Out Of Body Experience Explained
Claims of out-of-body experiences may seem far-fetched, even bizarre, but researchers has shown there may be a logical reason for them.
Disturbances to the brain’s arousal system can manifest themselves as out-of-body experiences whereby people sense they are outside their bodies and watching themselves.
Dr Kevin Nelson and his team at the University of Kentucky have been researching the link between out-of-body experiences and brain disorders. The results are intriguing and show that some people’s brains may be predisposed to these sorts of experiences.
He suggests that phenomena in the brain’s arousal system, which regulates different states of consciousness, including rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and wakefulness, may be the cause for such experiences. The arousal system also controls alertness and attention.
“We found it surprising that out-of-body experiences during sleep transition seem very much like out-of-body experiences during near death.”
In order to examine such experiences during sleep transition, patients were asked “Just before falling asleep or just after awakening, have you had the sense that you are outside of your body and watching yourself?”
Near death patients were also asked a similar question – whether they felt they had “clearly left the body and existed outside it”.
The researchers wanted to determine if people with near death experiences may have an arousal system predisposed to allowing intrusion of REM sleep elements during the transition between wakefulness and sleep.
“Sleep paralysis is a common form of REM intrusion, which can cause temporary paralysis along with visual or auditory hallucinations immediately after waking up or before falling asleep due to an ill timed disconnection between the brain and the body,” explains Nelson.
Although rare, almost 25% of people will probably experience sleep paralysis during their lifetime.
The study proved that out-of-body experiences are an expression of arousal in the brain during near death experiences and sleep paralysis. Almost all of the near death subjects having sleep paralysis also had an out-of-body experience either during sleep transition or near death.
“The strong association of sleep paralysis with out-of-body experiences in the near death experience subject is curious and unexplained. However, persons with near death experiences appear to have an arousal system predisposed to both REM intrusion and out-of-body experiences.”
So the next time someone tells you they had an out-of-body experience, believe them. Their brains may have been aroused! 🙂