False Awakening: Dreaming About Waking Up

photo of a woman dreaming of being awake

Have you ever had a dream in which you think you’ve woken up, only to then wake up later for real?

Perhaps you even got out of bed, started your morning routine, and then snapped out of an imaginary breakfast or journey to work to find yourself back in bed?

If this sounds familiar, you might have experienced what’s known as a false awakening.

What are false awakenings?

a man dreaming he is awake

False awakenings are usually vivid dreams in which you mistakenly feel like you’ve woken up. And it’s often only when you wake up later – for real this time – that you realize your previous waking was just a dream.

Sounds confusing? It certainly can be for many people, myself included on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, I don’t have false awakenings as regularly as some people do, but have had several during the last few years.

In this article, I’ll be looking at false awakenings and discuss some potential ways to cope with them if you find them upsetting.

I’ll also look at some interesting techniques to gain awareness that you’re dreaming. That way, you might be able to use your false awakening as a stepping stone to the fascinating world of lucid dreaming.

False awakening poll

I asked 557 readers about their experience of false awakenings. 59% said they found it distressing. However, 17% said they enjoy it or find it interesting. And a further 11% found it can lead to a lucid dream.

infographic showing the results of a reader poll into false awakenings

Too real to be a dream?

One of the fascinating features of a false awakening is just how lifelike it can seem. So even if you have some vague awareness that you’re dreaming, the fact that you’re dreaming about your normal routine might stop you from questioning it further.

The experience often takes the form of waking up and doing something familiar and normal. For example, you might get dressed, go to the bathroom or sit and have breakfast.

It’s only when you wake up for real that you realize what happened, and puzzle over what a remarkably realistic dream it was.

Nested dreams

Some people experience more than one episode before they eventually wake up for real. Repeated false awakenings, a kind of Russian doll of dreams, can happen in one night. This is something that many readers have described in the comments below since first publishing this article.

This extended version of multiple false awakenings is sometimes referred to as nested dreams, or dreams within dreams.

It might sound like the unlikely plot of movies like ‘Inception’. But these dreams within dreams do happen, and can leave you feeling like you’re trapped inside your dreams.

False awakenings can seem so real that perhaps even on finally waking up, you might need a while to be fully convinced that you’re actually going to eat breakfast this time.

What causes false awakenings?

There’s no scientific consensus on the cause of false awakenings. When I started investigating the causes of my own false awakening episodes, I was surprised to find that there’s very little written about it in medical sources.

And as if to mirror its own nature, information about it is often buried inside articles and research about dreaming in general, lucid dreaming and other sleep disorders.

Two possible theories are:

Worry or anxiety

If you’re worried about something important in your life, you might dream about it. Some sleep experts suggest that this is perhaps to rehearse the event in your sleep.

Your brain might then dream of waking up, perhaps as the starting point for your mental rehearsal.

Some believe that expectations play a key role in dreaming. If you’re feeling anxious, you might expect to sleep badly and wake up in the night, or need to wake up early for an important day. This anxiety could influence your dream and create a false awakening.

Mixed brain states

It’s argued that your brain can be in more than one state of consciousness at once. So it’s possible that the part of your brain responsible for dreaming and also for waking consciousness are both active.

This could then lead to vivid dreaming of gaining consciousness and waking up. Some sleep disorders can lead to this state, as well as environmental factors such as sudden external noise.

False awakening or sleep paralysis?

False awakenings are sometimes confused with sleep paralysis, which can occur either when waking up or falling asleep. During an episode, your body is paralyzed, but your brain is conscious and aware of your surroundings.

What some people experience is a false awakening in which they dream of waking up and being unable to move. This can also be frightening, both in the dream and when you wake up and remember what just happened.

The key difference is that the paralysis really does physically occur during sleep paralysis.

On the other hand, the paralysis during a false awakening takes place purely within the dream. You will usually then wake up in your bed and be able to move normally.


The good news, if you question your grip on reality because of your false awakenings, is that they aren’t thought to be an indicator of mental illness. In fact, they are quite common, and it’s thought that many people experience them during their lives. So in that respect, they don’t usually require treatment.

However, if they are frequent and distressing, it might help to speak to your primary care doctor about it. They might consider the following options:

  • Dream rehearsal therapy.
  • Anxiety or stress management.
  • Medication in certain circumstances.

It could be that the best option is not to worry and try to accept it as a normal part of dreaming. Alternatively, there are two different paths you can go down in terms of self-help: trying to stop them happening, or using them as a tool for lucid dreaming.

Self-help for false awakenings

It’s one thing to wake up properly after a false awakening dream, and then lie in bed thinking about how strange it was. It’s an altogether different experience to become aware of it whilst the dream is still happening.

How do you gain that awareness though? And do you then try to wake yourself up, or just ride it out and see what happens?

The answer to the second question is a personal choice. But it will also be dictated by whatever level of awareness you manage to achieve.

So let’s take a look at some techniques to consider for the next time it happens.

1. How to wake up properly during a false awakening

If you have a false awakening, a moment of awareness within the dream might not happen; it’s often the case that we are simply a witness to our dreams, not an active participant.

Even if you do realize you’re dreaming, it doesn’t always follow that you can simply decide to wake up.

If you do become aware that you’re still dreaming, here are some actions which might help you wake up for real:

  • Tell yourself that you want to wake up now – you might as well start with a direct and simple approach!
  • Try to focus your mind on moving a finger or toe. When you gain control of that, move to an arm or leg if you still haven’t woken up.
  • Try blinking rapidly.
  • Focus your gaze on one thing in the dream.
  • If there’s a mirror, try to look at yourself.
  • Try and do a complex action, like running, jumping or even dancing.

All of those techniques, of course, require a certain level of awareness though; you’ll either have it or you won’t in any given dream. If you’re having regular false awakenings, it might help you remind yourself of these possible actions just before you go to sleep to cement them in your mind.

Let’s now look at what you can do if you’re not in such a rush to wake up, and like the idea of exploring your dreams a little further.

2. Turn a false awakening into a lucid dream

artistic image of a woman dreaming

If you’re the adventurous type, the idea of lucid dreaming may be an exciting and fun one.

False awakenings are often reported by those with a strong interest in lucid dreaming (for example, World of Lucid Dreaming) as a potential bridge.

In some ways, it’s a fairly straightforward concept. First, check that you’re dreaming and therefore become aware that you’re still inside the dream. Secondly, get moving and explore to your heart’s content.

But how exactly do you start checking that you’re dreaming? The theory goes that you need to plant the idea in your head that you’re going to start doing ‘reality checking’ in your dreams. Then cross your fingers that it happens!

Reality checking

Here are some techniques to do what’s known as a ‘reality check’, and find out which side of the dreamworld your feet really are:

  • Try and remember facts or figures. It can be difficult to recall factual information, such as your address, phone number, or someone’s date of birth. If you find it difficult, it’s a sign you may be dreaming.
  • Try leaving the room in your dream. The next room or hall might change into something which shouldn’t be there.
  • Try to read any writing in the dream. Reading can be difficult in dreams, so words or numbers might blur or morph.
  • If in doubt, you probably are asleep. Despite the fact that your brain can create incredibly vivid scenes, if you’re not sure if you’re dreaming, it’s more likely that you are than aren’t.
  • If you’re doing a complex task in your dream, perform a reality check: in the bathroom, see if you look normal or not. If you’re eating breakfast, check if the food tastes as it usually does. In bed, check if the bedding has the right texture or feel.

