5 Ways To Tell A Dream From Reality

December 5, 2007 at 11:50 pm 8 comments

I’m sure that you’ve had a dream or two where you thought to yourself… “Am I Dreaming?” What do you think would happen if you realized that you were indeed dreaming? Would you be able to control your dreams?

Dr. Stephen LaBerge asked himself this same question. While he studied dreaming at Stanford University, he conducted many experiments to support the fact that a dream can be controlled, as long as the person dreaming recognizes the difference from reality and a dream.

Dr. LaBerge came up with a great way to tell a dream from reality. Whenever he thought that he could be dreaming, he would do a reality check. A reality check will tell yourself whether or not you are dreaming, by noticing things that are not real in a dream world!Next time you think you are dreaming, do one of the following reality checks. Different reality checks work for different people, so don’t get bent out of shape if the first one you try doesn’t work!

  • The Hand Reality Check

This is the reality check that has worked the best for me. Whenever you think you are dreaming, take a look at your hands. Most of the time, in a dream, your hands will look completely different than they really do. In my dreams, sometimes my hands are super big, or they have 6 fingers! Sometimes, they are really small, or they have 5 fingers! Sometimes, they don’t even look like hands at all (I had dog paws once- weird)

  • The Nose Squeezer

This check has worked for me a few times, but I usually forget to do this one. Next time you believe you might be dreaming, try to plug your nose by squeezing on both sides of it. In reality, you will not be able to blow out. In a dream, most of the time, you will have no problem blowing out!

  • The Thirteen Hour Clock

For some reason, a clock always ends up in my dreams. It might be our internal alarm clock that everyone always speaks of, but I’m not sure of the real reason there is always a clock. Next time you are in a dream, try to look at a clock. In my experiences, sometimes there are thirteen numbers instead of twelve! Occasionally, there will be more hands on the clock too! If you look at the clock, and it looks un-real, it probably isn’t! You are dreaming!

  • Run For Lucidity!

If you have ever tried to run in a dream, you have probably noticed that you feel really sluggish. It feels like you are moving as slow as a slug, and you cant get your legs to move any faster! This is a great way to tell a dream from reality! In a real world, you would be able to run as any other normal person! The best part is, once you realize you are dreaming because you cant run, you can become lucid and start to fly! Who needs to run, when you can fly wherever you want to go?

  • The Blurry Sign

For some reason, if you try to read signs in a dream, they will be blurry. The words may move, or change right before your eyes! Pay attention to this, because it can be your ticket to lucidity! In reality, signs don’t usually have blurry, or moving words, and they definitely wont change before your eyes (unless its one of those flashy billboards).

If you want to start to train yourself to do reality checks, just do them randomly during the day, even if you know for a fact that you aren’t dreaming. If you train your mind to check for a dream while in reality, it will remember to check for reality during a dream! Throughout the day, randomly look at your hands and say “Am I Dreaming?” You can also buy a watch with the hands (not a digital one), and look at it regularly through the day. Once you become used to doing reality checks, they will become natural, even in a dream world!

The moment that you do your reality check, and you realize that you are in fact dreaming, your body will be filled with excitement! Colors will become very bright, sounds will become very crisp, and you will see everything with perfect clarity! At this point, you have a whole world, inside of your own mind, that you can explore! You can use your dream to fly, talk to that lady or guy that you have been crushing on, and even walk through walls!


Entry filed under: Realize You Are Dreaming. Tags: , , .

Listen To Your Dreams And Improve Your Life

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bill Perry  |  December 6, 2007 at 9:50 am

    It’s funny you mention the blurry sign one. I’ve noticed in my dreams that text never really changes for me unless I want it to change. I therefore can’t really use the text test as a reality check.

    I’ve never tried the nose thing, that is just enough off-the-wall that I might remember to give it a go!

  • 2. haveluciddreams  |  December 6, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Hey Bill, im glad that you got something out of this post. I just spent about a half hour reading through your blog, and I love it!

    About not being able to use the blurry sign as a reality check, you said it only changes if you want it to- dont you think that looking at a sign and making it change (for the average non-lucid dreamer) would be a great reality check? Obviously, you are a regular lucid dreamer (from reading your blog), so the signs wont stick out to you too much.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and if you would like to exchange links, let me know.

  • 3. Natasha Sternbergh  |  May 16, 2008 at 1:12 am

    I have found that I actually can read in my dreams. I don’t know if there is always one of the five things they can do, or if I’m an aception. I read a sign for a hair salon that said scisors and I have read newspapers before. What does that mean for me?

  • 4. Ronald  |  March 24, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Ive had one lucid dream in my 12 years of living and when i was in my dream i looked at my hands. I had six fingers. So then i tried to start flying. It was really cool until i flew into a window and a old lady started beating me with her cat. The i fell out of the window and landed on charlie the unicorn. (dont ask)

    • 5. MM2010  |  January 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Also if you have a dream about getting in a fight that might help you tell the difference between reality and a dream because in my dreams if i get in a fight i can’t hit hard at all even though i put everything i got into a punch it never works.

  • 6. Wesley  |  September 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    hahah these are funny lol 😀 ive never really tried the reality checks? but a few times ive been able to have these types of dreams to where i can control them. it really is quite neat. so i had a question? if you do finally relize you are dreaming? can you change the evironment and people who surround you? lets say. i want to dream about a friend. can you just make that friend appear and do the things you want to? making them feel as if real?

  • 7. sheriden  |  March 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I find it hard to scream when dreaming. It usually takes several attempts and when I do manage to get a scream out, it is actually a real one and I wake up.

  • 8. JEnnifer  |  April 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    When I read the look at your hands idea I thought that will never work. So I started looking at my hands several times through out the day. When I went to bed last night the last thing I did before turning off the lights was look at my hands. I told myself if anything weird happends look at your hands. As I expicted something weird soon happened. I looked at my hands, and they looked like I ws looking through a kaleidoscope! It was amazing! I knew right away I was dreaming. I had the best time flying and going to a deserted island in the tropics. It was the best dream I ever had. I plan to try it every night.


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