Thursday, March 5, 2015

Discombobulated Awakenings

Orenburg regional museum of finearts
Orenburg regional museum of finearts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        The dream world can be confusing enough when we look back on it, but sometimes waking up is the most confusing state of all.   In our dreams the oddest of circumstances can seem perfectly normal.  Any sense of logic we might have in waking life is essentially disregarded much of the time in our dreams.  If we recall a dream, the situations experienced during our sleep may seem utterly absurd in retrospect and yet we will typically accept those experiences as logical and meaningful while we dream them.

        One of the most befuddling and even frightening feelings that humans can have is waking from a dream in a state of confusion not knowing where we are or what time it is or what day it is.  That feeling of  having lost something or have forgotten something can create a sense of apprehension and at times even panic.

        In my own experiences I have had a sense of panic sensing that something has happened such as having swallowed something or having an ailment.  At other times I might be convinced that someone or something is in the house or near my bed.  The dream sense pours into my sense of awakening in such a way that even though I have attained consciousness I might continue to think that what has happened in the dream is totally real.

         Dream deception is not uncommon in my experience.   When it occurs it usually happens before I've gone into a lengthy period of deep sleep either at night in the early stage of just having gone to sleep or even more often in the daytime when I've lain down for a nap.  I'll wake up from a vague sort of dream sleep completely disoriented for up to several seconds.  I might be confused about what time of day it is or even what day it is.  There have been instances when I will be unsure of where I am.  This can all be somewhat frightening and more than once the thought has crossed my mind that I was having a stroke or experiencing the onset of the early stages of Alzheimer's.   Hopefully though it's only the disorientation of waking from a dream.

         Here are some of the possible theories that I can come up with regarding this disoriented state when waking from the dream state:
  • The subconscious dream mind has deceived the conscious into believing the dream state is real.
  • The oddness of the dream state confuses our thinking as it carries into wakefulness.
  • Our mind is fighting the conscious state in trying to return to the subconscious dream state in which it wishes to remain.
  • Waking is such a shock to our mind that we experience a brief state of amnesia or confusion as our brain adjusts to consciousness.
  • The mind is temporarily continuing to think in dream logic which is incompatible to the sensation of wakefulness.
         If you tend to have a sense of disorientation and confusion on waking from a dream, the next time it happens try to pay attention to how long you remain in this state and what it is that finally brings you out of the state.

          Do you ever experience disoriented awakenings?   Have you ever continued doing an act from a dream into the waking life and then realize you are doing something that makes little sense or you are thinking illogically?   What are some theories that you have concerning this state of being confused after waking up?


  1. I am unable to nap because I get very disoriented on waking. No matter how exhausted I am during the day, I have to be really sick or just clearly unable to keep my eyes open in order to nap. I call it 'nap hangover'. I'm also more likely to have a nightmare or creepy dream or feel like I'm paralyzed when I take naps.

  2. Yes, at time waking from a nap can be like a sort of a hangover. After I eat lunch I almost always have to take a 10-20 minute nap. I guess it comes from the sugars or something.


  3. Thanks Arlee, interesting. So far I haven't that sense of confusion when waking from a dream; your description of it is very vivid. Thank you.


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