternatively, dreaming about perennial lateness for work could be addressed by establishing a more solid form of morning routine.

Whichever shape your dreams take, and however nonsensical they may seem, they can reveal important things about your mental state it would do you well to recognise. By addressing your dreams, you could well improve your professional life.

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