You wake up and start your day make coffee fix breakfast get the kids up everything is just as it should be then the alarm clock goes off. You think is this déjà vu or am I caught in an episode of ground hog day, no you just had a False Awakening Dream Hypnagogia (also spelled hypnogogia). This type of dream is really classified as a nightmare and it can really screw with your sense of reality.
A false awakening is an experience where someone vividly dreams they have awoken from sleep. After a false awakening, people frequently dream they are performing daily morning rituals, believing they are truly awake. This is a phenomenon wherein a person has a dream within a dream, dreaming that he has awakened, but in fact continues directly into a second dream, avoiding the need to awaken. This is sometimes referred to as a double dream.
A false awakening may happen following a normal dream or following a lucid dream (one in which the dreamer has been aware of dreaming). Particularly if the false awakening follows a lucid dream, the false awakening could turn into a ‘pre-lucid dream’, one in which the dreamer might begin to wonder if they are actually awake and may or may not come to the proper conclusion.
It has been argued that a false awakening is the ultimate lucid dream due to fact that the level of consciousness inside the dream is indistinguishable from reality. But on the other hand, false awakenings might be considered to be the polar opposite of a lucid dream because there is consciousness without awareness.
The degree of conscious awareness in the false awakening is the same as in a lucid dream, all your critical faculties are present and you can think very clearly. However, what is absent is the realization of being in a dream, since the dream is recreating scenery that is familiar to the dreamer – say, the bedroom. The accuracy of the imagery to that of the actual scene can be quite remarkable – until something gives the secret away. False awakenings sometimes follow lucid dreams, or they can occur separately. Intending lucid dreamers need to be aware of this captivating situation, so to illustrate.
Due to the fact that the mind still dreams after a false awakening, there may be more than one false awakening in a single dream. Subjects may dream they awoke, made coffee eat breakfast, got ready for work, and so on; only to suddenly awake again in bed (still in a dream) begin morning rituals again, awaken again, what I call the ground hog day effect. The French psychologist Yves Delage reported his own experience of this kind, in which he experienced four successive false awakenings. The philosopher Bertrand Russell even claimed to have experienced ‘about a hundred’ false awakenings in succession while recovering from a general anesthetic.
A false awakening has significance to the simulation hypothesis, which states that what we see as reality is actually an illusion, as made evident by our minds’ failure to decide between reality and dreams. Therefore, advocates of the simulation hypothesis argue that the likelihood of our “true” reality being a simulated reality is affected by the occurrence of false awakenings.
Some psychologists believe that this type of dream might be the psyche unconscious mask of socially unacceptable behavior. An example of this can be found in a child who wets his bed at night, but in his dreams he is standing over the toilet but in reality he remains in his bed, as he sadly discovers when he feels the warm wetness slowly soaking his pajamas and sheets.
In conclusion false awakening may be confusing and leave their subject disoriented but they are harmless. They may have some psychological meaning or maybe just a good OBE (Out Of Body Experience) but in any case they are interesting and warrant further study.
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