Have you ever experienced this weird sensation? You wake up from your sleep, and you do your normal daily routine (brush your teeth, have breakfast, or even say goodbye to your spouse who is rushing off to work, etc). Everything seems so vivid and real. You are convinced you have woken up in reality. Then you realize that all this time you are actually still in bed, sleeping. You still haven’t wake up yet.
This is what they called it a false awakening or a dream within a dream. Basically, it is a dream in which you dream you wake up, when in fact you are still asleep and the whole thing is just a dream. It is confusing, isn’t it?
Some of you may even have more than one false awakening in a dream. You feel as if you are trapped in an endless cycle of false awakenings; each time you wake up, but you are not really awake. It continues and you realize you have another false awakening. And this kind of false awakening can go on a couple of times. It happens because your mind is still dreaming.
Yes, this hallucinatory experience can stricken you with panic. You start to think you may never ever wake up again. Or you may think that you are already dead! I have experienced frightening multiple false awakenings in succession. Some times my false awakenings will go on for a while, then I suddenly wake up. Then there are at times, I realize I’m dreaming and it becomes lucid.
According to British writer Celia Elizabeth Green who is also the founder of the Institute of Psychophysical Research, there are two types of false awakening, namely Type 1 and Type 2.
A false awakening may happen in a normal dream. In other words, you think it is real. But if you are lucid, then may begin to wonder if you are really awake or not. It can be really confusing. What you can do is do some reality checks or tests.
Reality checking is just asking yourself or rather your mind, to verify whether you are in a dream or not.
Another good book which I highly recommend is by Celia Green and Charles McCreery, entitled “Lucid Dreaming: The Paradox of Consciousness During Sleep“. Packed with useful and relevant content exploring the experience of lurid dreaming, out-of-body experiences, false awakenings, therapeutic purposes and also about how lucid dreams can be induced and controlled.
By the way, I know there are already many articles and books on lurid dreams and its related topics available on the Internet. But what I have written here is mainly to share with you my own personal lurid dreaming, false awakenings, sleep paralysis experiences, together with what I have read and heard from friends.
All the while, I thought I am the only one having this weird and at times frightening sleeping experiences. It was back in my teenage years when I first experienced lurid dreams, false awakenings and sleep paralysis. They were hazy and confusing, so back then I thought these surreal and hallucinatory feelings were my own imaginations. Or maybe they were just some bad dreams and nightmares.
Then it was many years later, I came to know the definition of lurid dreaming and its related phenomena. It intrigued me and I started searching from the Internet, magazines and books on this rare topic on lurid dreaming.
If you want to know more, just google these terms: lurid dreaming, false awakening, sleep paralysis, dream journal, dream recall, dream characters, out of body experiences (OBE), Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams, MILD technique, Wake Induced Lucid Dream, reality checks, WILD technique, wake back to bed, Tibetan Dream Yoga, Rem sleep, hypnagogic state, Frederik van Eeden, Dr. Stephen LaBerge, Robert Waggoner, NovaDreamer and Lucidity Institute.