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.


Treatment

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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!!

  11. 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?

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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 :)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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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