The idea is that any of these reality checking behaviors can trigger awareness that you’re still asleep. If that doesn’t wake you up, then you’re free to explore a whole imaginary world of possibilities.

If you’ve never experienced the kind of awareness that doing these things would require, don’t worry about it. Even reading this and remembering it might help trigger that awareness in the future.

Do note though that the various suggested methods to induce lucid dreaming still don’t have strong scientific backing.

For example, a review of the evidence for lucid dreaming techniques, conducted by researchers at Heidelberg University in 2012, found that the techniques don’t work on demand. They concluded that:

None of the induction techniques were verified to induce lucid dreams reliably and consistently, although some of them look promising.

However, lucid dreaming does happen, so there is hope. A German study in 2011 found that 51% of the 919 participants had experienced a lucid dream at least once in their life.

New research into reality checking and false awakenings / lucid dreaming

In 2019, researchers analyzed an older web survey about false awakenings and lucid dreams. They found that 62% of the 90 people who have regular lucid dreams also had false awakenings, transitioning from one to the other.

They also found that people who are regular reality checkers tended to have more false awakenings (76% of respondents who reality check).

Moreover, people who check their state with such reality checks were more likely to transition into lucid dreaming from a false awakening.

So this research lends some initial support to the technique of reality checking as a way to both cope with false awakenings, and theoretically turn it to your advantage in the form of the opportunity to enjoy some dream control!

As the researchers say:

This appears to be the first empirical datum in support of the frequently self-reported ability of lucid dreamers to turn “actively” their FAs into lucid dreams. 

3. Can you prevent false awakenings?

The idea of lucid dreaming understandably won’t appeal to everyone. If you have bad dreams, stopping them in the first place would be preferable.

In this case, there are some techniques that might help prevent them. Or at the very least, perhaps help stop them happening again the same night.

Please note that these ideas aren’t guaranteed to stop your false awakenings specifically. In many ways, they are suggestions that are thought to help with sleep problems in general.

  • Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, especially in the evening.
  • Avoid alcohol in the evening.
  • Try to calm your mind before going to sleep. If you struggle with anxiety or stress at night, you might find it helpful to do some relaxation exercises in bed.
  • Do regular exercise. It might also help to go for a short walk in the evening before bed.
  • If you have a false awakening, get out of bed for 10 to 15 minutes before going back to sleep.
  • Stick to a regular sleep pattern, and try to avoid becoming sleep deprived.

Your thoughts

Have you experienced a false awakening, or a series of nested dreams? What happened and what did it feel like?

Have you had an experience where a false awakening has then led to a lucid dream?

Feel free to share your story and views in the comments below. I’m sure other readers will also find your experience useful and interesting.

809 thoughts on “False Awakening: Dreaming About Waking Up”

  1. A few years ago I got a lot of sleep paralysis – I would know where I was but couldn’t move, I didn’t see anything creepy though. After some research I started trying to wake up by wiggling my fingers and this worked, and even a couple times I managed to lucid dream, which was awesome – I made myself fly.
    Since then I noticed my SP change, it felt like SP & dreams at the same time. I would see people around me whilst I was asleep (my friends, my bf at the time, etc – sometimes they were actually there & sometimes I was actually on my own) but I won’t be able to sit up and chat with them- I’ll try screaming them or nudging them with my head or foot, or wiggle my fingers and I’ll feel it and think why are they ignoring me? Lol. So obviously what I’ve had for a while are actually false awakenings not SP anymore. And sometimes I think they’re nested? It’s hard to remember though.
    I just woke up from a FA dream and this time it was painful, I was asleep at a party and my friends were sat around me and the music sounded like white noise and I could kind of hear ppl chatting but it was all so loud. It really scared me because I thought it was gonna deafen me- I was thinking ‘I need to wake up before I go deaf’. I eventually woke up to my alarm. I really want to get back to lucid dreaming though!!

  2. So I don’t is this is sleep paralysis or a false awakening… In my dream my eyesight started to go, I was with my family out shopping. I just couldn’t work out why my eyes were not working properly (I think this is because in my physical state I had my eyes squashed into my arm). It took me only a few seconds to work out that I was sleeping. In my dream I screamed to wake up but obviously, with no noise, I could feel myself trying to move my body in real life to jerk myself awake, but I could only move my dream body which was walking around my house. I found my mum in a wheelchair mouth agape as if she too were trying to scream. After what felt like hours yelling in the dream I managed to wake up with a big breathe. I know my body was paralyzed in real life but in my dream, I was fully awake walking around. I suppose if I didn’t panic when it happened I’d be able to turn it into a lucid dream.

  3. Zhaneyah Kelly

    I’m honestly not sure if I’m lucid dreaming or not but I have dreams several times a month where I wake up in bed. Usually the middle of the night, and something is off or different in my room and it’s like I immediately know I’m dreaming and begin to try to wake myself up. I try anything like screaming or knocking on the walls so my roommate will come wake me but of course none of it works because I’m not actually doing those things. I even jump and flip around to really wake myself up and it never happens and when I do finally wake up, sometimes I have nested dreams where I say ok I woke up finally then realize that I’m still in the same dream and then again proceed to wake myself up. I don’t want to try to go ahead and explore the dreams because they are usually creepy or my closet door is left open and I can’t see a thing inside so I just close my eyes and do everything until I wake up. Ik it sounds scary and it is! I’m honestly very tired of it and I often wake up with a headache or a racing heart. It usually takes me about 10 to 15 mins to fall back to sleep. Sometimes I wait for morning before I can safely go back to sleep. If anyone has any thoughts on this please comment and give me your advice. I’m tired of not sleeping.

    1. This exact same thing happens with me. I try to move around banging on stuff. when I was with my ex I tried moving a lot so he would wake me up but of course I wasn’t actually moving. I just woke up from one and googled it to see how I can stop them cause they freak me out. I get them sometimes 2 to 3 times a night which I’m having a lot to deal with right now and they’re getting worse. I just want them to stop.

      1. This is exactly what I experience too! I have them quite often now so instantly realise when I’m ‘stuck’ in a dream and I panic! My most recent false awakening felt like it lasted hours! No amount of struggling could wake me up. Feels like I’ll end up being stuck in the dream forever

    2. I have the same thing, but my dreams are actually scary, like I see scary people around me, and they are going at me. I have a feeling it’s because I have started watched scary movies lately and I never used to watch them before In my life. Those scary movie scenes actually play out in my dreams over and over again but they feel so real!! And then when something scary actually kills me in my dream I wake back up and it’s on repeat until I finally wake up. I actually just woke up from this and been doing research as to why they keep happening!! It’s so scary, and I when I do wake up I can never go back to sleep because they keep continuing exactly where I left off!!! I don’t know what to do, I’m so tired all the time 😭

  4. In my dream, I didn’t fall asleep in first place. Laying in bed fully awake, or I thought I was, I couldn’t fall asleep, and I thought oh no another sleepless night. Oh well, instead of just laying here all night I might as well get up and watch the rest of that movie I have. And as soon as I said that the alarm woke me in the morning.

