Awake, you little sleeping head! Wake up, you lazy dead man! The movie Awake tells the story of David Banner (Robert Downey Jr.) - an experimental psychologist who performs mind experiments on unsuspecting subjects. Because he believes that his power to create absolute happiness is based on his ability to stimulate people's brains, he isolates them and subject them to his own twisted theories.
The movie starts with Banner relaxing in a hotel room, looking forward to a wonderful day at work. He snoozes for most of the day, until one night he suddenly finds himself staring at a clock face that has been frozen to regular time. Upon awakening, he realizes that he has been dreaming. Awake, you little one! Because dreams are symbols of how we experience the day, if only temporarily, nap it up and go back to sleep.
The next morning, while eating breakfast, Banner decides to try one of his most popular tricks - taking a nap. But instead of falling asleep easily, he wakes up many times during the night, shaking, gasping for breath and screaming. Because of this, he assumes that he is suffering from sleep apnea, and orders tests to be performed to find out if he really does have the disorder. The results of which show that he does, in fact, have sleep apnea, and is treated accordingly.
Because of this, Banner now prescribes three things to his patients - a long nap, a morning walk and a long relaxing bath before bedtime. Because he is afraid of having to awaken his sleeping subjects so many times in the evening, he makes sure that they stay asleep throughout the whole session. This way, he can study how different patterns of behavior affect the brain without having to expose his subjects to any fear-based stimuli. The amazing part about this technique is that this method not only teaches a sleeping person how to fall asleep, but it also trains him to have a better day to day functioning. As the patient becomes more aware of his surroundings and begins to take note of his thoughts and feelings, he starts to develop a sharper memory and an improved ability to organize and manage his time.
After several months of using Awake on the babies, the psychologist realized that he could also use the same technique on the toddlers and children. In fact, Dr. Mitchell began giving lectures to a class of preschool children and teaching them to observe their environment and their thinking pattern. He found out that the toddlers were doing something unconsciously when they were sitting quietly watching the adults, and thus, could be trained to do the same thing. Thus, Dr. Mitchell created Awake For Kids as a method of teaching kids to control their own awakening zones.
In just over a year, the Awake program had successfully trained more than six hundred children. At the end of the training session, the children were tested again to see how long they slept without being woken up by the loud noises produced by vehicles driving by people talking in the background. Dr. Mitchel found out that the babies who had undergone Awake for Kids had slept for longer hours than those who had not undergone the training, proving once again that his technique really works! He also found out that his students had drastically increased their mastery of objects and had acquired a stronger memory. Dr. Mitchel was so happy with the results that he founded a school for the developmentally disabled, called Dream School, which currently educates over three hundred students from birth to twelve years of age.