The dreaming mind
December 1, 2011 1:26 PM Subscribe
How does my brain know that I'm awake?
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
At least once or twice a week, I'll have a dream early in the morning where my husband comes back into the bedroom after leaving for work. The dream is extremely realistic - the bedroom looks exactly the same, my husband looks the same, we are both speaking normally - and when I reach over and touch his shoulder I can physically feel him there. I am 100% convinced in the dream that I am awake and he is there. Just this morning part of our conversation in the dream was me asking him several times if he was really there, as I have this dream where he's there and then I wake up and he's not. He assured me that he was there and I wasn't dreaming. Of course I wake up and realize it was a dream and he's not there. On several occasions I've "woken up" two or three times, only to realize that I'm still dreaming. So when I do wake up, what is it in my brain that tells me I'm really awake this time?