  5. I don’t have false awakenings often, but have had several in the past, usually they’re not distressful, but this morning was different. This morning I had one that seems linked to anxiety and maybe another psychological problem or two. It was not a particularly vivid dream, I felt like I almost knew I was dreaming, but not lucid. In the dream I was in bed and I had extreme difficulty moving my limbs, opening my eyes and talking. I had an urgent feeling that there was something physiologically wrong with me. I was calling for help, particularly my mother, but I could only make a noise that was questionable if it’d be heard or not. I did this crawling/dragging over to a doorway where eventually my mom, who in real life is the medical field, came and asked me what was wrong, I tried to vocalize that I couldn’t move/talk, but it barely came out. I was very stressed/anxious in the dream. I then began to wake up for real and could move fine, but felt quite uncomfortable, like I wasn’t ready to wake up for the day, but the position I was sleeping in was annoyingly uncomfortable.

    I assume this was due to several contributing factors.
    1) I have an extremely erratic sleep schedule. I usually sleep for around 12 hours but sometimes 6 or less if I have something I need to wake up for. In which case I’ll often take a several hour long nap after I’m done. Lately Ive been falling asleep around 3-7am and sleeping til 2-6pm.
    2) 6 weeks ago, I had a 5ft fall from a ladder onto a raised edge where my back hit hard. I don’t have health insurance, but went to the urgent care doctor who said to wait 6 weeks for it to get better. It might be getting better, but is still a great source of discomfort and I…might be respressing some stress/anxiety about finding a solution to the problem as well as a list of other health problems, I feel I can’t really get taken care of because of a lack of health insurance.
    3) I had been waking up in the past two hours? extremely uncomfortable in the last sleeping position I was in. Not pain wise, almost fatigue wise, annoyingly wise. This almost never happens.
    4) I’ve had a weird depression for over a decade, that’s been quite mild over the past few years except for not feeling motivated, going to bed way later than I should, and longer than I should.

    Also when I woke up I had a sense that my subconscious was trying to tell me that something was wrong. That I was about to get really sick. Almost like the dream was a plea for me to be more motivated. While in my normal waking state I consciously have next to no anxiety/discomfort. Also I normally don’t remember my dreams much, normally don’t have particularly bad dreams, or put much stock in the meaning of dreams.

  6. I had a really bad dream. Finally I wake up, I feel relieved. I wonder what time is it, so I roll over and grab my phone only to notice I’m holding my old phone. That’s when I realize I was still dreaming. I started panicking and tried waking up. I was trying to move in my bed but it felt like slow motion and then finally I woke up in real life. Looking back on it I see other details that were off

  7. I woke up talking to my daughter who was at other end of door so didnt see her and she spoke back to me then I lay back down and went back to sleep to wake up for real with her phoning me it was so real and weird

    1. I had this happen to me last night. That I could hear my bf playing his card game on his phone. I heard him say f*** low like as if he lost his game. meanwhile I heard my work laptop going off for a video conference. He nudged me to tell me that my laptop was going off but within the dream of me trying to get up from his nudge, I screamed mommy and woke up. Like if I was having sleep paralysis. He was like wtf and I had told him I had a bad dream. Then in reality I finally woke up . I was freaked out and woke him up to tell him what happened. This is the first time this has happened to me and it did feel unsettling.

  8. I suffered with sleep paralysis for a couple of months and although at first i didn’t see shadow figures. i woke up twice to hear an overly loud noise like as if i was in a massive crowded room or a super loud train was passing. Years later i had an occasion where i did wake up to find a large 7ft figure standing at the end of my bed which was no fun but that was luckily all for the shadow people part. I’m currently struggling with false awakenings but being aware that they’re false awakenings whilst I’m in them, sometimes the colour of the room is red or i can just tell and last night i went to pull back my curtain in the false awakening dream and there was a black shadow in it so i realized id still not woken up (not my fave choice of realizing I’m in a dream). The main thing with any of these episodes is that it’s so hard not to fall back asleep and my head always hurts after. I haven’t found a fix for false awakenings but with the sleep paralysis I found out I could always move one finger so could alert my partner if he was vigilant enough as to what’s happening and he could shake me out of it.

    1. This just happened to me I woke up in sheer panic still dreaming I was late for work. Looked at my phone said 8:30 I thought and ran out of my bed went outside and called my boss saying I was going to be late. It wasn’t until the 2nd time she was like what are you talking about that I snapped out of it and realized it was 8:30pm. Now I feel like an idiot

  9. I believe I’ve just discovered what may be happening to me. I’ve just woken up for real, grabbed a glass of milk and went to my computer to try and figure out what these dreams are. I woke my son up on the way cos I was mumbling to myself saying I couldn’t go back to bed yet. Seeing as he was awake, I literally asked him “am I awake for real? Am I awake?” and he grumpily replied yes, and why was I talking to myself. So, the main theme of these dreams I have involve them not being nice. Usually, I’m running away or trying to get away from bad people, like really bad people who want to kill me. I realize I’m dreaming and want to wake up but I don’t know how. I run and climb and jump in these dreams, over rooftops you name it, I’ve done it, trying to get away, but they always get me. I’ve actually tried to kill myself in these dreams, running and jumping out of high storied buildings, thinking if I die in the dream I’ll wake up. But I still come back and have to try again. I’ve even “woken up” in my bedroom, but something is always a little off. The lights won’t work, even though I’m telling myself I’m awake now because everything is where it should be. I leave my room and things begin to unravel. People I know are there that shouldn’t be in real life (not people who’ve passed, just people who shouldn’t be in my house at that time). Then I realize I’m dreaming again, and so it repeats again. And again. I scream my husband’s name in my dream to try and get his attention in real life, so he will wake up and then wake me up. He’s woken me up and told me I’m not dreaming anymore, but I’m still dreaming. I’ve banged on walls and yelled and am so scared that I’ll be trapped in this awful dream, with people killing me, forever, on a loop. Then I DO wake up, but I don’t know how I did it. I always have to get up, terrified of going back to sleep, but the urge to fall back to sleep is so strong, like I’ve had a sleep aid or something. I actually have to force myself to get up and move around and am actually scared of going back to bed in case I return to one of these awful dreams. I have quite a few each year, and they seem to be happening more often. I hate them. They scare me. They are never nice dreams. I didn’t have any alcohol or food late at night. I didn’t go to bed late. There was no upset of any kind before I went to bed. All I know is they are awful and I don’t know why I get them. I’ve never had a nice version of these dreams. They are always horrible.

    1. Michelle Salcido

      I’ve been having a version of this type of dream lately. I’m yelling for my son or daughter to wake me up but it takes so long. I’m afraid I won’t wake up in time and pee myself.

