So, I don't know if this is the right category to pose this question in, but if it isn't, I apologize.
Within the past week/week and a half, I've been having close calls with lucidity, mostly through reality checks. For context, I have a series of reality checks that I do just as a fail safe, where, if the first one fails to show that I'm dreaming, the second one can show that I am. That isn't really the point as the topic is with my first reality check, but, it may add in something.
Example one: I'm on the golf course that is a major dream sign and decide to do a reality check. I start off with finger counting and I count to 5, only to realize that there are more fingers (I think there was 8). Instead of realizing that I'm in a dream, I start the count again. The same thing happens a few more times until I just get tired of counting and the dream continues with me not thinking of it again.
Example two: I'm in a distorted version of one of my old friend's houses, and I feel like something is off as I haven't been to said friend's house I'm years. I do my first reality check and the same thing happens - I stop at 5, noticing that I have more fingers, and count again and again. I even look at my hand and try to figure out if I'm somehow counting wrong. Again, I get tired of it and a dream character calls to me to help them set up a karaoke machine.
Is this somewhat normal or am I do something wrong in my waking life that I causing this disconnect? I feel like it's also important to note that I've also had a debatable lucid in this time (two instances in the same REM cycle) where, as soon as I suddenly (no reality checks) know I'm in a dream, I'm waking up and in this gray area, trying to stabilize and bring back the dream. I've been having nights of bad sleep as well and even if I wake up with eight hours of sleep, I still feel like I need even more sleep.
Again, I don't know if this is normal or if there's a flaw in my own reality check system. Any insight would be helpful and much appreciated!