What are some examples of false awakenings

False awakening in lucid dreamers

False awakening occurs when someone thinks they have woken up only to later realize that they are still in a dream. These experiences have sometimes been referred to as a “hybrid state,” a mixture of sleeping and waking up. Lucid dreams and sleep paralysis are also known as hybrid states. In lucid dreams, even though you are asleep, you notice that you are dreaming and that you have a fairly wakeful consciousness (see my previous post on lucid dreams). With sleep paralysis, your body remains paralyzed and sleeps for a minute or two even though your mind wakes up from sleep (see my previous post on Sleep Paralysis).

False awakening is then similarly a mixture of sleeping and waking. You wake up, get up and go about your normal routine, and then suddenly you realize that you are dreaming and then you wake up again (into the real world or some other fake awakening). Sometimes there is a foreboding atmosphere when the dreamer suspects that something is wrong or wrong. You have the creepy feeling that this is not a normal waking life.

In a recent survey, subjects answered a questionnaire on lucid dreams and false awakening, defined as "sleep-related experiences in which subjects mistakenly believe they have woken up only to discover that the apparent awakening was part of a dream".

The survey asked how often participants experienced false awakenings and lucid dreams. Ninety participants (75 men, age group 14-75 years) responded who had both false awakenings and lucid dreams, and there was a positive correlation between the two types of experiences, although the frequency of clear dreams was higher than that of false awakenings . Thirty-seven subjects (41%) experienced false awakenings at least once a month.

The survey then asked how false awakenings began and ended to determine whether the false awakening was often preceded or followed by other hybrid states such as clarity or sleep paralysis. The survey also asked: "During the false awakening, are you trying to determine if you are somehow awake?" and "Do you usually notice an anomaly or bizarre situation during false awakening?"

Fifty-six subjects (62%) said they noticed anomalies or bizarre situations during the false awakening - for example details that are not in the right place or devices that do not work properly (e.g. light switches or digital clocks).

“Usually (my false awakening) I start by waking up in bed. I get up and see if my children are asleep. I can go to the living room or back to the bedroom ... then I fall asleep again and when I really wake up I find that some things were out of place and that I still had a false awakening. "

Sixty-eight subjects (76%) actively tested the dream to confirm whether they were awake or asleep, and 45 claimed that they were using false awakening as a bridge to clarity:

"... a great way to induce lucid dreams as I often do reality checks during False Awakening.s."

"... hold my nose and breathe deeply (you can if you're dreaming)."

"... turn something on; If it's a dream, mechanical failure usually occurs. "

The relationship between false awakening and clarity seems to expand further as some elements of dream control can characterize false awakening. When they are clear, dreamers can exercise different degrees of control over their dream, namely of two types: “One type involves magical manipulation of the dream environment or dream characters other than the dream actor ... The other ... is self-control exercised over one's own actions and reactions to events occurring in the lucid dream. "False awakening seems to be characterized by some degree of self-control, but less magical manipulation than lucid dreams.

Overall, the study provides new information about false awakenings, which are relatively under-explored experiences with hybrid states. False awakening seems to occur together quite often in lucid dreamers and can either occur at the end of a lucid dream or reality testing leads to lucid dreams.


Buzzi, G. (2019). False Awakening In Lucid Dreamers: How To Handle Lucid Dreams And How To Handle Lucid Dreamers. Dreaming, 29 (4), 323.