What Does It Mean When You Hear Your Name Called In A Dream?

Dreaming is a fairly common phenomenon for humans and even some animals, per Healthline. Even if you wake up without remembering your dreams from the night before, you still dream. Dreams have been studied through both a scientific and spiritual lens to try and deduce what they really mean. Just like how context changes what it means when you dream about someone, context can also change what it means when you hear your name called in a dream.

As Anthony Roebuck, who writes the Dreamfully Sweet blog and has studied sleep and dreams, noted in an article about why people hear their names in dreams, it can be tied to worries surrounding a troubling situation or a life-changing decision you have to make. Other times, hearing your name has to do with your sense of self. 

For example, you may hear your name if you are changing yourself too much for someone else. However, it could be the opposite too. As Roebuck pointed out, "Your name might appear in your dream as a form of encouragement or agreement from your mind that you are staying true to your values and remaining authentic in your waking life."

Some believe God calls out to people in dreams

Elsewhere, Inside My Dream explored the option that perhaps hearing your name in a dream state is a message from a loved one who has passed away. Both they and Dreamfully Sweet also implored dreamers to take into account the context of how their name is being said. If it's shouted, for instance, then your subconscious is probably trying to get you to understand or realize something.

Some people also believe there are religious or spiritual reasons for hearing your name in a dream. A research paper on ties between lucid dreaming and dreams, religion, and science asserted, "In Judaism and Christianity, dreaming serves primarily as a means of communication between humans and God" (via Frontiers). The same goes for Islam. 

Thus, hearing your name in a dream could be God's way of reaching out to you. Symbolism and Meaning spoke on this phenomenon from the Christian lens, adding that God could have something to tell you or a task for you to do. Or, you could hear your name because someone or something in your waking life needs your attention. Perhaps God is helping them along.

Hypnagogia may cause you to hear your name before you're asleep

Symbolism and Meaning also pointed out that the actual voice calling your name in the dream, if it's recognizable, could help you determine the true meaning behind it. However, even for Christians, not every dream is deemed to be meaningful and from God. Prayer and meditation can help you decide if it is or not.

You occasionally may hear your name before you actually fall asleep and officially start dreaming too. This is likely due to hypnagogia, "the transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep" (via Healthline). This conscious state can cause that sensation where you suddenly snap awake with your heart racing as if you just fell. 

It also causes a variety of hallucinations, including sounds, such as hearing your name. At the end of the day, whether dreams with your name, or dreams of any kind, truly hold meaning or not is up to you. However, dreams can affect your quality of sleep. Be sure to practice healthy sleeping habits and nighttime routines to fight off bad dreams.