I used to experience dreams like that a lot when I was a kid. Nowadays it only seems to happen once in a blue moon.
I wouldn't say I was aware of being in a dream, but I felt as though I gradually had more control of myself and some other things as the dream progressed. I went from being a spectator to having direct control is a better way to put it I guess.
I usually woke up shortly after becoming that aware though. Maybe it was just a side effect of my brain waking itself up then, I don't really know.
Maybe it doesn't happen as much anymore because my mind as a child was much more active.
Hadn't really thought about it until I read this thread.