  10. I’ve struggled with sleep paralysis ever since I can remember. Literally one of my oldest memories was a vivid experience of waking up paralyzed and seeing shadows moving around my room. Being young I would cry and get my parents. By the time I was 10 I thought I would grow out of it. Instead the dreams have become more frequent as I’ve gotten older. Noticeably so after I turned 18 and moved away to college. Before I’d experience an episode once or twice a month. I’m 23 now and I experience an episode 1-2 times a week the severity varies, sometimes I have full Vivid hallucinations always sinister in nature. Other times I wake up and simply can’t move and have a sense of unease but wake up before the hallucinations develop. I’ve been stabbed while hallucinating and raped (inseminated), eaten by cannibals, molested. I’ve never experienced any of those things in real life but I can feel the pain in the “dreams” I can’t compare the sensation to anything so I can’t convince myself it’s not real. I’ve also had many nested dreams I didn’t know there was a name for them before finding this website. The nested dreams certainly reflect my anxiety, I vividly remember one about my girlfriend meeting my parents which was a topic of stress in my life (she still hasn’t met them by the way, haven’t even told them about her). Nested dreams aren’t that scary really just discomforting because they seem so real, the deeper you get the more real they become and then waking up for real makes you question reality. The only way I know that this is real life is because of the way time passes and the continuous nature of reality. Dreams are usually discontinuous chopped up pieces of consciousness, you seem to jump scene to scene, reality is a steady stream of consciousness. That’s the best advice I can give! Anyone else have sleep paralysis like me? Considering seeing a psychologist or sleep doctor.

  11. In my nesting dreams, I wake up in the dream either paralyzed or sort of blind. By sort of blind I mean I can see what I would see when I first open my eyes, but then I can’t see anything other than that no matter how much I move. So if I would see my ceiling fan when I open my eyes, that is all I would see. I have gotten to the point that in my dream I tell myself I need to lay back down and go back to sleep. Sometimes it’s just once, sometimes its 3 or 4 times. I hate those dreams. I often have a headache when I do actually wake up.

  12. The one and only time I had a dream like this it was so horrifying and I remember it as if it were real because it was so vivid and I absolutely thought I was awake. I was a teenager at the time probably 17 or 18 and I was sleeping in my room but I slept on the pull out bed this night, I dreamt that I woke up and it was still dark and I was still on the pull out, but I felt something was wrong…I look towards the end of my bed off to the right a man is leaning back on my dresser with his arms crossed staring down at me with a creepy smile. I’m totally freaked out and before I could say or do anything he runs at me so fast and pins me down. I can’t move and he’s laughing! Then what felt like seconds I actually wake up in my room down on the pull out and it’s dark, but thank goodness nothing is there. I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night I was so creeped out.

  13. Had one just now..after a long time, it seems for me it is triggered by cold, i used to have it very frequently in past.. almost from 30 years if i can remember.. finally figured that was caused by cold ( weather), somehow it would freeze my head, thus my remedy was wearing a cap to keep my head warm when we have AC. i can induce it if i want and have tried that. After moving to Canada 8 years ago,i stopped wearing cap as we have heating systems. Now if i accidentally let my windows open during summer and temperature drops at night i would get it.. same happened today.. mine one have gone completely complex over these years, weird to say but smarter for all mentioned tricks.. would take 10 to 15 attempts for fight to awakening… every time different scenario and back to bed… once you know its dream and you want to wake up its just not possible to enjoy .. almost every situation is like against you. after knowing about lucid dreaming, i tried to enjoy within my dream, guess what, turning it into a sensual theme, it worked for many years, but then out of sinister feelings ( which i don’t have after i wake up and tell myself what the f,) then somehow dont remember when,i had developed a fear that if i were to die it would feel like so, helplessly paralyzed desperately trying to awake stopped liking it altogether.. almost always after i wake up i find myself stiff, kind of heavy eyes etc for 20 to 30 minutes… i will close my window now and get back to sleep… for you check if its cold that freezes your brain, body.. if so you know the remedy.

  14. This happened to me just now, I woke up 5 times a row in my nested dream. I think having distress in your dreams or anxiety about trying to wake up have factors in causing you this. My scenario in my dream was trying to wake up because I accidentally uploaded shitty thing in my “My Story” on instagram. I wanted to wake up badly from my dream to erase it. The moment I wake up, I immediately went on my Instagram to delete my story but! The delete button doesn’t show up, so that’s why I know something was wrong and getting aware that I’m still dreaming. I tried to wake up again but still the delete button still doesn’t work. I realized that maybe I can try to have a lucid dream because everything felt real and you kinda control everything. But ended up having nested dreams and waking up 4 times.

  15. I drifted off in the morning on the sofa I thought I was awake, but I could not open my eyes, I tried to open them, this has happened 4 times with the same dream awake this is scary, I am trying to open my eyes with my fingers but they won’t this is happening when I am I think asleep on the sofa in the morning, but then when I wake it feels so real, and I do panic and go and look for my husband up stairs who is still asleep. What does this mean help me to under stand

  16. I have had both sleep paralysis and nested dreams. But they’re always in intense nightmares. The cycle of fear and desperation to wake myself up usually means I am screaming out in my dream eg: to my husband to wake me up. I often feel so heavy in my chest afterwards – a combo of the fear AND the silent shouting I suspect. I’ve also had nested dreams that lead to sleep paralysis before finally waking (also nightmares). Thankfully they are less now, and the cycles of nested dreams have lessened. I have had a bout just recently which confirms this, but still leaves me exhausted.
    Years ago I would have laughed at what I am about to say but: I’ve been calling on the name of Jesus, during the nightmares, in the past years, since turning to Him 5 years ago. That seems to have been the trigger for having the dreams less, and -over time – being able to make the amount of ‘dream nests’ less before I actually wake up.

  17. I had a nested dream that I was waking up from a nap and my alarm had not gone off. Each time it happened I realized I was still asleep. I “woke up” about five times each time realizing I was still asleep because I couldn’t get up. I tried moving, telling myself to wake up, which only restarted a new dream of me waking up.

  18. I’ve had MANY episodes of sleep paralysis. I’m very aware of the acute terror it can induce. Some have been “dark” and most have been just not being able to move after ‘waking up’ in the middle of the night. They don’t usually follow the pattern of being right as I fall asleep/wake up at normal times at all.
    I’ve also encountered false awakenings & have never been startled by one as I’m familiar with lucid dreaming and am able to recognize what’s happening.
    Tonight; just now, I experienced a big first. I had a false awakening where I was having sleep paralysis in my dream, and then woke up in reality to an episode of sleep paralysis. In my false awakening, I was on my couch having the sleep paralysis episode and my girl friend had to wake me up, then as I was waking up from my terror in my dream, I then (actually) opened my eyes in my bed and realized I was actually having sleep paralysis in my bed. It felt like a 10 minute ordeal, but my GF said she only actually heard my ‘scared whimpers’ for 5 seconds.
    Nothing more terrifying that having a FA about sleep paralysis, to then wake up to actual sleep paralysis.
    I don’t think I’m going back to bed tonight.

