You appear to awaken and go about your morning business only to discover that you are still dreaming. Most of us have experienced false awakenings and know how difficult it is to recognize them for what they are. It is a curious quirk of the process that the more one has lucid dreams the more one experiences these unreal wakings. There seem few satisfactory explanations for this phenomenon. Maybe it happens because dreamers already believe that they are awake, or that the expectancy of really waking up as the lucid dream fades, triggers the effect. (Note, these are very different from night terrors, in which we appear to awake to see a horrible image/creature/etc. as if it were in the real world.)

False awakenings can be annoying, but are fairly simple to overcome. All of the various techniques in the literature have one factor in common -- the sensation of rapid or vivid movement. Some lucid dreamers favor whirling or spinning like a top, while others prefer to throw themselves backwards into an abyss or off a cliff. The two methods I like best are to simply start flying, or creating a hanging veil or a door through which I got through at full tilt.

I read somewhere that there is indirect evidence that there might be a connection between the balancing mechanism of the inner ear and the production of bursts of REM during dreaming. If there is some link, then this might account for vivid dream movements fooling the brain into stimulating more REM sleep and thus more lucid dreaming.

~from Maat's Book of Shadows

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