False awakenings are one of those gifts from the dream gods.
Ever so strange, even eerie, and somewhat rare in the grand scheme of dreaming – although I think everybody has one at one point or another.
A couple years ago, in an attempt to induce a lucid dream, I had a series of repeated false awakenings. It’s crazy how many I had – 4 in total – one right after another!
Here’s what I wrote in my dream journal that morning.
Dream Journal: April 23 2007
Slept in about 2 hours longer than I need to try and have a lucid dream…
had strange dreams where I had false wakenings instead.
I’m in bed with IL and I wake up and IL is there; I tell her to describe to me what’s happened this morning. She can’t. I realize it’s because the memories I have of us getting up already and doing this are just dreams. Somehow this doesn’t lead me to realize I am dreaming though.
then another false wakening dream…
IL comes to bed to wake me up and bring me the mail. I’ve got some shirts and other things. She’s excited to give me a letter from Rob Bryanton, author of Imagining the 10th Dimension. He writes to me ‘So I’m in Toronto right now’ and I try to read the rest but I can’t I know I’m dreaming to some extent, and each page starts with ‘I’m in Toronto’ because my dreaming mind can’t come up with anything better. His letter was like 5 or 6 pages on oversized paper, written in ink, with doodles in the background. His handwriting was big and happy.
another false wakening dream…
I wake up and about to start shaving before I notice there’s a long patch of hair that’s already shaved off my beard. I don’t know how I did this! On top of that, I see gray hair coming into my beard to. I go to get IL to look at this and get her opinion. She sees the grey hair and the shaved spot. I make a joke about it and then something happens and I know it’s a dream. It’s a very weak unpowerful realization and leads to nothing else, save for the fact that I know my beard is, in fact, normal.
another false wakening dream…
I wake up and it’s pouring rain outside. This is strange since it’s supposed to be 80 degrees today. I notice there’s still blue skies in the distance. I see rainbows – thick rainbows, like you can grab them. I move and they move. I realize the rain might mess up my plans to go hiking.
A few observations:
- It seems the fact that I was forced myself to go back to bed after having woken up in the morning in real life was a huge factor in having several dreams where I woke up and started my day.
- It’s odd to me that each dream sequence of a false awakening is disconnected entirely from the one before it. It’s like each time my brain “reset” itself and starting over, dreaming and then falsely waking up.
- It’s too bad this didn’t lead to strong lucidity, even though I knew I was dreaming the first time I realized I hadn’t really woken up.
- It is really weird to have a false awakening over and over that has someone else in the dream who is really sleeping next to you and you normally get up with. It just seems so damn real each time with her in the dreams waking up with me or interacting with me once I (dreamed I) woke up. I felt like she was really there, ya know?
- The dream where I got a letter from Rob Bryanton, author the fantastic book Imagining the 10th Dimension, is great because I was in fact actually in the process of interviewing him for this blog. (You can read the Rob Bryanton interview here.)
- FYI I’ve had so many dreams where I look in the mirror and something is different: my hair, my beard, even my face. It’s something I should consider using as a dream sign since I dream about it a lot.
- Because I was able to so easily bring this experience about through going back to sleep after waking up, it’s something I’d like to try again to intentionally induce false awakenings, lucid dreams, or both.
What kind of weird false awakening experiences have you had?