A friend learns about sleep paralysis
I just wrote the following text in an email to a friend, in response to a message where he wrote about having a bad stomach cramp as he fell asleep, during which time he was also unable to move his body. Rather than alter my email, I thought I would just include it here verbatim:
"Body asleep, mind awake", is a phrase used by OBE people. As you've found out, your body is asleep, paralyzed so you don't act out your dreams, but for some reason, your mind is still awake. Scientifically, this is known as "sleep paralysis".
With the paralysis you are mentally conscious, but unable to move physically. You can try to sit up, but you can only do it with a tremendous amount of continuous exertion. Besides the paralysis, you may also experience your body "vibrating" uncontrollably (like every molecule in your body is vibrating) as the paralysis sets in, and the vibrations may move up and down from your head to your toes, and back again; you may hear loud "roaring" sounds in your ears; on some occasions you may have a very intense feeling of fear, or foreboding.
If this ever happens again, without the stomach cramps, you might just find that your consciousness can be easily separated from your physical body. If so, welcome to the OBE world. :)