Ever have a dream within a dream? You know, when your dream goes all “Inception” on you and you wake up from a dream only to find that you are still in a dream and then you finally wake up for good! It’s like a Groundhog Day loop.

Lisa SimpsonFilm and television often use this “layered dream sequencing” in their story lines to give their audience a good laugh. One of my favorite examples of it is from a Simpson’s episode where Lisa is trying out for first chair in the school band. Her competition is really tough so she overly exerts herself and passes out:

Lisa: (wakes up after having passed out.)
Mr. Largo: That was a close one Lisa, but you made it!
Lisa: I got first chair?
Mr. Largo: No, you regained consciousness. Alison got first chair.
Lisa: (screams, screen fades to black, then wakes up). Oh, it was all just a dream!
Mr. Largo: That was a close one Lisa, but you made it!
Lisa: I got first chair?
Mr. Largo: No, you regained consciousness. Alison got first chair. And believe me, THIS IS NOT A DREAM!
Lisa: (screams, fade to commercial break)


I wasn’t able to find a clip of it. Sorry. But a more recent example of this, which I did find a clip of, was in an episode of The Big Bang Theory…


So, what the heck does it mean when this happens? What causes our subconscious mind to do the time warp?? Well, I have researched this quite a bit and what I have found is that it’s not so much the loop that holds meaning but rather the waking up.  Below is a great example of this. It is from my nationally syndicated newspaper column The Dream Zone…

Dear Lauri,
I had one of those dreams in a dream. In my dream I was fixing a video game and woke up to find out I was pregnant… twice, but not wanting either baby.  Then I woke up for real.
– Staci 29, Gloucester, VA

Lauri:  What have you been trying to fix or repair in real life? A relationship? A friendship? A difficult situation? The video game suggests it might be a situation where someone is playing head games with you! You then wake up to find you are pregnant. Waking up in a dream means you have recently “woken up” to a certain reality and now need to deal with it. Your reality is being shown to you in the form of an unwanted pregnancy, which means something unwanted is beginning to develop in your life… in fact 2 unwanted developments are beginning to take shape it seems.

Staci replies:  I’ve been trying to fix/repair a friendship with my son’s father. I don’t put much effort into it because I’m not sure he wants it or is just laughing at me. I’ve recently “woken up” to the idea that I don’t need his friendship and although it hurts, there’s nothing I can do about it. I literally realized this yesterday! I think the unwanted pregnancies are: his new girlfriend wanting to be a part of the picture (I don’t want her to be anywhere near or in it) and the realization that I’ve got to wholly let any idea of a relationship with him go.  It’s neat that something so trivial can project something so big in a dream.

Lauri:  It’s not trivial. Your emotions are real and valid and your dream is helping you with that by showing you the unwanted developments in the form of pregnancies to let you know that this can actually result in a “new birth” for you, a brand new life once you can fully let go.


Your dreams are such a powerful part of who you are!  When you can understand your dreams, you can change your life!!  Just about everything you dream about can be found in my instant dream decoding dictionary. It’s like having an electronic version of me available to you anytime you want. You’ll NEVER have to wonder what your dreams mean EVER again!

“My mental health clients absolutely love when I log onto your website during a session to find meaning for their dreams.” – Scott R.W. Grefrath, LCSW-R   Rochester, NY