How to Determine If You're Dreaming: 13 Steps

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How to Determine If You're Dreaming: 13 Steps
How to Determine If You're Dreaming: 13 Steps

Sometimes, we need to determine whether we are dreaming, especially when we are having a scary dream. In addition, you can determine the dream phase if you want to dream consciously and determine whether you are awake or dreaming when you have a heavy blow or face a certain incident. Our dreams sometimes feel more real than what actually happened when we were awake. This article explains how to determine whether you are asleep or awake.


Part 1 of 3: Confirming through the Things You See

Tell if You're Dreaming Step 1
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 1

Step 1. Get in the habit of checking if you're dreaming while doing your daily routine

Even though the following suggestions sound far-fetched, people who are capable of lucid dreaming suggest that you check whether or not you're dreaming while living your daily life. This method makes you accustomed to checking while awake so that this habit is carried over in dreams.

  • Do a wake-up check to see if you're dreaming to get your mind into the habit of checking one of the following realities: reading several pieces of text, trying to move objects, or looking at the clock. When the habit appears in a dream, but does not work as usual, this failure is a sign that you are dreaming.
  • If you are awake, ask yourself why you need to determine whether you are dreaming or not. Are you taking drugs or being poisoned? Got an accident? Are you hallucinating? Maybe you have a concussion or some other injury? If you are injured or mentally or emotionally disabled, seek medical help or contact someone immediately.
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 2
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 2

Step 2. Do a “reality checking test”

When dreaming, the circumstances around will be different from usual. Reality checking is needed to control lucid dreaming and enable you to become actively involved in dreams. Many lucid dreamers do a reality check while awake so that they dream more often.

Tell if You're Dreaming Step 3
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 3

Step 3. Check by observing the surroundings

When dreaming, the things you see can be very deceiving, while distortion is very common, even commonplace. If the events in your dream occur in your home or a place you frequent, pay attention to the objects you usually see there. Is there anything different from what you saw before? For example: do the walls that usually hang paintings now have windows? If they are different, this confirms that you are dreaming.

Tell if You're Dreaming Step 4
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 4

Step 4. Observe the people around you

If you are talking to a deceased person, you must be dreaming. You need a dream interpretation to answer why you are talking to him, but meeting a dead person as usual is a sure sign that you are dreaming.

  • If you are chatting intimately with enemies as with close friends, you must be dreaming!
  • Did your grandfather suddenly have extraordinary powers or did the friend who bullied you now be kind?
  • If you're in an unfamiliar environment, is there someone you know or no one you know there?
  • Are there people you can't possibly meet in real life? For example, you suddenly have an 8-year-old sister, while in the real world you are the only child? Or, are you standing next to the exact same person as you, or seeing a talking animal, fictional character, or supernatural being? Most likely you are dreaming.
  • Are there people acting miraculously? For example, people look at ordinary objects with amazement, are not surprised when you make objects float, are frightened by something ordinary, or ignore a volcano erupting.
  • Don't people know what they should know? For example, is there anyone who claims to be a geography teacher, but doesn't know where the island of Java is?
  • Does everyone, including foreigners, know your name? Similarly, do they know something that a stranger shouldn't know? (For example, a stranger on the street who knows that you want to adopt a dog without you telling him beforehand).
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 5
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 5

Step 5. Look at yourself

Observe your hands, feet, legs, etc. Is it the usual shape? Is your body size normal? Are there any strange body parts? How about your hair, is it the same color and length or different than usual? Look for a mirror to determine what you look like. While dreaming, your appearance may differ from usual by blurry or distorted reflections.

Part 2 of 3: Test Yourself

Tell if You're Dreaming Step 6
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 6

Step 1. Do a check by testing your own strengths and abilities

You must be dreaming of being able to fly or being able to lift very heavy objects. However, lucid dreaming can be used to train physical activity so that it can be carried out in daily life. Health professionals help people recover from injuries by asking them to imagine their bodies healing through lucid dreams. However, these abilities only exist in dreams. So, get in the habit of checking by:

  • Trying to soar through the air or fly. You are dreaming if you manage to do it.
  • Are you able to speak normally? If your voice is hoarse or no sound at all, you are most likely dreaming.
  • Jump on the spot. Can you jump through the moon or stay in the hovering position longer? Can you jump straight up and land on the ground with a thud?
  • Can you move objects to another place or room without walking?
  • Can you turn on and off electronic devices or lights just by thinking? Also, note that in dreams, the brightness of the light is not affected by the position of the button. However, not all lucid dreamers agree that this method can be relied upon because there are those who experience the usual occurrence when the lights are turned off and on.
  • Can you bring up an object with just a wish?
  • Just like the toilet dream mentioned below, sometimes in a dream, people urinate, but feel the need to do it again. In the real world, this may mean you have a urinary tract infection, but if you feel well, it could indicate that you are dreaming.
  • Are you younger or older than you should be?
  • Are you pregnant even though you have never had sex or are using contraception?
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 7
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 7

Step 2. Check daily events

One reliable test is to compare whether your waking habits are distorted or inconsistent. For example, if you normally turn the key once to open the door, but you can turn it three times, this means that you are dreaming because this is impossible when you are awake.

