I've heard the key to unlocking dreams is to look at them as having metaphorical meaning rather than literal truth, but beyond that I've also come to notice that it makes more sense to look for an emotional meaning rather than a factual one. As if the mind sometimes uses dreams to process strong emotion.
By focusing on the way I felt in the dream rather than trying to pull an allegory from the scenes and places, I come to better understanding. The dream will often highlight some unacknowledged emotion rather than giving insight to some big discovery.
It's a new practice for me to look at dreams in term of emotion. One that has been interesting to explore.