The effect of all of this is that the early waking and the subconscious insistence on staying asleep have resulted in some really interesting and vivid dreams. And because I'm closer to waking, I'm able to remember them better.
So far they've included:
-watching my dad re-landscape our backyard in a weird and horrible way, and complaining about it with my mom.
-getting kidnapped and held hostage in a giant dollhouse.
-babysitting sharolyn and bgrice's as-yet unborn baby, and doing a really terrible job of it.
My most frequent sentiment upon waking has been "WTF?" Which is actually sort of a fun mindset in which to start the day.
The other weird thing I've noticed about myself is that if I have any slight awareness or control over my dream state, I will always seek to stay asleep and prolong that dream state, even if it's a bad dream. I think it's just because I always want to know what happens next. This is usually when I'm dreaming in late morning, when I have to get up soon. I think I do my best dreaming at that time of day.
*When I have my knee elevated (on a pile of towels), I have to sleep on my back, which I hate. The futon is angled and forces me to stay in that position, while if I'm in bed, I just roll off it and sleep in my usual scrunched-up formation.