Tell if You're Dreaming Step 8
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 8

Step 3. Take a reading test

While awake, take the test by reading the text, looking elsewhere, then reading it again while seeing if the text is still the same! Do this so that your mind can determine whether you are dreaming or not. When dreaming, the words in the text will change so that it is difficult to read. You can confirm that you are dreaming by taking your eyes off the text and reading it again because when you dream, the text will most likely change.

  • Have some reading at the bedside. If you have recently had a lucid dream, you may still be dreaming. If not, read the text you prepared to make sure you're awake.
  • Look at digital clocks or wall clocks. You may be dreaming if you see various distortions while looking at the clock, for example: numbers are blurry, changing, or making no sense.
  • Look for intricate patterns, different shapes of text, and hour numbers. Determine whether you are dreaming by observing the arrangement of bricks, floor tiles, or unique furniture designs. Has there been any change or is it the same?

Part 3 of 3: Knowing the Difference between Dreaming and Reality

Tell if You're Dreaming Step 9
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 9

Step 1. Know the signs that indicate that you are dreaming

There are some common signs and experiences that can signal that you are dreaming, rather than awake. Dreams usually arise because of a fear that we are not aware of and almost everyone has experienced it. However, scientists have proven that we can control our dreams and prevent unwanted dreams in the following ways:

  • Think about the things you want before going to bed.
  • Imagine that you are looking at an image that expresses what you want.
  • Think about the picture until you fall asleep.
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 10
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 10

Step 2. Beware of dreams that usually involve a physical aspect

When dreaming, physical sensations are very common and make you feel like you are actually flying, falling, or running. This sensation usually makes you startle so you wake up from a dream. The following experiences are common when dreaming:

  • Fly freely without protection.
  • Falls without ever hitting the ground (the jolt of falling can wake you up).
  • Being chased or attacked by monsters, bad people, or strange creatures.
  • Paralysis due to experiencing something terrible that you can only sit or stand still because you are unable to move at all.
  • Blurred vision because you cannot see clearly accompanied by an inability to control thoughts and actions.
  • Loss of body parts, for example: missing teeth often appear in dreams.
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 11
Tell if You're Dreaming Step 11

Step 3. Ask yourself if you have frequent dreams because you are worried about certain things

In dreams, you usually fail to do something, get naked, experience unexpected things, and face events that make you nervous, for example:

  • Get lost in an unfamiliar location.
  • Being naked in public while walking downtown, sitting on the bus, sitting in class, etc.
  • The vehicle you're used to doesn't work very well, especially if you have to leave immediately to avoid something.
  • Take an exam, but you don't know the answer because you haven't studied at all!
  • Being in the restroom. This dream can be bad because you believe you are awake while sitting on the toilet and urinating in bed, but only small children dream like this!

Step 4. Are you watching TV or a movie, or reading a book?

If so, check to see if what you're watching or reading makes sense. Even though some shows (such as Spongebob) may seem awkward at times, they should still make sense in the entertainment world. Even some fan fiction doesn't make sense at times, but if what you're seeing is official work that doesn't make sense, chances are you're dreaming.

  • Does the plot make sense or is it just a series of random coincidences?
  • Are the characters in the story difficult to explain? In order to be considered a dream sign, it has to be more than just a "bad story writer". For example, if Spock is having an emotional moment, this is not a sign that you are dreaming. However, if this character experiences drastic mood swings, and everyone thinks it's normal, it's likely that you're dreaming.
  • Have you seen the miraculous character shift? For example Rugrats/Star Wars, Arthur/The X-Files or Star Trek/My Little Pony). Strange character shifts do happen sometimes, but they can also be a sign that you're dreaming.
  • Are you familiar with the story, but the plot is different? (For example, you watch Finding Nemo and see a scene of Marlin arguing intellectually with a barracuda).
  • Does it make sense compared to the original work? For example, if Hermione Granger's father is also a wizard, you may be dreaming, because in Harry Potter, both parents are muggles.
  • Is the show not in line with the story? For example, you see an animal that can speak normally in Animaniacs, but if you see it in Bones, you're probably dreaming.

Step 5. Consider where you are

Because sometimes in a dream this doesn't make sense.

  • Do you remember how you got there? If not, and you don't have any mental problems, chances are you're dreaming. Even though you know how you got there, you may dream if you don't remember getting ready or taking a trip, or don't remember waking up in the morning. Even if you get lost, can you remember how you ended up getting lost?
  • Are you in a mix of places? For example, if you could describe the place you are in as "like Denpasar, but also like Bekasi," you are probably dreaming.
  • Are you in an unreal place? (Like Hogwarts or Narnia).
  • Did that place have something so unlikely that it would happen? (For example if the grass is purple or something).
  • Are you able to go somewhere other than where you are that would be impossible in the real world? (For example a building in Surabaya with an open door at Puncak).
  • Do you work outside of your office, or come to campus or school on holidays/you have graduated/never attended school there? If you were in a school or study, did you learn something as magical as how to float?

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