False Awakening through Expectation (FATE) Lucid Dreaming Technique

sorendreier.com False Awakening through Expectation (FATE) Lucid Dreaming Technique

This method was developed by Daniel Love and is taken from his excellent book Are you Dreaming? The False Awakening through Expectation takes a bit of planning and effort for it to be successful, but like most thing that do, is well worth it.

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This technique is similar in many ways with the False Awakening State Test (FAST) which you can find in Dr Keith Hearne’s 1982 book The Dream Machine. Now while both methods may seem similar Daniel Love process differs in certain areas and the FATE technique is probably a bit more practical to carry out for the average lucid dreamer.

“Pause now to ask yourself the following question: “Am I dreaming or awake, right now?” Be serious, really try to answer the question to the best of your ability and be ready to justify your answer”. ~Stephen LaBerge

Awake But Still Dreaming

The purpose of FATE is to have you believe you have woken normally, in other words a false awakening, through your own expectation. So each time you wake up you carry out a reality test. So when a false awakening does occur, the habit of the reality testing has a high chance of occurring. And within your dream, you then carry out the test and realize you’re dreaming. Simple right?

Ok so how do we do it ?

That’s the simple bit. The trickier one is how do you create or produce a false awakening? We have done this many times in our lives. Did you ever have an important meeting or have to wake at a certain time when to oversleep would be a disaster? When the mind is preoccupied with events such as these it is very likely that you will dream of that experience itself.

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The mind will tend to rehearse the upcoming event adding in the prospect of running late just for good measure. It is this powerful sense of expectation of an important upcoming event that triggers these dreams. Now if we can generate the prospect that our sleep pattern will be disturbed, this should be sufficient to trigger a dream of waking up.

When we sleep at night there are certain things that are a given, such as we will wake up in the same room or surroundings that we fell asleep in. We also expect that we will awaken at a certain time and be aware of the processes and events that occur once we wake up. These fundamentals are the building blocks on which we can attach the false awakenings. We also need to create other expectations, the reality testing and the disturbed sleep pattern.

Now as false awakenings don’t happen very often, our goal here is set it up so they happen on a more regular basis. We do this by deliberately disturbing our sleep patterns.

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Random Alarm App

How do we do this, I hear you ask. Nowadays most of us own a smart-phone. We then need to go to the relevant App store and search for a ‘random reminder app’. We want an app which can generate random alarms during a set period of time. Basically we need the app to generate a series of random alarms during a fixed time period. One good one that Daniel Love uses is an Android App called ‘Sleep Check Reminder. But do your own research and pick the one you think is right for you

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The Method Explained

So that’s the process and reasoning behind the method, here’s the step by step technique:

1. Go to bed. Before you go to bed set your bedside alarm clock after a minimum of five hours. Also set your smart-phone app for a series of random alarms to occur for a 90 minute period just after the time on your bedside alarm clock is set to. Another tip is to place both of these alarms away from your bed so that you have to move away from your bed to switch them off. Once all this is done lie back and drift off to sleep

2. Once your bedside alarm goes off at the pre-selected time, get out of your bed and switch it off. A good idea is to make sure you have covered the display of the alarm so you cannot see the time. At this point you need to be aware of everything you experience. Notice how you feel as you walk over to switch off your alarm.

3. Once you have switched off the bedside alarm you need to carry out a reality check. I suggest you use the pinched nose test. If things feel normal and you have convinced yourself you are awake and not dreaming, go back to bed and return to sleep.

4. As you drift off to sleep, visualize in your mind the reality test you have just carried out. Focus on the feelings you had as you left your bed and switched off the alarm. Now I want you to imagine yourself carrying out the pinched nose test but this time you are delighted to discover you can actually breathe and that you are in fact dreaming. Tell yourself that when you are woken by the next alarm you will perform this reality test again.

5. The next random alarm wakes you. When this happens, leave your bed, walk over to the alarm, while noticing how you feel as you become aware of your surroundings. Switch off the alarm on your phone and once more perform the pinched nose test. Once you have established that you are indeed awake, go back to your bed

6. Repeat stages 4 & 5. And continue to do this until you become lucid (you are able to breathe normally while you hold your nose) or you wake up at your normal morning waking time.

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Don't check the time

One of the most important things to be aware of while you carried out this method is that you need to be totally oblivious to the actual time and also the amount of random alarms that will occur. This will keep your brain in a state of alertness and will not get a chance to relax. This level of uncertainty will keep your expectations high.

This expectation is reinforced by the ordered and planned approach in the FAST technique. In waking, reality test and return to you bed and you will train your brain to the expectation of it reoccurring, thus increasing the probability of a false awakening occurring. Also noticing your surroundings as well as your feelings, you may become aware of inconsistencies that can also increase the chances that you notice it’s a dream.

Now if this all goes to plan there are a couple of possible outcomes. Firstly when you perform the pinched nose test, you find that you can still breathe normally and subsequently realize you are dreaming. Secondly during stage 4 you can suddenly realize you are no longer just visualizing but you are actually dreaming.

Should the false awakening not go to plan, you level of alertness brought on by the constant sleep disturbances and reality testing should increase your odds of achieving a lucid dream anyway.

Not when you read the details of this method the FATE method seems a little complex and difficult in its execution, but when done well it can seriously increase your chances of a successful induction and an amazing experience.


  • Well rounded technique that builds up expectation within the method itself.
  • There is a high chance of a successful induction attempt.
  • Lucidity is more likely due to the familiar environment where the method takes place.
  • Lucidity is likely to be of a high level of mental alertness


  • Sleep will be disturbed on a regular basis, so may create problems for a sleep partner.
  • Should a lucid dream happen at an early stage, it could be disturbed by the alarm.
  • You need a smart-phone with the associated App for it to work.

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