If you have ever woken up from a dream and started going about your morning routine only to then realize you’re still dreaming, you will know how unsettling this phenomenon can be.
However, this experience is surprisingly common, and there are several ways to interpret it – and to help you understand, in this post, we discuss the meaning of waking up in a dream to give you a better idea of what it means for you.
Dreams about Waking Up – Health issues
Although dreaming about waking up can have a deeper meaning just the same as any other dream and can be interpreted as our subconscious mind trying to send us a message, there are also some physiological reasons why it can occur.
Although it’s a relatively common experience that most people will have experienced, little research has been done about dreaming about waking up – or having a “false awakening”, as it’s also known.
However, even with what little information we have, we know that false awakenings can be caused by health issues, most specifically with sleep disorders – or just not getting enough sleep due to stress, worry, caffeine, alcohol, other drugs or any other reasons.
For example, if you suffer from chronic insomnia, you are more likely to experience false awakenings along with sleep paralysis (when your mind wakes up but you are unable to move) – as well as irritability and even depression while you are awake.
This is because all humans need to dream – we all need to spend enough time in REM sleep, the part of the sleep cycle in which we dream, and if we go without it for even just a few days, it can lead to serious consequences for our health.
However, if you experience false awakenings and it is not due to poor sleep or any other sleep disorders, you can start to think about what your subconscious is trying to tell you, so let’s consider this now.
Interpreting dreaming about waking up
1. Your normal routine has been interrupted
Other than when suffering from issues that cause poor sleep, one of the most common times for people to have false awakenings is when there has been a change in their routine.
For example, when people start a new job, they often report dreaming about waking up and going through their morning rituals of having breakfast, cleaning their teeth brushing their hair and so on, before realizing they are still dreaming and then “waking up” a second time.
This might also happen when you are due to go on vacation, when you have a business trip abroad or when you have anything similar coming up.
It is likely that the stress of the event or the anxiety of oversleeping and being late for your new job or missing a plane spills over into your dream world and causes you to dream of waking up.
2. Pressed for time
Similar to the interpretation above, experiencing a false awakening may also be due to you feeling like you don’t have enough time in each day to finish everything you need to do in a more general sense.
You always feel like you are rushed, and you never have enough time to do anything properly – for example, you can never spend enough time on your projects to make a really good job of them, and you can only just about manage to make everything “just good enough”.
If you are experiencing these kinds of feelings during your waking life, it may cause you to experience false awakenings while you dream.
This is because your mind is under so much stress from your perceived lack of time that it won’t let you rest, even while you are dreaming.
Needless to say, although we all face periods like this from time to time, living like this in the long-term is not healthy. This means a dream like this could be a warning to look at your priorities to see where you can cut back on time-consuming tasks and duties.
3. Worry and anxiety
In a similar way, false awakenings can also represent stress and anxiety in your life that are not related to time.
When we are stressed or anxious, it can affect the quality of our sleep – and sometimes, if we are stressed, it can also cause us to dream about waking up.
This is also not healthy for two reasons.
First, long-term stress and anxiety are not good for anyone, and if you are constantly in this kind of situation, it can impact your mental and spiritual health – and can even lead to more serious conditions like depression.
Second, if your stress and anxiety are causing you to dream of waking up, it will also affect the overall quality of your sleep since most people tend to wake up quite soon after a false awakening when they realize they are still dreaming.
In any case, experiencing a false awakening is nothing to worry about in itself, but it could be an indication that you are currently under too much pressure, and you should think about ways to relieve the stress you are feeling.
4. A double wake-up call
Sometimes a false awakening can serve as a kind of “double wake-up call” telling you that something is not right in your life and that you need to find a solution before it is too late.
You may find clues to what the issue could be in what happened in the dream, but you might not. In any case, if you experience dreaming about waking up, you should spend time in deep thought analyzing what it could be warning you about.
Is there something in your life that is causing you to worry? Do you need to face up to a problem instead of hoping it will just go away? Then this dream can tell you that now is the time to act before it’s too late.
If you experience this kind of dream often rather than just once, the message may be even more important.
With recurring false awakenings, it can often be a message from your subconscious mind that you are suppressing or hiding from something you don’t want to face, and that it is beginning to surface in other, less healthy ways.
Is there anything you are hiding from or suppressing? Is there some kind of trauma in your past that you haven’t processed properly?
Ask yourself questions like these and try to answer them as honestly as you can – and if you find that there is something you have been burying, recurring false awakening dreams can be a strong indication that now is the time to deal with these issues.
5. You are receiving an important message from the spirit world
Another possibility is that the false awakening dream is an important message from the spirit world, perhaps from your guardian angel.
The spirits, and our guardian angels in particular, are constantly sending us messages through a variety of mediums, and one of these is dreams.
However, if we aren’t attuned to these messages – or if we are unreceptive to them – we may miss them.
Luckily, our guardian angels can be persistent when they need to get a message through, and one way they can do this is by speaking to us in dreams within dreams.
For this reason, if you experience a false awakening, even if you don’t manage to pick up any other details from what you saw, you should try to pay more attention to any other spiritual messages you might receive in dreams or during your waking life.
The false awakening dream may represent your guardian angel trying to catch your attention when other methods aren’t working – so you’d better start listening because there’s a good chance the message your angel is trying to communicate to you is of vital importance.
6. Waking up in a different house
If you dream of waking up in a different house, it can tell you that you are an adaptable and versatile person.
It means you can easily change according to circumstances, and it can reassure you that even if everything doesn’t go according to plan, you will still be fine.
7. Nested dreams – you are stuck in a rut
Sometimes, we can even have what are called “nested dreams” where we wake from one dream to find we are still dreaming and then we wake again only to find we are still dreaming – and this can happen many times, creating dreams within dreams within dreams.
If you experience this rather unsettling type of dream, it may mean that your life is stuck in a rut, and you need to break free from the cycle of your daily routine.
Perhaps you need to find a new job or maybe the answer is to take some time off to travel. But in any case, the important thing is that you find a way to step out of your comfort zone and freshen up your life since you are becoming stagnated physically, mentally and spiritually.
Nothing to worry about – but important to try to understand why
Most specialists agree that experiencing a false awakening is nothing to worry about, but it’s also worth trying to analyze the dream to work out what it means to you.
There are several possibilities, but by following your intuition and applying what you saw to the challenges and difficulties you are currently facing in your waking life, you will be guided to the correct interpretation of dreaming about waking up while you sleep.