Virtual Reality is where 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 minds 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.
How will you wake up?
We are still not sure if you will be able to wake up from this. It would probably be 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 harder 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 different world. beep! It would be quite tough because we have no information on 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 woke 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.
Now, the biggest question is – 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 reality and illusion? In other words, could your brain still distinguish between one-hour dreams and 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 a VR system for years and years?
Imagine sleeping in Virtual Reality and getting stuck inside the world for thousands of hours and coming back the next morning. If the experience was fun, it’s still understandable and might be worthwhile. But what if it was not fun? It would be a horrible experience to get stuck inside a dimension with a real sense of time.
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 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 in VR and just ignore it. Then after some time, when you wake up from the 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 the point of view. If you are living inside VR and everything is just fake, then Virtual Reality could be called 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 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 the 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?)
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 of, 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.
A dream inside VR of Dreaming of Dreaming inside VR, inside VR?
Well, this is the most cool-sounding scenario of all.
Let’s look at this differently. 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…a mirror placed in front of a mirror.
Virtual Reality is where 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 a 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.
It is not a dream, nor the reality
So, virtual reality is not reality and virtual reality is not a real dream. It’s just a simulation. Now, to understand all this 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 a simulation of another person’s dream? Would you consider that, too, as 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 reality, infinity begins.
You could call this infinite virtual reality as a virtual dream, a place of imagination. It’s just like our brains are simply creating simulations, which means that we are merely dreaming ourselves.
Maybe 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.