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How to know if I dream? 7 reality tests to discover it

How to know if I dream? 7 reality tests to discover it

June 20, 2024

It is possible that at some point in your life you have asked yourself if you are dreaming or not. In certain situations reality can become difficult to distinguish from the imagination, especially during very vivid dreams or in altered mental states .

The tips that we will describe in this article can be very useful if you ever find yourself in this type of circumstance. These methods to detect if we are awake or asleep are known as "reality tests".

  • Related article: "How to have lucid dreams? Science explains it to us"

When are reality tests useful?

In general, the difficulty in distinguishing between dreams and reality is not very common. However, anyone can ask this question if they are in a highly stressful situation, like when traumatic or very strange events happen , or under the effects of the consumption of drugs and other psychoactive substances.

Injuries and bruises also facilitate the appearance of feelings of unreality. For example, the loss of contact with reality can occur after a traffic accident that causes a traumatic brain injury.

In childhood, confusion is more likely around this question, since familiarity with the perception of reality is inferior. Something similar happens in cases of psychotic disorders, which can cause vivid hallucinations difficult to distinguish from dream experiences.

On the other hand, people who try to have lucid dreams and control them can be immersed in realistic dreams, particularly in loops of false awakenings that can be very anxious. Onironauts can benefit especially from reality tests that we will describe next.

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How to know if I dream?

When used as a tool to control lucid dreams, reality tests are practiced in real life until they become a habit, so that they appear naturally during sleep; This makes the person realize that he is dreaming, the first step to manage the dream life.

Similar strategies can be useful in case of confusing the reality and the dream for any reason that we have seen in the previous section. You will also be interested in these reality tests if you simply want to know more about the "rules" of the dream world. The effectiveness of each test may vary depending on the person.

1. Ask yourself if you are dreaming

Although it seems obvious, within dreams to ask yourself if you are dreaming is a key step to detect it. The effectiveness of the rest of reality tests increases if we ask ourselves this question while we perform them. This advice is less applicable in case the confusion is not due to the practice of lucid dreams, realistic nightmares, etc.

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2. Observe your surroundings

When you are not clear if you are awake or dreaming, look around and look for typical signs of dreams, especially inconsistencies in the environment. For example, you may realize that you are in a place where you have never been or that the people who accompany you have already passed away or are fictional characters.

A useful sign for people with vision problems is to see if you can see perfectly even without glasses. Sometimes this effect can be confusing because of the sensation of blur characteristic of the dream world of many people.

3. Look at your hands and face

In dreams, the image we see of ourselves tends to be distorted. Looking at yourself and touching your hands is an especially useful method to check: if you have more than five fingers or you can pierce the palm of your hand with a finger, in all probability you will be dreaming.

Looking in a mirror is another proof of effective reality ; you may notice that you are wearing an unrecognizable haircut, that your reflection does not correspond to the image you have of yourself or does not remain stable, or that you have a different age than the real one.

4. Breathe with a stuffy nose

This reality test is less known than others that we have included in the list but it is one of the most effective. In dreams we can practically always breathe even if we have a stuffy nose, we are in the water or there is any other circumstance that should prevent us from inspiring properly.

5. Compare with everyday life

Check if your actions are consistent with what you usually do on a daily basis and if the environment responds as you would expect your interaction with it.Do you wear appropriate clothes to the context in which you find yourself? Do you remember how you got here? Does this situation usually occur in your daily life? Do the switches work properly?

6. Try to read or watch a watch

In dreams, when we read a text, we look away and look at it again, the most usual thing is that it has changed, that the letters float or that they are distorted. The same happens with watches, which can also help us if we evaluate the possibility that the time they indicate is correct.

7. Check if you have "powers"

The world of dreams can be modified at will; Obviously, real life does not work in the same world. Try to levitate, move objects with the mind , teleport to another place, make a flame appear in the palm of your hand or invoke a person or imaginary creature. If you succeed, enjoy your powers, if only until you wake up.

4 Powerful Lucid Dreaming Reality Checks! (June 2024).

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