False Awakenings? The Lazy Vs Productive Brain


By: Brad Manock

Bit of an odd topic today folks. False awakenings, what are they? Have you ever had a dream where you just wake up and start the day as you normally would in real life? That is what a false awakening is; it is a very mundane dream with nothing spectacular. You are just in your normal boring house, doing normal boring things. This phenomenon has shown me just how lazy I am deep down. False awakenings tend only to happen to me after having woken up for real and then falling back asleep. I will wake up, look at my clock and think to myself “I want to sleep more” and then I fall back asleep. However the last image I was looking at before shutting my eyes again would become the first image of a dream so that the two worlds would mesh seamlessly and make it easier to trick me.

Lazy Vs Productive, The Showdown

Most people are portrayed as having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other shoulder. You know the image they always demonstrate on TV where a character has an important decision to make. However with me it is more like the “lazy” and “productive” sides battling it out in my subconscious. When I fall back asleep after waking up, that is obviously a win for the “lazy” side. These false awakenings are a tactic for the lazy side of my mind to trick the productive side of my mind into making it think that I am being productive. This way the productive side of my subconscious would quit resisting because it thinks its winning. So I am in the dream, I go take a shower, make some coffee; I am generally off to a good start. Once I have my coffee I will usually think “I deserve a break time to screw around on the computer for a bit.” Then I wake up for real and begin to process what exactly happened. First of all; I was being as lazy as physically possible by sleeping. So my lazy side has defeated my productive side. Then within the dream these two sides clash a second time with the decision to be productive or to screw around on the computer. The lazy side won again. So now what is happening is that my lazy side has won the battle, twice at the same time. If this was one of those NBA playoff series, the lazy side would be ahead 2-0 after just one game.

The Aftermath

These false awakenings have made me late for things many times in the past. I will wake up and understand that it is urgent that I get out of bed and begin my day. But there is that “screw it, it isn’t that important” part of my mind that takes over and asserts it’s will on me. So when I wake up for real a half hour later I really have no excuse that I can tell people as to why I was late. I can’t just say “I am energetic and productive but my brain tricked me because it is lazy.” That would make for an interesting conversation so usually I will just apologize at that point and throw in the towel. I have never attempted the “I’M not lazy, it’s my brain that is lazy” argument but I assume it would not work out well.


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