|in between wakefulness & sleep (Photo credit: JAZEL KRISTIN)|
Likewise, someone who may be in the company of the waking dreamer may be equally startled or confused by the waker's behavior. A sleep partner may be awakened by the waking dreamer's erratic actions or, if awake already, find the waking dreamer to be a curiosity and even at times frightening or amusing.
The waking dreamer may also rise in a semi-conscious state and enter into the presence of another or others who are awake. This can be disconcerting, annoying, or funny depending on the circumstance. The scream in the night that rouses others to the dreamer's bedside can also occur, especially in the case of children who have had nightmares.
Stephen T. McCarthy's comment in the previous post sums it up nicely: "Huh?" Waking from the dream and taking that experience into the waking world can be very confusing to everyone involved.
Here's a funny story that my mother used to tell about my father. This occurred when I was a baby. I was the first child in my family. My parents, still in their twenties, were living in an apartment in Cleveland, Ohio. In the first couple of years my mother's mother would sometimes come to stay with them to help my mother take care of me and to help out with the household chores.
My mother always laughs when she tells about the night when she and her mother were sitting in the living room and suddenly my father ran out of the bedroom in his pajamas with a startled look on his face as he shouted, "Who poo-pooed in my hair?"
He stood there in the hallway looking confused for a moment until he apparently came to his senses and turned around and went back to bed, leaving my mother and grandmother laughing until they were in tears.
Obviously my father had been dreaming, but it was so real to him that he awoke believing the incident was real. His confusion lasted long enough for him to leave his bed and query those in the living room. That was a disoriented awakening.
Have you ever had particularly funny or embarrassing dream disorientation experience? Have you ever been present when a sleep partner or another sleeper nearby awoke in a confused state? How long did the disorientation last and what was their reaction and your reaction?