What It Means If You Dream About Having To Poop

Having to poop is an uncomfortable feeling. It's even worse when it happens while you're in bed. Sometimes, an overwhelming thought of wanting to poop between the states of sleep and wakefulness might simply mean that you have to poop in real life. So you're better off using the toilet one more time before getting back in bed. 

But other times, when you've actually drifted off to sleep and you're dreaming about having to poop, there's a meaning behind it all. Feces or poop-related dreams are actually quite common, according to researcher, speaker, and author on sleeping intelligence, Michael R. Olsen

"A feces dream is often about how we dispose (or do not dispose of) something psychological, in this case, thoughts or memories that really has been a load of 'sh*t' (that is burdensome) to carry around," shared the researcher. We all know how painful it feels to hold your poop. The same can be said of thoughts, responsibilities, feelings, or memories that are holding you down — they can be frustrating, heavy, and restrictive. 

It might mean that you need time to process things

Too often, life gets so busy that we move from one task to another without fully comprehending what happened before. This lack of self-awareness can lead to feelings of constipation, according to Jungian psychotherapist, Satya Doyle Byock (via The Salome Institute of Jungian Studies). "Each day, the emotions, experiences, memories, relationships, stimuli, information, and conversations in our lives cannot all be fully digested because we don't have the time, or we get interrupted, or we're at work and on deadline," she explained. 

Byock thinks dreams related to excrement have to do with one's "psychic digestive system" — how we consume stuff, metabolize it, and then discard it via waste. "When life throws us things that are requiring more of our attention, poop dreams often show up. The dreams are pointing to the need to digest something, to fully take something in, or they can point out problems with the processing," she writes.

Dreams about wanting to poop can also mean that you're stuck in one developmental stage that needs to be completed before you can get to the next, per a 2011 study published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly. 

It could mean that you need to let go of some things

Bathroom dreams could be connected to habitually holding in frustrating emotions or not speaking your mind. What you're sensing could be a need to release. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Nancy Irwin (via Bustle), "If you're urinating, the dream could be about releasing some anger, like letting go of what is pissing you off. If you're defecating, it could mean you're releasing some sh*t from your life."

Speaking of letting go of something that is psychologically burdening you, your dream's location could provide a clue as to what real-life area the dream might be pointing at, according to Michael R. Olsen. "The location of the lavatory can provide a hint as to whether it is at work, at home or in a third place that we need to get rid of our sh*t, or simply what the source of our negative emotions is," explained the author.

Just like the smell of your poop can tell you about your health, dreaming about wanting to poop is, essentially, a window into your emotional and mental health. Go through life more mindfully, process your emotions, and let go of things that aren't good for you. This might be what the dream is calling out for.