“…so there i was, eating my breakfast as normal, going through my usual morning routine, when the alarm went off, and I found myself back in my bed again. It was… disorienting to say the least…”
This is a typical account of what’s known as a “false awakening”. A person believing themselves to be awake discovers either from visual cues inside the dream or external stimuli that they are still dreaming. In the world of lucid dreaming, the false awakening phenomenon is one of the more interesting. In some cases, false awakenings can be recursive – in other words the dreamer can “awaken” from a false awakening into another dream!
It could be argued that a false awakening is the ultimate lucid dream because the level of consciousness inside the dream is indistinguishable from reality. On the other hand, false awakenings could be considered to be the polar opposite of a lucid dream because there is consciousness without awareness.
So what good are false awakenings? If you’re learning how to lucid dream, a false awakening can be a sign that your unconscious mind is starting to pay attention to your desire to have lucid dreams. They are also a timely reminder of the value of reality checks.
If nothing else, next time you find yourself waking up going through your morning routine, check carefully. If you’re learning how to lucid dream make sure that the world looks and functions like it should.
This will help you, too.