Dreams about stairs are generally an indication of how you are proceeding through life. As with most dreams, going up is a sign of success, whereas going down signifies setbacks or failures.

Interpreting Dreams about Stairs

Of course, as with any attempt to interpret a dream, the dreamer must take into account the circumstances surrounding the stair dream.

For example, were you running up the stairs or limping? Did you fall down the stairs and could not get up again? Were you watching someone walk up the stairs? Did you know them or were they strangers?

When you try and analyse your dreams, concentrate on the main factor or feeling you experienced during dreaming. I say this because dreams are made up of many different elements and factors. And sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the smaller details.

So, think about when you first awoke from your stairs dream. What was the most over-riding feature that you remember?

There will be some feature or factor that immediately stands out to you. And that will be the most important detail to focus on. For instance, you may recall falling in your dream and only afterwards realise you’d fallen down the stairs. In this case, falling is the most important factor, not the actual stairs.

But remember, although it is important to focus on the main element of your dream, you should also look at the minor details as these will give you context.

Now let’s have a look at some of the most common dreams about stairs.

5 Most Common Dreams about Stairs

1. Going downstairs

Falling down

This is one of the most common dreams regarding stairs. You are falling down and end up at the bottom. As I’ve previously mentioned, going up indicates success and going down is the opposite.

Falling down the stairs in a dream is, therefore, an indication that you are not succeeding, or you think you’re not, in your present situation. Now, this could be a work or romantic situation. The main factor to look out for is how did you fall and how did you feel whilst you were falling.

For instance, some people feel utterly helpless when they’re falling, whereas others can have some sort of control over their fall. So did you fall quickly and with no time to steady yourself? Or was the fall slower, thus allowing you to manage to hold onto a bannister and decelerate the speed of falling?

If you fell quickly and could not prevent yourself from crashing at the bottom of the stairs, this suggests you feel helpless in your current situation. You can’t see how you can control it or stop it escalating.

However, if you were able to grab hold of something to halt your fall, this means you do have some control and influence over the situation. In fact, you may have more weight and authority than you initially anticipated.

If you tripped down the stairs, this indicates a low confidence issue. You may suffer from poor self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence.

Walking downstairs

Going up and downstairs is also associated with spirituality. In fact, it’s frequently used by hypnotists to induce a sense of relaxation. Therapists may use a set of stairs and then ask a patient to count down from 5 to 1. This simulates regressing into our subconscious mind.

So we have to assume that a dream about stairs is our subconscious mind trying to tell us something important that we’ve locked away. If this is the case, then what we see at the bottom of the stairs in our dream is of utmost importance.

The great dream analyser Sigmund Freud would state that a small child at the bottom of the stairs is you, the dreamer. In this case, the subconscious mind is trying to get the adult to remember childhood trauma in order to overcome it.

If the dreamer sees an older person at the bottom, this is your wiser self. It suggests that you have the power within yourself to move forward from the troubling situation you’re currently experiencing.

2. Going up the stairs

There are several different ways we can go up the stairs; we can walk slowly, holding onto the bannisters, or we can run two steps at a time.

Consider the manner in which you were climbing the stairs in your dream. Going up slowly and carefully indicates a gradual and perhaps lengthy progression in your current situation.

For example, if you are applying for a promotion at work, this dream about going up the stairs shows that you will reach the top, but in a measured fashion.

Conversely, running up the stairs suggests a quick result or resolution to a particular problem. Remember, up = good, down = bad. And the faster the better, the slower the poorer.

However, there’s one additional factor to look out for, especially if you relate your stairs dream to work, and you’re racing up the stairs. This dream is warning you not to rush to the peak as you might miss out on something good along the way.

It’s all very well racing to your goals in life, but you could lose sight of what’s really important, perhaps your relationships or your family life.

Walking or running up the stairs

Walking or running up the stairs in a dream can have several meanings. If you are rapidly running up the stairs, you might be on the fast track to your goals. Or, you might be leaping too quickly and missing out on something important in your waking life.

If you struggle to get up the stairs, you will have to endure hard work to achieve your goals. You may well experience setbacks, either emotionally, physically or financially. Struggling up the stairs also suggests that a current situation is getting worse. You are finding it more and more difficult to carry on.

However, if you see yourself climbing up the stairs in a measured fashion, it can also indicate you are on your own path to spiritual awareness.

I’ve already talked about how going down the stairs can indicate a message from your subconscious mind. Similarly, going upstairs implies reaching spiritual enlightenment. That you are becoming a progressive and open-minded soul.

3. Stuck in the middle of the stairs

dreams about stairs

This is pretty obvious and quite symbolic of your current situation and how you feel about it. It denotes an area in your life where you might feel stuck with no hope or answers as to how you can move forward. This area can be literally anything; from relationships, work, financial problems or health issues.

It can also indicate a hesitation on your part to make a decision regarding something important. You feel stymied, between a rock and a hard place. It seems that whatever decision you make no one comes out the better for it.

What this means is that there’s no easy way to resolve this situation and perhaps you could do with a second opinion, or, at least, some support. Don’t feel as if you have to take on the troubles of the world and then solve them all. You can’t.

4. Walking on moving stairs

Escalators are part of everyday life, and as such, can represent different factors in our lives when we dream about them. To jump onto a moving escalator shows that we are confident in our abilities to get the job done. We are on the right path and are excited about the opportunities it offers.

To walk in the opposite direction on a moving escalator indicates our worry that we’ve made a terrible mistake. We literally want to stop the world and get off.

5. Spiral staircase

Dreaming about walking up or down on a spiral staircase is all about a confusing time in your life. In this dream, it doesn’t really matter whether you were going up or down. The dream is an indication of puzzling times ahead.

You don’t know whether you are coming or going, whether you are going up or down. Take stock of your situation for a moment. Leave it alone for a few days then come back to it. You’ll see the solution much more clearly.

Final thoughts

Dreams about stairs are more common than you think. But all of them hold an important message about our lives. Understanding this message is the key to moving forward.


  1. www.psychologytoday.com
  2. dreams.ucsc.edu

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