  19. I was dreaming that I was having multiple dreams where I couldn’t wake up. In the dreams I was witnessing myself having a nightmare whereby I was trapped in my own dream and couldn’t really wake up properly because although I would physically awaken, I could not regain full consciousness and I could not speak to mum to tell her what was happening. Sleep paralysis. In my dream I was desperately trying to wake up multiple times and regain full mental consciousness so I could tell my mum that I was trapped in my dream but I couldn’t speak or sometimes even move. In the dream I could see her getting irritated with me from previously screaming in my sleep (thus disturbing her sleep). Also she was annoyed from when she was trying to wake up multiple times before but when she would only physically wake me because I couldn’t speak to tell her hat I am mentally still sleeping and sometimes couldn’t even move. During that process, I also had one element of someone trying to open my upstairs house window and me physically trying desperately hard to keep it shut. The person/thing was black (but more racially) and almost superhuman as I could tell they were not on a ladder but was somehow floating outside my window. This window part happened 2 or 3 times. Eventually, in the end, in this last circle: I physically awake, struggles to shut the window, get to my mum’s room and wake her up, I then asked her to pass me a piece of paper so I could write on it to explain that I could not talk and was still mentally asleep and that’s when I woke up for real. It was also a dream mixed with the feeling of a panic attack (shortness of breath/choking) as I couldn’t wake to explain what was happening to my mum.

    1. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I have been having regular lucid dreams and false awakenings since last year and they have been insane. I have always been a very active dreamer and ALWAYS remembered every dream I had since I was little. My dreams are usually a little frightening now when it comes to false awakenings and lucid dreaming realization, but my new concern is the fact that my dreams have seemed to get smarter…. so the mirror technique of looking into a mirror and realizing you are dreaming happened last night in my lucid dream. I looked into the mirror but instead… I could not find ONE thing about me that was off. I went so close to the mirror and touched parts of my face and poked myself and looked around for something off and couldn’t find anything to insinuate I was dreaming. Luckily I realized I was wearing contacts (I had color contacts I used to wear but I don’t anymore) this was a little strange to me since I knew I no longer wore these contacts. Once I removed one, I saw that my eyes were bright blue underneath; which is SO far off considering my eyes are dark brown. It was only then that I realized I was in fact dreaming. What freaks me out if how smart my mind has gotten and how accurate it represents me and my life to the point where it has me always questioning if I’m dreaming. I can’t believe the human mind and all its mysteries. Let’s see what happens tonight.

  20. I started having these dreams maybe the middle of last year. I just woke up from one about 30 minutes ago. I used to think they were sleep paralysis although I’m not convinced that it can’t be both. In my false awakening dreams, almost all of them are the same. I wake up and it’s still dark in my room. I try to turn on the light but it doesn’t come on. I try calling out to my boyfriend verbally and through my cell but either my cell isn’t working or can’t speak or move to touch him. Eventually saying his name in my head always wakes me up. When I woke up this morning I couldn’t help but start crying. These dreams scare me so much because it’s like I don’t have any control of me waking up. If my boyfriend is home he won’t have any way of knowing to wake me up because although I look peaceful I’m really in a state of distress, or at least that’s how I feel.

    1. Mari J Shanafelt

      Elle, this is exactly what happens to me. It’s such a stressful thing to go through. I will go a few months sometimes without one of these episodes and then boom it hits again. For me it usually always happens when I get up to use the bathroom and go back to sleep. I hate it. You’re right, you might look peaceful when sleeping. That’s what my husband always says to me, but inside you’re screaming their name to help wake you up!! Uuuggg

    2. My false awakenings are so similar to this. In my dream il wake up in the dark in my room and feel uneasy something feels off and il go to turn the light on and it won’t come on, il start to panic and then bam it starts again. I then know I’m sleeping but panic because I so desperately want to wake up because the atmosphere in the dream is so horrible. Usually happens 4 or 5 times before I wake up. By then I am so exhausted and scared to go back to sleep. I had a horrific one just last night, I wanted to wake up so badly in my mind I was, screaming for my husband, I finally manage to move my arm to wake him and he woke me up. But I was so shaken up I was crying and hyperventilating. I think it’s the vividness and the feeling of being trapped that terrifies me.

      1. omg I have the same thing, it feels malevolent, like a shiver on my back. I feel someone is there, I wake and I’m still shouting for help. Its been happening for years.

    3. That’s exactly what happened to me tonight. Exactly. Wake up. Try to turn on the light but won’t turn on. Scream at my husband to wake me. Several times. I screamed help and heard myself whimper… then eventually woke up.

  21. Clocks… I have lucid dreams so frequently and I think they’re great. Last night was different and I’ll get to that. But the way I’m able to tell I’m dreaming is always the same and never fails. I look at a clock. No matter if the clock is analog, digital, pendulum, etc., the numbers will either blur or just not make sense and then I know I’m dreaming. Sometimes that I’m itself will wake me up, but usually not. Sometimes just knowing I think I need to look at a clock is realization in itself that I’m dreaming.
    Last night I dreamed that I was with my wife at some hotel (I think). I left our room to go do something and needed to come right back/ we needed to be somewhere. But I found a bed and went to sleep, and started another dream. I realized I was dreaming and needed to wake up, and I did, but I woke up back into my previous dream, lying in that bed and went back to my room with my wife. When I really woke up, I was like “wth just happened?” It was a first and just strange.

  22. Rachel Collins

    I did not know it had a name and I thought it was sleep paralysis but now I know they were just false awakenings. Now I’m not sure if I ever did have sleep paralysis, but I’ve certainly had false awakenings.

    I had a FA the other day – mine are normally bloody terrifying but this one was quite enjoyable. It seems like I’m starting to unlock a better level of lucid dreaming over the years and my dreams slowly become less scary. My latest “false awakening” was me dreaming, then waking up in bed alone walking around the flat which was quite dark, walking to the kitchen looking around and seeing some strange white containers, which I recognized, but knew we didn’t have any in the flat – and that’s when I realized I was still dreaming – then weirdly, for the first time ever (which gives me hope), I pretty much thought “oh I’m dreaming, I want to wake up NOW!” and it was the weirdest sensation but I literally tore myself awake and next thing I know my eyes blast open and I breathe in sharply which was quite an unexpected startle. I’m excited about this because although it was a shock, I have never before consciously pulled myself awake from a dream, it’s normally a repetitive torturous ordeal which cycles around me doing more and more extreme things to wake myself up including throwing myself off the bed head first… Ikr, crazy!

  23. Hello. My English is not so good. I am from Greece. I have the same with you. I wake up 4,5 times and it’s not real. The room is the same, the things around are the same. I understand that it is a dream when something it’s not right. I have found some tricks for waking but sometimes it doesn’t work. I try to remember the pose that I have sleep and sometimes if I do it I wake up, not always. It’s very scary. When I wake up for real I am not sure if it’s real until I call someone or past some minutes. I have wright when it happens to me. I think maybe it’s from anxiety or I have seen that if I eat meat before I sleep it happens. I don’t know. The strange is that the most times that I sleep I have consciousness in my dreams. Except for fake waking, I have dreams every night and I remember them for my early childhood. I am 27.

