What if you fall asleep inside Virtual Reality(VR)?

Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty is where the real­i­ty ends and infin­i­ty begins.

Have you ever won­dered what hap­pens if you fall asleep in Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty? Will you wake up? Will you be able to con­tin­ue liv­ing in VR? Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the answers are not too clear.

First­ly, this arti­cle is not going to talk about the cur­rent box­es which we call VR head­sets. It’s going to assume that “VR” means some­thing futur­is­tic such as VR eye-lens­es.

Will you wake up?

This is prob­a­bly the first ques­tion that ris­es in our mind when hear­ing about sleep­ing in VR. After all, we are talk­ing about the ulti­mate immer­sive expe­ri­ence that makes us for­get our phys­i­cal bodies.

A lot of us could say that VR is a form of lucid dream­ing. When you dream, your con­scious­ness is in an alter­nate real­i­ty. In oth­er words, lucid dream­ing means being aware you are dreamt.

When you sleep in VR, would you be still con­scious? Will you be aware that this is not real?

Or will you wake up and feel deceived by the illu­sion? But if you are sleep­ing in VR, would you be aware that it is real? Will your brain become too tired to dis­tin­guish between real­i­ty and VR?

Will your brain stop work­ing like a com­put­er and switch to anoth­er mode where it just ignores the phys­i­cal world? It’s a weird thought but maybe this is what hap­pens when you sleep.

Now, the biggest question — Will you have a real sense of time?

Hav­ing a real sense of time when you are expe­ri­enc­ing a real phys­i­cal world would prob­a­bly be the most inter­est­ing thing.

If you are hav­ing an illu­sion, then we can’t be sure if you are hav­ing a “real” illu­sion or just a dream. But what would hap­pen if you were in a dream and also had no sense of time?

Would your brain still be able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the real­i­ty and the illu­sion? In oth­er words could your brain still dis­tin­guish between one-hour dreams or one-day dreams?

What would hap­pen if you were dream­ing in VR and also had no sense of time? Then, could you real­ly be sleep­ing inside VR sys­tem through years and years?

Imag­ine sleep­ing in Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty and get­ting stuck inside the world for thou­sands of hours and com­ing back next morn­ing. If the expe­ri­ence was fun, it’s still under­stand­able and might be wor­thy. But what if it was not fun? It would be a hor­ri­ble expe­ri­ence to get stuck inside a dimen­sion with real sense of time.

How will you wake up?

We are still not sure if you will be able to wake up from this. It would prob­a­bly been the most fright­en­ing experience.

It would be quite hard to know if you have wok­en up or still dream­ing if you were sleep­ing in VR. And it would prob­a­bly be more hard to believe that you woke up when noth­ing changed from the out­side, even though your brain had rec­og­nized that it was vir­tu­al real­i­ty and not real real­i­ty.

Or maybe. you would wake up in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent­ly world. beep! It would be quite tough because we have no infor­ma­tion whether you will remem­ber what hap­pened inside VR or not.

In addi­tion, the mem­o­ries and expe­ri­ences that you spent years in VR might have been erased, so it would be very dif­fi­cult to tell what was real and what was­n’t. If this hap­pens, then this is prob­a­bly a night­mar­ish sce­nario.

But, it could also be won­der­ful if you would wake up in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent world. or even in your orig­i­nal world.

Would­n’t that be cool? It would be sim­i­lar to when we wake up from a dream.

Confusion with the Actual Reality

Anoth­er pos­si­ble effect of sleep­ing in VR is that you can have con­fu­sion between what’s real and what’s not. But, if you are dream­ing, it’s impos­si­ble to tell.

To make things even more con­fus­ing, maybe you would for­get about being in VR and get con­fused again when you wake up. Do you remem­ber how it felt when you were in Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty? You would prob­a­bly need some time to adjust to the new envi­ron­ment, how much time?

You would be shocked. Prob­a­bly, you prob­a­bly would­n’t know how to act and think. You will prob­a­bly won­der what is real and what’s not. But, this is a dream, right?

You might enjoy the new world and see it as your new real­i­ty or you will lose faith on VR and just ignore it. Then after some time, when you wake up from dream, you will real­ize that it was just a dream and there is noth­ing to wor­ry about.

Virtual Reality Glitch with Dream?

Well, this sce­nario is more like a glitch in Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty. Yes, you can expe­ri­ence a glitch in VR and wake up from it.

Some would say that dream­ing is actu­al­ly a dream with­in anoth­er dream. This means that you are hav­ing an illu­sion with­in anoth­er illu­sion, or the real world with­in an illusion.

