Trying to wake while dreaming
For many years, I have experienced the same type of dream...although the setting and those involved (besides myself) can differ from time to time. In each of these dreams I can sense things going on around me, yet in the dream, I cannot come fully awake in order to see/experience what is going on.
For instance, there are dreams where I am walking down a sidewalk, but cannot get my eyes to fully open, so I can see my surroundings.
I can be back in school or college, sitting in a class, but cannot wake up in order to learn what is expected of me.
I will go through dream after dream, struggling to "be fully conscious" in each situation, but cannot do so.
The next morning, I will wake up, feeling as if I have been struggling to wake up all night long...
it is definitely an exhausting feeling, as if I have been watching movies all night long!