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erichw1504's avatar

During a dream, have you ever known you were actually in a dream?

Asked by erichw1504 (26396points) September 29th, 2009

Have you ever had the experience where you, at some point during a dream, realize that it wasn’t real and you were just dreaming? How many times has this happened to you? What was the experience like? How long did you remain dreaming? Were you able to somewhere or completely control what you were doing? Do you think it is possible that when someone experiences this that it is just you dreaming that you think you know dreaming? Could it be possible to dream inside of a dream? Is this getting confusing?

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36 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

It’s called lucid dreaming, and yes, I have done it. I have no idea how many times. More, I’m sure, when I was remembering my dreams. Usually I had no idea how long they lasted—time seems different in dreams. In any case, anything is possible in such a dream, including dreaming that you are dreaming.

SheWasAll_'s avatar

Yes. It’s usually right before I’m about to wake up, so it doesn’t last long enough for me to evaluate it. And I’ve had the dreams within a dream; those are awesome.

Harp's avatar

I had been having trouble staying in the dream once it became lucid, but i recently tried a technique that I’d heard for stabilizing the dream, and it does seem to work well:

You hold your arms out and spin around as quickly as you can (in the dream, of course), concentrating on the sensation of the spinning. This reinvigorates the dream and often makes it change scenes as well.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, sure. Many times. Sometimes it’s like “This is a really stupid dream.” Som,etimes “How cool that I’m dreaming this.” And sometimes “It’s okay—it’s just a dream” I’ve also reentered a broken dream (workjs best if you don’t move a muscle).

As for controlling a dream (lucid dreaming), I have been able to do it only a few times and only briefly.

I have had dreams inside dreams on numerous occasions, going three layers deep.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Yeah it has happened to me a bunch of times before. A lot of times it’s frustrating because once I realize it’s just a dream I want OUT! But I’m stuck in the dream. I feel kinda trapped.

IBERnineD's avatar

Yup all the time. One night I was having a nightmare and it was awful and in my dream I said to myself out loud, “You know you could just wake up and this would be over.” I then woke up

Frankie's avatar

All the time. I’d say in at least ¾ of my dreams, I’m aware that it’s a dream. Sometimes I wake myself up if I don’t like the dream, or somehow force myself to start dreaming something else. Sometimes I can “predict” what is going to happen next and can prepare myself, or I “know” what is going to happen next and I make the outcome different. The first time I remember this occurring I think I was about 8 years old, and it’s gotten more frequent as I’ve gotten older. That first time, I was having an awful nightmare, and I remember thinking in the dream that if I kicked my legs really hard, I could make myself wake up..and then I woke up and my legs were still kicking. It freaked me out!

Supacase's avatar

Yes, many times. Sometimes I am just aware of it in the dream. The coolest is when I am in that stage just before waking and am able to remain there in order to continue the dream – that is very rare for me, but does happen. In those cases, I am aware both in the dream and real life.

ShanEnri's avatar

Yes, I do it a lot!

mramsey's avatar

Yea. It used to happen a lot more when I was younger. I especially hate when the dream your stuck in a nightmare. You know it isn’t real but you have to deal with all of the scary stuff anyway.

eponymoushipster's avatar

In most of my dreams i realize i’m dreaming.

one of the things that i can do, that i’ve been told is fairly uncommon (as @Jeruba mentioned) is a form of lucid dreams. i was told it’s very uncommon to be able to read in your dreams, but i do it all the time.

i also dream in Russian on occasion.

cyndyh's avatar

I’m often aware of dreaming when I’m dreaming. When I was much younger I told a scary guy in a nightmare to get lost (in harsher words) because it was my dream. I haven’t had a dream/nightmare problem since then.

Val123's avatar

Yep. Not only knew I was dreaming, but am able to control it. Like, I can decide I want to fly, so I do because it’s really cool. @eponymoushipster I dream in Russian too, but it leaves me very, very confused because I can’t speak a word Russian! LOL! :) (JK)—I’ve never tried to read in my dreams. I’m gonna try that.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes. Often if I am really worried about something I dream the outcome I desire but in these dreams I am always aware that I am dreaming and that I will wake up and still be worried. I find these dreams very uncomfortable.

Val123's avatar

@Leanne1986 Maybe…doing something different, like fly, or something cool, if for no other reason than to relax, take a break from what’s worrying you….

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Val123 I have never tried to control these dreams soo don’t know whether I can or not. I should definately try it though.

