A false awakening is a vivid and convincing dream about awakening from sleep, while the dreamer in reality continues to sleep. After a false awakening, subjects often dream they are performing daily morning rituals such as cooking, cleaning and eating. A subset of false awakenings, namely those in which one dreams that one has awoken from sleep that featured dreams, take on aspects of a double dream or a dream within a dream.
A false awakening may occur following a dream or following a lucid dream. If it follows a lucid dream, the dreamer may start to wonder if they are really awake and may or may not come to the correct conclusion. In a study by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett, 2,000 dreams from 200 subjects were examined and it was found that false awakenings and lucidity were significantly more likely to occur within the same dream or within different dreams of the same night.
Certain aspects of life may be dramatized, or out of place in false awakenings. Things may seem wrong: details, like the painting on a wall, not being able to talk or difficulty reading - reading in lucid dreams is often difficult or impossible. In some experiences, the subject's senses are heightened, or changed.
Because the mind still dreams after a false awakening, people may dream they wake up, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and so on; suddenly awake again in bed (still in a dream), begin morning rituals again, awaken again, and so forth.
The philosopher Bertrand Russell claimed to have experienced "about a hundred" false awakenings in succession while coming around from a general anaesthetic.
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- 'Woke' to find a dead child in his bed
- A false awakening from unrequited love
- Also I've experienced the feeling of someone tucking me into bed
- An invisible force seemed to taunt me and pull me around the room
- And there was Uncle Albert standing, looking quite young, probably middle aged
- Descartes, Rene - The illusion of Insanity and the false awakening
- Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Miss Nora Pennington, of Hounslow, Middlesex has an OBE
- Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Miss T. Mayo has a false awakening
- Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Mrs M. E. Fearn, of Iver Heath, Bucks has an OBE
- Eeden, Frederik van - A study of dreams
- Elijah - 1 Kings 19 19 - The still small voice
- Eva Vidal - Tidal waves, heavy gravity and false awakenings
- Fox, Oliver - False awakening 01
- Fox, Oliver - False awakening 02
- Fox, Oliver - Skyrising
- Fox, Oliver - The dangers of the OBE
- Green porcupine
- Hallucinating on over the counter cough medicines
- I dreamed of house bricks falling on me, squishing me, not being able to breathe and I'd wake up crying
- I was compressed back into that body as a picture into a frame
- I was in Stevenage, asleep in bed with my husband, when I was awoken by my friend coming into the bedroom
- I'm going mad. But I know what I heard. It was Ron's voice
- Is your body trying to send you a message?
- Joan Baez - Dream Song
- Lucid dream with False Awakening - The Watch of my Brother
- Maureen Magee and Melissa Stevenson - Doppelgangers
- Morrells, Luce and the angel of annihilation
- Multiple false awakenings
- Romano, Jacques - Dreaming of a spirit helper
- Terrifying lucid dreams hurt more in a country where they don't have remedies for ghosts
- The disappearing boyfriend
- There came into my vision a bright light and there I saw my grandmother looking at me through a mirror
- Tholey, Paul and LaBerge, Stephen - Perspectives of the Dream Figures
- Trapped in his mattress
- Warner Allen, Herbert - The Timeless Moment – A useful dream