  24. I just had nested dreams 10 mins ago and I needed to find comfort!! It was really scary I had them for years and stopped but it came back again. I slept and woke up in the same bed and then I was flipped around in bed and my sibling was yelling at me in the dream, I tried to get my phone but the percentage of the battery kept going down and up and couldn’t charge and I ran to my parents’ room and it wasn’t real they looked a bit different in age and I became lucid and I pried the fake parent’s body and threw it out of the window as I was scared of the Monster Cos they look like my family but are not so I killed them in the dream (Cos I’m lucid) and then I woke up again and Couldn’t hear and pulled off my ears and it remained blocked and I had no voice and could not scream and I ran out and wrote on the window and pried open the steel windows to try and jump down so I could wake up from the dream.

  25. I’ve been having nested dreams for 5 years now and sometimes it would be happening frequently and sometimes, it would just stop. Lately, it came back again and I really hate not having to wake myself up. I really try to get out of the dream by closing my eyes repeatedly but I would still be stuck in it, or sometimes my mind would trick me into thinking I woke up for real this time but a few moments later I’d realize I’m still having a false awakening. I hate it so much because it keeps turning into a nightmare and I always can’t open the lights in my dream, so it would almost always a little dark. The only thing that would wake me up immediately is when I pray the Apostle’s Creed whilst in the dream, but when I can’t say it directly or I fumble upon words, I get really scared thinking there might be something detaining me in my sleep. I would keep repeating to say the Apostle’s Creed until I get the words right and it would immediately wake me up. I just hope these nested dreams go away again and never come back.

  26. I just woke up from what I just learned is called a nested dream. I’ve had many before but I didn’t know what it was called or it even had a name. When I lived way for grad school many of my dreams involved me waking up in my bed and knowing I’m dreaming and trying to find my phone to call my boyfriend for help. When I would find my phone there would be a 10 digit password I didn’t know or it would not be working or look like my phone. I would then be aware I was in a dream and would be disturbed by my awareness. I would start pounding my head or prying my eyes open in whatever way I could. Now that I’m living back at home, I wake up in my dream in my room next to my boyfriend and I can’t speak. I can’t make him wake up. I’m trying to scream but nothing is coming out and I’m trying to tap him but my body is so heavy and difficult to move. I am immediately aware that I’m still asleep. I close my eyes and try to wake myself up about 10 different times all with something different happening between each. The first 3 times I woke up I couldn’t speak. The 4th, I woke up at my best friends house, I tried explaining to her what was happening and she said she didn’t know what I was talking about I fell asleep at her place last night, I knew I didn’t so I tried to wake myself up again. The fifth time I woke up back in bed again and I could say my boyfriend’s name but then nothing else afterward. The next time I woke up there were fingers poking me through my bed and I kept trying to just bend them as hard as I could. Pounding my head or making myself pry my eyes open doesn’t work to wake me up in real life anymore it just keeps me waking up inside my dreams. I finally made myself think back to something I thought about before falling asleep tonight and that is what finally pulled me out of it. When I wake up I always feel very heavy and hot. I’m very disturbed by these dreams. After reading these comments it feels so so good I am not alone.

  27. False awakenings upset me. They have been recuring frequently lately and some are nested if I don’t get out of bed. Some include wishful thinking and some are nightmarish. I need to know the causes and the cures.

  28. Can anyone explain why I could not open my eyes in my dream or in real life at all? The reason I say that is because I could hear my family talking and after I finally forced my eyes open in my dream and was telling myself to wake up a ton and everything was black in the dream when I opened my eyes in the dream, I woke up and they were continuing the convos I was hearing while I was asleep. It just confuses me like I know physiological but still can someone explain it like was it sleep paralysis or something?

    1. It’s a pretty confusing thing this article kept talking about lucid dreams and exploring. They don’t understand the concept that you can lucid dream but that doesn’t mean you’re in control. Like for me, I can hear what’s going on around me. I want to scream out wake me up wake me up but of course I cant. I can what I call “dream hop” up to 20 times my dream becomes me fully aware trying to wake myself up. The only problem is everytime I wake up I’m in another dream. When I finally do wake up I get upset because it can last till 2 in the afternoon me fighting to wakeup. There is honestly no term for it and I can never find any articles that explain this certain one. It is similar to sleep paralysis though because you cant wake or move.

      1. I just experienced a very similar thing! The dreams I moved too weren’t too different, it was much like nested dreaming but after the third false awakening I was aware that I was dreaming. Each time I woke up and things were different I tried to figure out if I was really awake or not and when I realized and tried to wake myself up it would just be another false awakening. I couldn’t wake myself up until 1-2 in the afternoon! It was terrible…

      2. Me too… I experience it… I thought im awake already but I realized that im still sleeping but after I get fainted and then its another dream I don’t what to do can you help me please reply😢😢😢

    2. I experienced it too. A feeling that you want to wake up through opening your eyes first but you can’t because it’s hard to open it. But I can hear my mother waking me up because it’s already 4:00 pm and time to go to church for choir practice. But the problem is I can’t open my eyes and trying to open it with the force of my hands but my eyelids still closing.

  29. When I am faced with activities I don’t really looking forward to doing, like work when I am not in the mood, I often have false awakening when I dream that I call in sick and continue sleeping. In the morning my dreams are vivid and interesting and I often prefer to have them rather than wake up and face the day. When I feel that the dream is strong enough to sustain lucid dreaming I start exploring it. I notice temperature outside, the scenery is often very picturesque, I tried to pick up grass and herbs and was surprised that I can actually smell them. I also have a great sense of freedom in my dreams. I often don’t want to wake up and want to keep dreaming just because the dreams are so great. On the weekends I easily sleep for 12-13 hours because of this. If I sleep less, let’s say 8-9 hours this is enough for me not to be sleepy during the day. If I have something exciting to look forward to I might have difficulties to fall asleep and in this case 5-6 hours is enough sleep.

  30. I definitely struggle with nesting dreams. I’ll keep thinking that I’m waking up, but really, I’m still asleep. It only takes me a short amount of time to realize that I am dreaming. The rest of the time is me screaming, pushing, asking anyone or anything to help me. Save me. But, of course, nothing happens. For me, it really is a form of torture. Most of the time, if I scream loud enough, I can wake myself up, but my most recent one, which was actually only about a half an hour ago, because I decided to figure out what was happening to me when I woke up. Anyway, the one I just had, no matter how loud or hard I screamed, nothing happened. The people I kept asking for help from would ask me why I wanted to escape my dream, only to say that my reasons didn’t matter and I didn’t deserve to escape because my reasons were not important. Lately, I’ve been terrified to go to sleep. I can’t bring myself to sleep because of how traumatized I am from these episodes. I sincerely do not know what to do.

    1. I am dealing with the exact same thing. I have no solutions for you, but wanted to show my support and tell you you’re not alone. It’s absolutely terrifying and I hate even thinking about going to sleep, knowing what is waiting for me.