Val123's avatar

Go for it! It’s great!!

XOIIO's avatar

Yes, these are tge only kind of dreams I have I don’t dream very often, but if I do it’s this kind

I can also controll my dreams, such as manipulating objects around me, being able to levitate, and changing who or what is with/ around me.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Most of the time I know when I’m dreaming and it’s sometimes scary when I want to wake up and can’t or can’t even move my body.

Jack79's avatar

Couple of times, yes.

Val123's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence I’d ask this but I’ve reached my quota of Q’s….have you ever dreamed that you woke up, but it was really just another dream? That’s freaky….

RedPowerLady's avatar

You can do some google searching about Lucid Dreaming and it should answer all of your questions. That is what this phenomenon is called. I lucid dream quite often. Lucid Dreaming refers to knowing that you are dreaming while you are dreaming. Being able to control your dreams after knowing is only one possible component of lucid dreaming but is not necessary to be considered lucid.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Val123: all the time I have dreams where I know I’m dreaming, go to wake up and think I’ve woken up only to find I’m still dreaming and it starts to panic me because at that point I know I’m not in control. Yeah, control issues.

brinibear's avatar

I have them all the time. I guess the scariest one I had, was before the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow came out. ( the one with Angelina Jolie) It scared me when my parents bought the movie, and I realized the opening scene in the movie was exactly the same as my dream.

brinibear's avatar

@mramsey I know I won’t watch the movie. The concept of the dream and the movie working hand in hand scares me, and I still won’t watch it.

Ansible1's avatar

I have a wide range of dreams. Sometimes I will be very much aware that i’m dreaming and I can do whatever I want, like i’ll be running around a city and i’ll think: I should have a car, and then i’ll have a car…or i should be able to fly, and then i’ll start flying. Those are my favorite dreams. On the other hand i’ll have bad nightmarish dreams where i’ll think i’m awake and horrible things will start happening and everything is so real. I can also wake up from dreams, and think to myself: that was a nice dream I want to go back to it, then fall back asleep and continue the dream.

Oh yeah, and some people say you can’t feel pain in dreams, but I’ve been shot, stabbed and strangled in my dreams and I feel it.

sjmc1989's avatar

Usually 95% of the time while I’m dreaming I know that I’m dreaming

Harp's avatar

Not to pick fights, but I wonder how accurate self-reported stats about the percentage of lucid dreams are. You’re far more likely to remember lucid dreams because they cross over into your waking consciousness in a way that “normal” dreams don’t. I suspect that we tend to think we have a higher percentage of lucid dreams just because we tend to not remember the others.

Val123's avatar

@Harp That’s a good thought….

davidk's avatar

The realization that I am dreaming, while I’m dreaming, has been a common phenomenon with me since around age 9. If I insert too much of myself at the time of the realization, I automatically wake up. I have learned to let those moments of consciousness go in order to stay in a dream state, though, sometimes I use that temporary realization to change the course of a dream. I the latter case, only subtle changes work on a consistent basis—like a small nudge that ultimately changes the course of an end that you anticipate will not be pleasant.

deepdivercwa55m's avatar

No, i haven’t done it, i rarely dream!!

wee1020's avatar

every dream I have I know I’m in a dream then when I have nightmare I let murder people (or others of the like) try and catch me but right before they do I’ll open my eyes and laugh at them! so much fun!

stemnyjones's avatar

I’ve recently starting having lucid dreams, because of practicing while I’m awake by performing “reality checks” (looking at my hands to see how many fingers I have, usually). In the dreams I’ve walked up the side of walls and did freaky things with my girlfriend. It was sweet.

JustmeAman's avatar

Yes I can do this anytime. I can go where I want, find the answers to what I want and discover all kinds of things. IMHO your spirit is experiencing what you are dreaming and you can travel there and meet people and beings. I can do the same with Meditation now, though I never am asleep I can travel in the 4th dimension and it is remarkable what you can find. Some call this Asteral Travel but there is much more to it. There are books about it and they try to teach you how to do it.

flutherother's avatar

I can only remember lucid dreaming once which happened when I was a kid. I realised I was dreaming and I was excited as I knew I could walk into the local sweetie shop and help myself. I managed to walk into the shop and saw the sweets lying all around but began to realise I was on the point of waking up. I tried to hurry and grab some sweets but then felt the bitterness of the dream coming to an end as I awoke.

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