What Is False Awakening? - Deepstash
What Is False Awakening?

What Is False Awakening?

A false awakening refers to the strange experience of “waking up” when you actually remain asleep. It can involve vivid, realistic images that leave you feeling anxious and confused.

  • The key difference between sleep paralysis and a false awakening is that sleep paralysis happens when you’re awake, not dreaming.

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Sleep Better

Improving the sleep you get each night could help reduce the frequency of false awakenings. Here are some general pointers for better sleep:

  • Turn off your phone and other electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Take some time to wind down before bed.

Mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression, can also contribute to disturbing dreams and affect the quality of your sleep.

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What Causes It To Happen

A few suggested explanations for false awakenings include:

  • sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea
  • anticipation, or knowing you need to wake up early for a specific reason
  • noise and other disturbances that interrupt your sleep without fully waking you up

Stress and anxiety in your daily life can also have an impact on sleep and potentially appear in your dreams.

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Lucid Dream

Many people who experience false awakenings also have lucid dreams.

In a lucid dream, you realize you’re dreaming. This knowledge allows you to maintain some control over your surroundings and even change the course of the dream .

A false awakening can become a lucid dream, especially if you begin to notice certain details that differ slightly from reality.

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  • Type 1: A type 1 false awakening proceeds in a fairly straightforward way. After “waking up,” you do the same things you typically would. This type often won’t feel scary as it happens, though you might feel disoriented or somewhat distressed once you actually wake up.
  • Type 2. With this type, you might wake up with a sense of foreboding or feel convinced something strange or bad is about to happen. This type of false awakening could resemble sleep paralysis, especially if you dream you wake up and can’t move or escape from some type of malicious presence in your room.

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Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a neurological phenomenon in which a person awakens from sleep but is temporarily paralyzed.

The episode may last a few seconds to minutes and is accompanied by the strangest hallucinations. It can feel terrifying.

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Nightmares

Nightmares are broadly defined as frightening dreams that result in some degree of awakening from sleep. 

Nightmares themselves contribute to disrupted sleep not only by waking the sleeper but also because they can lead to fear of falling asleep and returning to a disturbing dream. According to research, nightmares may contribute to insomnia, daytime fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

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Lucid Dreaming
  • You’re aware of your consciousness during a dream
  • You can control what happens in your dream
  • Occurs during rapid eye movement (REM), the dream-stage of sleep
  • 55% of people have had one or more lucid dreams in their lifetime
  • a form of metacognition, or awareness of your awareness

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