I occasionally have lucid "false awakening" dreams (the most recent occasion being this past night) where I know I'm dreaming, I have the conscious will to wake up, and when I attempt to wake up it seems as though I've succeeded, yet I remain dreaming.

After the false awakening, I spend time attempting to establish that I am awake (always with the strong expectation that this hypothesis is true). Either in the course of this analysis, or in a subsequent attempt to "go about my business", I shortly become aware that I'm still dreaming, I again attempt to wake up, and the process repeats itself (in some instances, such as the most recent, well over 20 times).

The process is frustrating and upsetting, although I wouldn't characterize it as a nightmare.

My question is whether there's a term or expression for this particular kind of lucid dreaming, perhaps from the scientific study of dreaming, or from mythology/antiquity, or from a pop culture reference to a story where "inability to wake from a dream" features prominently as a plot device?

1 Answer 1


Celia Green wrote a semi-interesting book on lucid dreaming in which she used the term "False Awakening" to describe what you have mentioned here.

I only find the work (and in general the topic) uninteresting due to the fact that I rarely experience the phenomenon of dreaming and never lucid dreaming. You may find it more interesting.

A rudimentary search for "False Awakening" on the internet shows that it is a common term with many varied analyses.

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