    2. I also have repeated episodes of nested dreams that are often just a series of false awakenings and I absolutely hate them. They are so anxiety-inducing and frustrating. Just woke up from one and found this site while trying to research.. so glad to hear I’m not alone. I’ve occasionally had success trying to move my hand or foot. I’ll try the blinking rapidly technique next (if I can remember…)

    3. I literally just woke from one (15..) just now.. I can hardly move in mine and only one eye will work. This was the first time I was able to force myself to crawl to my parent’s room where (its 3am is this would be impossible) they were watching the news… And they told me this was me making an excuse to call out from work… 😑 Then I woke up again in bed. Every time I’ll call out to my mom or dad and I’ll never hear anything back. And I ALWAYS know I’m dreaming by the second nesting… I’ll even slap or try to really hurt myself in my sleep to try and wake me up and it still will take FOREVER (real time only 20mins) to wake up… I am afraid to go to sleep as well and hate this. I have nightmares and I’m so afraid that’s what one of these are going to turn into… Idk what to do and I’m afraid to sleep 😭

    4. I struggle with the exact same scenario and it’s terrifying!!! When I finally actually woke up I was like is this real life or another dream?

    5. Girl I just woke up from one of those dreams about 20 minutes ago. I know what you’re going through and I hate it too. Can you move your body when in these dreams? Like I typically cannot move my body or yell and I picture things around me (bad things that I don’t want to be happening or be seeing) and I’ll have that false awakening and relax a little bit until I realize that I still cannot move and am still in my dream and the things keep happening again so I panic. I try to find things to focus on in the dream that aren’t bad, for example in this one I put a bowl of potatoes (the ones I ate this morning) and was like “ok ok Megan focus on the potatoes just look at the potatoes” and it helps sometimes but didn’t this time. Also, when I woke up for real I still felt like I couldn’t move. I don’t know if it’s my body recovering from what it thought was real for so long or if I’m just too scared to try and move again but it’s terrifying and I’ve been trying to find someone to talk to about this that it happens to as well.

    6. I’m reading comments, and after I read yours I realized that I’m not the only one who’s afraid to sleep because I’m scared to dream my own self false awakening and paralyzed again.

    7. Hi Anya,

      Bless you that sounds truly horrible and I hope you believe me when I say I’ve had some really horrific experiences with nested dreams. It absolutely can feel like torture and is traumatizing, I believe it is the reason I suffer from insomnia. Some days are better than others. In terms of dreaming – I would seriously recommend you attempt to regain mental clarity and control – I know this is easier said than done, I honestly felt hopeless when I was going through that phase thought it would always be like that.

      But eventually, somehow, and for some reason my terrifying dreams became less terrifying and it started to get better. It all started when I was going through a false-awakening/nested dream and it wasn’t very nice but I was so tired of everything that I literally gave into the dream and thought “stuff it, do whatever to me dream!” So then I started dancing and stopped caring, I woke up pretty soon after that and my episodes started to get better – more positive. I started gaining back control over my dreaming. It is possible!!!

  31. I’m reading this right now but the whole thing is kinda weird. I think the dream is lucid and perhaps I am enjoying it so much so that I am preventing myself from leaving? That doesn’t seem right, nothing seems right. Nothing in this world or the next world, the dream world nor the the real one. Nothing in my head, nothing in the spoken word, nothing in the words I’ve read. How much of one’s life can overlay into said dream, and how much of any dream affects real life? I feel nothing and yet I know where I am, who I am, what is happening to me… I still feel nothing. A great empty void so deep I feel like I am falling asleep but i am wide awake.

    1. I keep dreaming that I wake up but I know that I’m not and I shout for my mum or dad to help me but they don’t here me. I can hear everything going on, this has happened about 12 times already this year and it is the most frightening thing I have ever experienced. It’s like I’m trapped I keep telling myself wake up wake up but can’t. They normally last around 45 minutes for the first 2 mins of the dream everything is fine and I feel like I’m dreaming a normal dream. The only way that I wake up is very very weird – I see a pair of legs and start looking up only to realise that it is a dead relative, but I never make it to there face. Then I wake up just as I get past there. Is there something wrong with me?

  32. I don’t usually worry about things or have anxiety, but I have an issue with nested dreams. For me, every time I have nested dreams or lucid dreams or any other in that case, I understand my surroundings and I know I’m asleep and that I have to wake myself up. It’s distressing because it happens quite frequently. I can wake up and get up from my spot but wake up again and repeat, but sometimes I can get up and go up my stairs and talk to myself but then be teleported back to my bed waking up again until later when I actually wake up and it takes me a while to understand that I’m in reality. And I have this other dream where it’s like sleep paralysis but I don’t see my bedroom or room to I’ve fallen asleep in, in fact I see darkness and I know that I’m sleeping but I’m awake, so therefore I freak out because this sorta thing happens a lot, sometimes every other day. When this happens I can hear myself scream for my mom but she can’t hear me, or i can feel my libs moving but they actually are not. And when I actually wake up, My heart is beating rapidly and I’m breathing fast and deep… I do ask… do I have an illness or is this normal?

  33. I’m 16, in school and was up late studying for 3 tests the next day. I needed to do really well for reasons and had a lot of stress on my mind.

    The first duration of the night was interesting but I couldn’t remember my dreams just waking up scared and sweating.
    Later started having these nested dreams. I went through about half my day before realizing I was dreaming and ‘waking myself up’ into another dream. I continued that vicious cycle another 3 times and finally woke up for real.
    I was pretty spooked watched youtube for a bit. Fell back asleep, had another series of nested dreams I couldn’t escape from.

    I totally agree on its possible anxiety and/or stress triggers nested or false awakenings as the underlying factor with my real world problems.

  34. I experience a slightly different issue in my dreams. Let me share 2 dreams very shortly. Once I was writing a journal article based on my research on energy analysis. That night I slept and dreamed that there is some error in energy calculation. In my dream, I put a lot of effort to solve that equation correctly. Then I woke up and told myself, everything is okay, just sleep. I slept again, dreamed about miscalculation, tried to solve it many times until I woke up and realized that it’s a dream. The same things repeated until morning.

    Last night, I dreamed that one of my friend is in trouble and he is seeking asylum. I listened to the whole problem, figured out all the possibilities and woke up, realized that it’s a dream, convinced myself to sleep. The same story cycle repeated again and again until the alarm clock rang in the morning.

    It makes me tired, the next day my brain is not fresh. I am really distressed with this situation and I experience is so often.

    1. That sounds very eerie. It sounds like you are very stressed and anxious. It seems like you overthink things greatly. Maybe you can try relaxing yourself before going to bed. As well as praying to God for inner peace and tranquility. I hope the best for you!

