What Dreaming About Being Naked in Public Really Means

When you wake up in a cold sweat because you think you went out in the buff... here's what it really means.

Both dreams and their subsequent interpretations can be pretty fascinating when you start looking into them. While dreams have been around for as long as mankind, analyzing their meanings has also been around for centuries.

Much like literature, when it comes to all things shut-eye, there are some pretty common tropes in dreamland. And if you find the same storyline appearing every time you fall asleep, it’s easy to see why you might begin to wonder if there’s an element of significance in what’s playing out in your subconscious.

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If you’ve ever woken up in a damp sweat from a dream in which you were naked in public, you’re not alone. Believed to be one of the most common dreamsalong with being chased and dreaming about cheating – if you frequently appear in the nude in your sleep, there could be a number of possible explanations.

As with all dreams, the context of your dream and the feelings that surround it will impact exactly what it means. We spoke with psychologist Manuela Schmitten from Inner Space Psychology, and Inbaal Honigman, a celebrity psychic and dreams expert, to get some clarity on what dreaming about being naked in public really means.

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It may relate to feeling insecure

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Unsurprisingly, in a lot of cases, dreaming about being naked could point towards feelings of insecurity, embarrassment, or vulnerability in our waking life. The initial feeling for most of us experiencing nudity is that of anxiety, and, says Schmitten, “a shame response is at the root of most interpretations of dreams about inappropriate nudity.”

Additionally, dreaming about being naked in public can indicate feelings of vulnerability and concern about being judged or criticised. “Finally,” says Schmitten, “it can point towards feelings of being unprepared.” If dreaming of being naked in public is occurring all-too frequently when you go to bed, try to assess if there’s something going on in your waking life that may be causing it.

It may symbolize closeness with another person

Couple dating

While we tend to conflate nudity with romance, if you appear naked in a dream with someone you know, that doesn’t necessarily indicate that you’re about to embark on a passionate fling with that person.

Schmitten suggests that “our subconscious doesn’t always use nakedness as a way of symbolizing a sexual connection. It may just mean that you and the person in your dream have the sort of open friendship that permits you to be your true selves with each other.”

It may mean you feel free to express yourself

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In some cases, nudity can denote a positive experience relating to feeling free to express yourself. Schmitten says that such dreams “can also be tied to feelings of revelation and relief.”

So for example, if you’ve recently made public something you’ve previously kept under wraps, such as a job resignation or a relationship breakdown, dreaming about being naked can be the direct result of being open about something you previously hadn’t disclosed.

Honigman adds that, “being naked in a dream can mean that the idea of being vulnerable, authentic and exposed are at the forefront of your mind.” Try to get to the bottom of the emotion that the dream is bringing about – is it shame? Freedom? Doing this can help you understand your own personal dream of being naked more clearly.

Lucy Pearson
Lucy Pearson is a freelance writer, book blogger and host of The Bondi Literary Salon based in Bondi. Read more
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