Being fooled by false awakenings

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One of the dream state phenomena that people sometimes confuse with lucid dreaming is false awakening. This is the experience of realizing you are dreaming and then waking up, or so you think, because after you thought you woke up you start to notice things aren’t right and are perhaps quite surreal. That’s when you realize you are still dreaming and then wake up for real…or did you? People can get stuck in this cycle of false awakenings, each time not really waking at all but continuing to dream until they realize it and have another false awakening, and so on. The experience can be quite disturbing because you may start to have a sense of panic that you can never really wake up.

It may seem that a dream in which you have a false awakening is a lucid dream, but not really, because in fact you are still dreaming and don’t know it, therefore you are not really lucid. To enter lucid dreaming state you need to have a mental trick you can reliably use as a reality test in case you have a false awakening. Such lucid dreaming techniques can be learned.

If you have frequent false awakenings you will want to learn how to become lucid so avoid the cycle of false awakenings that may happen repeatedly in the same night and cause you to become very tired and frightened.

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Is lucid dreaming addictive?

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The power of lucid dreaming is in the mental training it can provide to enable you to achieve power in waking life. After having trained to the point of being able to induce lucid dreams at will, a person may find it hard to resist the attraction of controlling their dreams just for fun. For them it may become a kind of safe drug or a sort of virtual reality system they can turn on and off at will. Some researches have cautioned that people with a tendency toward obsessive behavior may begin to overly indulge in lucid dreaming. It is easy to understand why, because lucid dreams are as vivid and realistic and real life experiences yet they are under the skilled dreamer’s control so they are able to experience fantastic things that they would unlikely experience in waking life. Lucid dreaming can become an escape from waking life and in that sense it can become a negative influence.

If you have trained yourself for lucid dreaming and reached the stage where you can induce them at will you may want to observe yourself some some signs of this addiction. If you find that you are spending more time asleep than actually needed, or that you are thinking more about lucid dreams than your real waking life then you may be falling into an addictive behavior.  However, much as with other behaviors, a stronger indication is if other parts of your life begin to suffer. If so then you should focus more on constructive use of lucid dreaming and less time spent manipulating your dreams for entertainment only.

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