  35. I seem to have all of these types of experiences while dreaming. I’ve had sleep paralysis probably 5 times throughout my life and that totally sucked and it scares the hell out of me. One time I woke up face down on my pillow and could see my wife sleeping next to me and all I could think was that I was going to suffocate. I’m 38 and have had these weird type dream things happen forever but something changed recently. I smoked weed pretty much my whole life and NEVER used to have dreams. I stopped smoking about 3 months ago and I’ve had countless lucid dreams (probably around 10 or 15) just in the last few months. Also during this time I have the false awakening thing happen where I wake up only to find myself still in a dream sometimes 4 of 5 times before actually waking up. It doesn’t bother me and I always try to do something cool but I never seem to get very far with it. I’m actually writing this at 3 in the morning because I just had a dream where I woke up and spent what seemed about 5 minutes trying to figure out where I woke up then suddenly I realized i was dreaming and immediately woke up. One problem, i was still dreaming but didn’t realize it this time and was at a party. I was walking around talking to a bunch of people I’ve known throughout my life but I then saw a friend of mine that died about a year ago and immediately realized I was dreaming. Once I realized this I broke down crying, from sadness, not fear, and actually woke up. I’ve also had the same type of false awakening beginning of a dream but after i thought i woke up I saw my grandma who died about 5 years ago. I spoke with her for about 5 minutes and it was by far the deepest true feelings I’ve ever had from a dream and literally woke up crying. I’m not spiritual or anything but I do have almost an OCD going through my brain during the day so I wonder if that continues on to my sleep. Anyways im gonna go back to sleep now. Wish me luck :)

  36. Recently I’ve been remembering falling asleep and being very aware that I’m going from being asleep to entering a dream and when I try and wake myself up I can’t and it’s starting to distress me. I’ve NEVER been able to know I’m actually entering a dream… I’ve always remembered my dreams and have had a few lucid ones but this evening I’ve realised the point when I’m asleep and actually letting go of reality and dreaming it happened 3 times and on the 2nd time (in my dream) I jumped out of my bed and ran into the dark hallway to chase one of my cats and as soon as I got in the hallway I said to myself wake up & I did… on the third time as I was falling asleep and entering the dream I said to myself (remembering Freddie Krueger from when I was younger!) If I can bring something out of my dream I know it’s real then I woke up feeling very scared.
    I don’t understand why this is happening to me now, I’m a very spiritual person and my mum and me would always say if either one of us died we would try and make contact with the other… my mum died in January this year she was my only friend so now I’m starting to wonder if this is maybe the starting of a visitation dream, I had one a few years back after my brother died, he came to me twice and in one dream he was talking in a different language and I understood everything he was saying until I woke up…
    If anyone has had similar experiences it would be nice to hear your thoughts.

  37. like twice now I’ve had these terrible lucid dreams (well they’re called false awakenings) where I can’t wake up and I’m aware that I’m stuck. like the first time I was at me and Haleigh’s apartment when I fell asleep and in the dream I would “wake up” and run into our room, bc I fell asleep in the living room, and constantly tell her “please help me! I’m stuck I can’t wake up. please please help me!” and every time she’d say “babe you’re awake it’s okay you’re fine, you’re awake.” and then I’d wake up all over again and it would repeat 5 or 6 times. and each time our bedroom was different but she’d say the same thing over and over. she’d tell me I’m awake when I know I wasn’t and I’d beg her over and over to help. I finally woke up after like 5or6 times of this happening almost in a panic attack bc every time it happens I genuinely don’t know if I’ll be able to wake up.

    1. It happens to me quite a bit too. Several times, like yours and also another thing simular is that instead of being calm and waiting it out. I get terrified too because I generally feel like I can’t wake up.

    2. This happens to me so often. I need advice on how to actually wake up during these loops. I try to wake up but I can’t, I dream that I ask my boyfriend to shake me to wake me up and he does, only to think I woke up but its actually a false awakening again. This will sometimes go on for hours, when I actually do need to wake up to do something that day.

  38. I fell asleep during my study hall, and I started dreaming of me being in school talking to a close friend. I was aware that I was dreaming, so I was just going w the flow and just living in my imagination I guess. At one point I heard the bell ring and I knew I had to wake up to go to my next class. And I found myself not able to wake up, so in my dream I told my friend “hey can you wake me up, I’m dreaming” and he said “what?” He was so confused. And I said “shake me or something, I can’t wake up!!”. While all that was happening, in my dream my body felt as if I was having sleep paralysis (but I wasn’t). And I was getting so scared because I thought I wasn’t going to wake up and I felt like I was trapped in my dream. But then, I calmed myself and told myself to count to 3, and open my eyes quick. I did that, and woke up..

    1. Omg the same thing happened to me. I had 5 bad dreams at the same time with false awakening and sleep paralysis. I was surrounded by dark figures and started praying to wake up but couldn’t. I started blinking a few times because I couldn’t get back to my body or reality. I had to call my mom to make sure I was awake. The devil is a liar God is my shield!

      1. Throughout my life at different ages I thought I was I was getting out of bed in such a detailed way I really thought I was awake. In this lucid dream I walk out to my living room and from around the corner comes a very evil version of me with a large knife and it proceeds to chase me through my house. I land back in my bed and I am trying to sit up but it feels like something is sitting on my head. I am yelling for someone to wake me up. The foster kid that was sleeping in the next room said he heard a deep voice coming from my room. I finally woke him up to sit with me. I was absolutely terrified.

  39. I always know when – it’s not a realistic dream, but sometimes I need to wake up because they won’t let me, they attack and try to eat your energy even if you’re awake.

  40. I have been lucid dreaming and having OBE for nearly 10 to 15 years. I have recently learned to control them and realize that I am lucid dreaming and a little while ago, learned to leave my body and fly.
    I have never had fear while lucid dreaming. Although I have realized lately that I have sleep paralysis also which can be terrifying. But what really has me thinking “what is going on”… I’ve started waking up like I am in the movie groundhog day… within the past year, I have woken up, started my day, then awoke again. Nearly doing the same thing I had done 5 minutes ago.. but this is starting to become a bit annoying because I am to the point I have woken 4 times before waking up FOR REAL.. it is nice to have a name “false awakening” to it. I was calling it “a fake awake”.
    It’s also nice to know there are others.
    I love being able to know I am dreaming and having the control to lucid dream and converse with myself, fly, and try and better my life while sleeping by getting in my subconscious mind. But these false awakening drive me nuts. I guess I will have to start learning to control these also!!

    1. I suddenly now after years of lucidity. I am having dreams within dreams and or paralysis within paralysis dreams. But I can remember and I do know it’s a dream and I try to wake up in one dream eventually I do. Then another I try to do the same. I become more in panic mode and see names, letters or numbers. I even hear the background noise of real life. Its been a concern because in the dreams I almost told myself to jump out the window to wake up. I am so scared I sleepwalk, no evidence I do but its all a bit overwhelming…..

      1. I have these often. In a recent experience just this morning I remember I woke up from a dream where I was being chased. Right as I thought I had woken up and was on my couch near my apartment door to the hallway, I heard fast running up the stairs coming closer to my door to my apartment. I jolted myself and woke myself up like I always do in this case when I’m scared and have false awakenings. Often at times I’ll wake up in sleep paralysis or have a false awakening. I use these experiences in order to OBE and have quite the lucid dreaming experiences. Just about all of my dreams are lucid and very realistically vivid.

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