I am suffering right now from a flu bug. I don’t sleep really. Hardly ever. When I do, it is usually after days of no sleep, or it is alcohol induced and fleeting. Or when I am ill, as my system is too run down. Anything more than two hours is a great night’s sleep. But this makes me a very tired and usually creatively unproductive person when my energy is constantly dwindling after a full day of work.

Also I am constantly jealous of those who do and how easily they slip into oblivion. I hate it when they do it so effortlessly and they dream so richly. I begrudge it. Anyway, the only time I really sleep is when I am ill. And up until now, I would say that until this morning I always thought that the existence of really lucid dreams that could be confused with reality and those that led to other dreams, like the hackneyed dream-within-a-dream sequences in most horror films were nothing but a purely literary or cinematic device. That is, until it happened to me. Sort of….

This morning, I was surprised to find that I was no only sleeping deeply, it was an effort to stay awake. I was not surprised to find that I was dreaming vividly, lucidly even – as in the past I was a big fan of such experiments and fans of such films on the subject like WAKING LIFE. But I was surprised that when I became aware that I was trapped in a world of vivid and colour rich dreams that did not follow normal waking logic, they still defied my attempts to debunk them – at least for a while. In an effort to show them up for the magical sham that they were, I made my character touch things, bashing my hand on a shelving unit etc, yet the dream told me I was making real contact with an actual physical object. When I became too insistent, I woke – or did I – as either I did, but so briefly that I effortlessly slipped into another dream, or I was merely still sleeping and now within a new dream construct – as in a ‘False Awakening’? Either way it was a powerful and giddy experience and fooled me for a while.

There is evidence of being truly out during that time – either that or I blacked out in my delerium – when I woke to find the bath spattered in vomit, yet had no recollection of such an event…

Ultimately this has made me review the usage of this device in films…

What do you people think?

Should you use such devices? or do they wind you up in films?

What is the worst dream-within-a-dream sequence you’ve seen?

Or because they are so rare, should we ignore them as being merely too unbelievable?

Have you ever experienced anything similar?