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Reality Check: Nose Pinch Test

Girl Behind a Sheet


The nose pinch reality check is one of the most reliable and logical of all the available reality checks. 

The premise is simple: when you pinch your nose in a dream, you're pinching a dream nose with dream fingers, therefore making no impact on your actual source of air—the unpinched nose of your sleeping body. 

Therefore, when performing this test during a dream you will have the uncanny experience of feeling air rushing through your pinched nose, the perfect sign that you are dreaming.

The Technique

1) Follow the standard reality check procedure laid out in the reality checks technique.

2) Whenever you question if you may be dreaming, firmly pinch your nose and attempt to breathe through it. 

3) The ability to breathe is a sure sign that you are dreaming. 

4) If you find you are unable to breathe, do not assume you are awake, perform a secondary reality check to be certain.

5) Perform this check throughout the day whenever something unusual or dreamlike occurs. 



Skill Level:


Lucid Dream Type:

Regained awareness (DILD)

(anecdotal & community reported)


Sense preference suited:


Hints & Tips:

  • The nose pinch test is close to an ideal reality check. It requires no props, can be done in darkness, and is reasonably discreet. 

  • As will all reality checks, if the test shows that one is awake (a "failed" reality test), do not simply assume this is correct. Perform a secondary test to be certain.

  • During your waking hours. pay a good deal of attention to the sensations within your nose and lungs whenever you perform this test. The more familiar you are with the sensations, the less likely you are to experience failed tests.




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