Sometimes lucid dreaming may induce the so-called “false awakening”. Basically, it is a dream about waking up.

false awakeningYour mind knows that after becoming lucid you are either to return to the unconscious dreaming or wake-up. False awakening is a trick your mind plays to convince you that are already awake, keeping you dreaming at the same time. The setting in the false awakening is usually very realistic, re-creating your usual surroundings in great detail.

False awakening is often induced by nightmares when the dreamer tries to wake up or change the setting. It is hard to become lucid again when you believe you already awake.

False awakening may be so realistic that it even passes some dream checks. The surfaces, for example, stay solid; you won’t be able to pierce them with your hands. Light switching often works, as well as most of the other checks.

However, some tests are still dependable, even in a false awakening dream:

  • Suspicion – not exactly a test by itself, but in a false awakening experience you are often unsure if you are awake or still dreaming. This uncertainty is most likely a sign of dreaming and induces further investigation.
  • Dream characters – false awakening is usually devoid of any dream characters in your immediate surrounding. If you live with a family or roommates, they are most likely won’t be present. Have a look around. It won’t be a good dream-sign if you live alone, though. Pets, on the other hand, do follow you in a false-awakening dream.
  • Reading – texts and numbers stay unreadable. Try to have a look at your alarm clock or notebooks (if you keep them close to your bed). Or try to open a book or start your computer.
  • Mirror – another good test. In dream mirrors our reflections are don’t look like us; they are unrealistic, bizarre and usually change as we keep looking at them. A mirror reflection is a sure dream-sign.
  • Oddities – however realistic false awakening may be, it is still a dream with all the dreaming inaccuracies in setting and odd events. Some things are misplaced and don’t look like they would in the waking life, their features and behaviour is strange. The good, old “that’s not right, I must be dreaming” check.
  • Flying – if you can fly, you are dreaming (unless you are from Krypton).

An Example of A False Awakening Dream

I woke up as I heard my cell-phone ringing. It was still in my purse, on the table in the living room, where I left it as I came home.

Everything was as usual. The rooms were dark and quiet, my cats were asleep on the bed. The living room, it was lit with the yellowish light coming from the streetlight outside the building.

I started to look for my cell-phone in the purse, which was filled with all the usual clutter, including even the bus ticket from the day before.

I found the phone, but it was dead. “Wrong one”, I fought and kept looking. Another was dead to. As I reached for the third cell-phone, it suddenly occurred to me: how many phones do I have anyway?


So, this had to be be a dream.

I tried to pierce the coffee-table. It was solid, as in the real life. The phone-screens were dead to read, so I tried to fly: I jumped and stayed in the air. I was dreaming, and my false awakening turned into a lucid dream.

False awakening is great pre-lucid state. These dreams are more stable then usual dreams and don’t contain characters or plot that would distract you right away. Once you become lucid in such a dream, you can go anywhere and keep lucidity for a longer period of time. If you wish to experiment or try some dream-control technique, the setting is perfect. False awakening provides you with a personal laboratory space. Once you’ve learned how to become lucid and use it, there are a lot of new possibilities.

Experiment and good luck! Let us know how it is going!


Learn more about Lucid Dreaming – check out these stories of those who experienced lucid dreams

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