False awakenings are an interesting phenomenon for both lucid dreamers and non-lucid dreamers. These are basically mega vivid dreams where you're convinced you've actually woken up in physical reality. These are way more likely to happen when you're excited about a big day ahead - and if you lucid dream.
Self-awareness decides how consciously "in tune" you're with your current reality. Lucid dreamers try to be very self-aware when awake and when dreaming, to get the greatest frequency of lucid dreams. Though since the modern world is so distracting, most people aren't very self-aware at all.
This comes into play with false awakenings. The dream of waking up is very vivid, suggesting a very high level of self-awareness (at least for a dream). A lot of false awakenings go unrecognized; and and assumed to be waking reality, there's no awareness that it is all just a dream.
A false awakening might have you getting up, eating breakfast, getting dressed, going to work... all the things you normally do every day on autopilot. It can look way too real to even question its authenticity. You'll only appreciate how real it is when it actually happens to you - it shows the awesome capacity of the human brain to copy reality.
Waking Up from False AwakeningsEventually, you do more complex tasks in your dream that draws on part of your conscious brain that's still asleep. For example, you might look in the bathroom mirror, or try to read a signpost on the way to work. This shows you the illusory nature of the dream and BAM! You wake up.
Or maybe not. Some people even have multiple false awakenings in a row, just doing the same things over and over like it's Groundhog Day, so you never know when you have actually woken up. They keep unconsciously restarting the waking dream scenes... As crazy as it sounds, if you have only one false waking experience, you're way more likely to have another one.
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How to Turn False Awakenings into lucid dreams1. Reality Check on Waking - Every time you wake up, do a reality check. This is your best chance of recognizing it's a false awakening right when it starts.
2. Use Your Alarm Clock - Any time you look at the time, ask yourself "Am I dreaming?" Numbers and letters can be hard to read in dreams due to the language center of the brain being mostly shut down. So numbers or words will probably soon change or turn into unreadable symbols.
3. Look At Your Reflection - Next go to the bathroom, this is a great reality check. Give yourself a few seconds to look at your face, make sure the reflection of the room is also normal, and try pushing your hand into the mirror itself.
4. Write Notes For Yourself - Written notes all around the house (like door handles, and light switches) will remind you to do reality checks and tell you if you're dreaming. Make sure you acknowledge them each morning instead of ignoring them.
5. Check During Breakfast - As soon as you taste any food or drink in the morning, do another reality check. If you're dreaming, you'll quickly be able to taste the food you're eating with more intensity, which is a great wake-up call.
Being a lucid dreamer invites more false awakenings into your dreams, which is a very good opportunity to give yourself more guided dreams, so take the moment you first wake up and ask yourself: "Am I dreaming now?" False awakenings can be hard to notice, but with practice you can soon get better at noticing the feeling that something is not right, and you're dreaming.