Sleep Paralysis Explained: Know All the Facts

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Sleep paralysis is a very common but not well-understood phenomenon.


Is Sleep Paralysis a Common Phenomenon?

While sleep paralysis is fairly common, it is not a well-understood phenomenon. Many have looked for explanations for the cause of this experience, but have been frustrated by common theories. Alternatively, research on a range of psychic phenomena suggests that, in many cases, episodes of sleep paralysis are related to the out-of-body experience (OBE or astral projection).


What is it Exactly?

Sleep paralysis refers to the sensation of being unable to perform voluntary movements either at the onset of sleep (during what is known as the hypnagogic state) or upon awakening (during the hypnopompic state). Although many people report feeling like the paralysis lasts a long time, these experiences usually last no longer than a few seconds.

Those who experience sleep paralysis commonly fear future experiences of the condition. However, this phenomenon is harmless and does not affect one’s health. The single potential negative effect is the psychological impact that may result from ignorance of the actual processes related to this experience.


Narcolepsy or Out-of-Body Experience?

obe1Some cases of sleep paralysis are associated with narcolepsy, a neurological condition in which a person involuntarily falls asleep, without warning, at any time, even while performing physical activity; but the large majority of occurrences are not related to this disorder.

It is these cases, which are unrelated to narcolepsy, that are of particular interest to researchers of the out-of-body experience. They have established that sleep paralysis is a sensation that often accompanies the separation of the astral body from the physical body. Projective catalepsy is the technical term used by researchers to describe sleep paralysis related to the OBE. They have found projective catalepsy to be a benign phenomenon that has the potential to catalyze one’s extrasensory perceptions and act as an effective launchpad for OBE’s.


The International Academy of Consciousness (IAC)

IAC_LOGO1-150x150A global survey on the OBE conducted by the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC), a leading research organization in the fields of out-of-body experience – also known as astral projection – and paranormal phenomena, revealed that approximately 53% of individuals who have had an OBE claim to have experienced sleep paralysis in association with this phenomenon. These individuals also reported having no known health condition that would trigger the sleep paralysis.

It is important to note that, for narcoleptics, sleep paralysis is an actual incapacity to move the body. However, in cases of projective catalepsy, the paralysis experienced is not an inability to move the body, but only the perception of being unable to do so. It is worthwhile for those who experience sleep paralysis to understand that separation of the astral and physical bodies may be the cause of the sensation of paralysis.


Learning More About Our Multidimensional Nature

Projective catalepsy occurs when an individual becomes aware of departing from or returning to the physical body through the astral body, or at any moment when the two bodies are not fully aligned. In this case, the individual feels himself to be inside the body, however the physical brain does not respond to his command due to this non-alignment.

The most beneficial posture to adopt in such moments would be to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the non-alignment of the two bodies, and to completely and willfully disconnect from the physical body. This would allow the person to have some perceptions of the non-physical reality. Such experiences can have very positive effects – as they provide personal evidence of the existence of life beyond the physical body.

In addition, while separated from the physical body, the individual may also undertake a series of observations and experiments aimed at learning more about the multidimensional nature of human life.

To achieve this detachment of the astral body from the physical body, it is necessary to galvanize one’s willpower and intention, concentrating on breaking free from physical constraints and aiming to float above one’s physical body.


Re-Entering the Physical Body

For those who prefer to completely re-enter the physical body, rather than explore the non-physical realm, the most advisable technique is to relax and concentrate on taking some deep breaths or moving a small part of the body such as a finger, toe or the tongue.

The ideal means by which to control projective catalepsy and the entire range of psychic phenomena associated with dreaming and the out-of-body experience, is to be able to master one’s subtle energies, also known as bioenergy, chi or prana.


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Many of the phenomena discussed in this article are often misunderstood. These are naturally occurring experiences that can be controlled and developed as effective tools for the development of one’s self-awareness. Techniques for having out-of-body experiences, bioenergy exercises, and other related topics are researched and taught by the IAC.

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IAC is an International non-profit research and educational institution dedicated to consciousness studies and helping people develop their human potential through courses held at centres around the world.

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