Asking myself if this is a dream... and failing

First things first: I’m not a lucid dreamer. I’m just a guy who over 20 years ago tried some induction techniques and ne, rever had a nightmare since then (go figure). But today happened something I think is worth sharing. I’m in Poland so when 6pm ET curfew started I was watching it on TV at midnight, went to bed at 1am (my time), fell asleep soon after. Normally I would be waking up at around 5:30am and going to sleep earlier but I knew that I didn’t have to (had a semi-important, online meeting scheduled at 8am so set up additional alarm for 7-ish just in case)

I woke up at 5 (recalled a perfectly mundane karmic dream), spend some time awake and fell asleep again. Then my wife’s laptop screen was kind of too bright and she was doing something with her computer in bed. She said she’s logging in to a webinar at 11am. I asked what time it was and she said it’s 11 indeed and I missed my meeting. Am I dreaming? Nah… I just slept through that meeting, no big deal. But AM I DREAMING? I remember asking myself the question and waking up right after I ruled out (not sure why) that I’m asleep.

Now, this is pretty cool and revealing for me as it is (anxiety-wise), but I feel like maybe I’m not putting enough focus on answering the state-check question (I usually back-track with my memory, and have a mindful moment starting with breathing and then tuning in to each of 5 senses followed by how illusory it is). Also, do you happen to have different experience when your sleep hygiene goes out through the window?

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Good question. Recently, I’ve been inverting some of the routine advice about sleep hygiene and it’s been leading to better dreams and dream recall. The conventional wisdom seems to be if you can’t sleep get up and read or meditate but don’t just lie there sleepless for a long, long time. So instead of getting up for 10 minutes, that often turns into 2 hours, Now, I’ll continue to try and sleep and more often than not I will eventually fall asleep. Not a big deal, but it is for me, at least for now.

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