All dreams have a directive, there are different types of dreams for different times of night. Earlier in the night and last thing in the morning they are more likely to relate to your life situations, at night you will mostly be dreaming of events and emotions you have experienced that day or in the previous few days, even a continuing theme if you have had an ongoing problem, Last thing in the morning the dreams will usually relate to emotions within your life, how you expect to feel etc.
In the witching hours between midnight and 5am you are most likely to have what I would call spiritual dreams, where you have scary nightmares or amazing experiences and often a dreamer will experience lucid dreams that are incredibly real at these times, the body is essentially in full rest state at this time and if you have a scary dream and head toward consciousness the moments before you wake are often experienced as physically powerless which can add to any fear you may have at this time.
There are common symbols that appear through dreams and meditations alike, some can be a bit obscure and there are many books on the subject, but others are so common that the interpretation is pretty much accepted by most.
Sun, optimism, God, happiness, promise
Moon, subconscious, intuition, mystery
Trees, history, lifespan, steadfast
water, emotions, flow, direction
Car/boat, life journey, direction
house, the mind and aspects of the mind
temple, the body and aspects of the body
family members, familiar, trustworthy
Driving, you are in charge/control
someone driving you, you are not in charge/control
bridge, a challenge
flying, desire to release limitations
sinking, feeling life is out of control, heavy burdens pulling you down
Giving birth/pregnant, a new beginning, nurturing, an idea becoming manifest
Death, a final ending of a situation, need to release the old
snake, knowledge, information
Angel, message, love, purity
gift.present, unused talent if still wrapped, discovery of talent if unwrapped
just a small sampler, of course there is a context within which you will envision these symbols that will give you an idea of how they are having an affect.
How you feel within the dream usually describes real life feelings which may be kept under wraps or experienced in a way that may not be all that clear. For example you may often lose your temper, but in your dream you are anxious. The dream gives you an opportunity to recognize your deeper feelings and address the real issues facing you