I don't dream much, or at least I can't remember most of the times I do, so this morning's early hours were memorable.
I realized I was in a dream. It involved a conversation with two other people who were simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar. We were seated around a non-descript living room. (I recall a couch with plaid fabric.) We were talking about ski trips. During the chat, I had a distinct thought: "This moment is not happening; I'm actually sleeping in my bed right now."
That intrusive idea proved enough to stir me. I rolled over, checked the alarm clock, which reported some hour that started with a four, and then I rolled back again, content to doze off again for hours.
Minutes later, though, the radio blared, startling me awake for good. I felt disoriented. I wondered how I'd been cheated out of those hours of sleep. Then, I realized the likely truth: my alarm-clock check had been a misleading dream within my dream.
As I said, I don't dream much but, when I do, I get my money's worth