It’s all about point of view. If you are liv­ing inside VR and every­thing is just fake, then the Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty could be called as a vir­tu­al real­i­ty with­in your con­scious­ness, or your con­scious­ness with­in Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty. (Are you con­fused yet?)

And then if we talk about dreams — you would pre­fer to call them as dreams inside our con­scious­ness.

If the VR world some­how man­ages to blend with your dreams, good luck with that. Not only you could get con­fused, but also our dear earth itself might become confused.

After dreaming you wake up — in Virtual reality?

Imag­ine hav­ing a 10 hour-long dream, and you wake up where? Inside your vir­tu­al real­i­ty game? Let’s imag­ine that you are dream­ing. You would be able to see your dream, feel the touch of the object and expe­ri­ence all the sounds that you hear. We are talk­ing about a feel­ing of wak­ing up in VR.

You wake up from your dream, but what is real? Is this still your dream or is this just a glitch?

If you go back to sleep, per­haps your dreams will merge with Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty and you might expe­ri­ence your­self as sleep­ing in vir­tu­al real­i­ty — I guess this would be scary (or exciting?)

Dream inside VR of Dreaming inside VR of Dreaming inside VR?

Well, this is the most cool-sound­ing sce­nario of all.

Let’s look at this in a dif­fer­ent way. You are sleep­ing inside VR and you expe­ri­ence all the dreams that you have ever dreamt. But, what if your brain starts to get con­fused and thinks that you are dreaming?

Like…this mir­ror.

virtual reality is where reality ends and infinity begins as in this mirror

Is VR sleeping the future of dreams?

Regard­less of whether or not it’s like­ly, it’s cer­tain­ly a pos­si­bil­i­ty. In the future, maybe Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty devices might help us “live our dreams”.

This means that you will be able to expe­ri­ence all the sce­nar­ios that you have ever dreamt, but this time it’s not your imag­i­na­tion, it’s real. It would be quite scary if you acci­den­tal­ly die in the dream, and then wake up with brain dam­age or some­thing like that.

But on the oth­er hand I guess this could also be very enjoy­able. Maybe all our dreams are just vir­tu­al real­i­ty worlds, which means that we can dis­cov­er new worlds inside them.

Virtual Reality is where the reality ends and infinity begins

in virtual reality, reality ends and infinity begins

Now, let’s see ana­lyt­i­cal­ly. Vir­tu­al real­i­ty is a sim­u­la­tion of real­i­ty or a false real­i­ty. So, if you are sleep­ing inside Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty, what would that be?

It’s prob­a­bly just a false sleep (Vir­tu­al Sleep) and when you wake up, the sim­u­la­tion (vir­tu­al real­i­ty) dis­ap­pears to reveal the real world.

This means that Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty is only a lay­er on top of real­i­ty and it does­n’t affect your vir­tu­al expe­ri­ences in any way. You can expe­ri­ence all the fic­tion­al worlds with­out any confusion.

Now, let’s take anoth­er look at all these sce­nar­ios that I men­tioned above, and see them from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. Now, you are not just sleep­ing in vir­tu­al reality.

You are sleep­ing inside the vir­tu­al real­i­ty of anoth­er per­son, or you are dream­ing inside the vir­tu­al real­i­ty of anoth­er per­son.

So, what?

So, vir­tu­al real­i­ty is not real­i­ty and vir­tu­al real­i­ty is not a real dream. It’s just a sim­u­la­tion. Now, to under­stand all these log­ic, we need to look at it from anoth­er point of view.

Once you wake up from the sim­u­la­tion, what’s real?

So, after wak­ing up from vir­tu­al real­i­ty (actu­al­ly a dream) would you call this the real world?

Or would you call the actu­al real­i­ty as a sim­u­la­tion of anoth­er per­son­’s dream? Would you con­sid­er that too a dream?

This is the cen­tral point that I want to make here. It does­n’t real­ly mat­ter whether or not you are dreaming.

Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty is also a sim­u­la­tion, it’s not the actu­al real­i­ty and it’s only an illu­sion of the actu­al real­i­ty — our own con­scious­ness. From the end of the real­i­ty, infin­i­ty begins.

You could call this infi­nite vir­tu­al real­i­ty as a vir­tu­al dream, as a place of imag­i­na­tion. It’s just like our brains are sim­ply cre­at­ing sim­u­la­tions, which means that we are mere­ly dream­ing ourselves.

Maybe the VR has a pur­pose to be used for edu­ca­tion and enter­tain­ment pur­pos­es to teach peo­ple about sci­ence and psy­chol­o­gy. But what­ev­er it is — the point is to help you com­pre­hend your own consciousness.

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