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A false awakening is a vivid dream about awakening from sleep. It usually occurs after a normal dream. The dreamer believes they have woken up, when in reality, they are still dreaming. This is the same as the concept of a “dream within a dream” in the movie Inception (2010).
During my experiences, false awakenings have been extremely realistic. Often, I will wake up in my realistic-looking apartment, with all the details I would see when waking up. My bed, dream journal, apartment furniture, television, and all of my books are situated where they are in reality.
How to Turn A False Awakening into a Lucid Dream: Maintain a Dream Journal When You Wake Up
I maintain a daily dream journal to help me remember my dreams. Every time I wake up from a dream, I grab my dream journal and write about it. I usually remember 3-4 dreams per night. So how has this habit helped me to initiate lucid dreams?
Often, when I have a false awakening dream, I will remember my last normal dream, and reach for my dream journal to record it. This gets my attention focused on dreaming, and helps me notice a glitch in the dream reality. Here is an example from my dream journal:
I wake up in my bed in my apartment. Everything looks as it does in reality. I take a sip of water and remember to write about my last dream in my dream journal. As I pick up the journal and open it, I notice some strange pen ink scribblings and realize I am dreaming! At this point I become lucid.
How to Turn A False Awakening into a Lucid Dream: Perform a Reality Check When you Wake Up
Every time I wake up and look at my alarm clock, I try to remember to ask myself “Am I dreaming?” Again, this helps me reveal a glitch in the dream reality. The numbers on my digital clock (this works with a traditional clock as well) will appear blurry, change rapidly, or wiggle if I am in a dream.
When I wake up, I also have a note on the bathroom mirror to ask “Am I Dreaming?” This reminds me to perform a reality check when looking at my reflection. If the reflection is normal, I am not in a dream. Here is an example from my dream journal where it was not normal:
Woke up, walked to bathroom. Things didn’t seem exactly right. I looked closely at myself in the mirror… And I didn’t have any eyes, just empty sockets! This really freaked me out for a few seconds, then I realized I was dreaming. I became lucid at this point and decided to fly out of my apartment.
Other tips for Turning False Awakenings into Lucid Dreams
- Leave a note for yourself in your bathroom, asking “Am I dreaming?” This reminds you to perform a reality check.
- Perform a reality check when you eat breakfast. False awakenings sometimes involve eating breakfast, so this is a good time for a reality check.
To learn more about lucid dreaming, sign up for your Free Lucid Dreaming Starter Handbook.
This post is part of the Dream Evolver Series
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