ASP Related Phenomena
Experiencer reports often contains clues indicating that the body of the experiencer was in a state of sleep paralysis as the experience unfolded.
Perceptions of REM sleep Phenomena
Bodily Immobility: An inability to move the body, except for the eyes, while emerging from or falling into REM sleep. Naturally, the eyes are darting about as if looking at the dream imagery, hence the name "Rapid-Eye Movement" sleep. Some experiencers report moving the eyes intentionally. Others report having their eyes open and seeing their surroundings. Both claims have been confirmed by external observers.
Sleep Position: An episode of ASP can occur while the body sleeps in any position, but it is much more likely while sleeping in the supine position.
Intense, Bone-Chilling Fear: ASP experiencers often feel intense fear, particularly those who do not understand what they going thru and those who conclude that their paralysis is due to an outside agency. Some experiencers may even believe that they are dying.
Recovery: The paralysis will end spontaneously after a short time, or sooner if someone touches the experiencer. or if s/he manages to move a finger or some other body part.
Instinctive Struggle: As if knowing instinctively that the slightest movement will bring relief, the novice ASPer struggles against the paralysis. Fear may drive this struggle and the lack of immediate success can intensify that fear in a vicious cycle. Experienced ASPers say that struggling will only prolong the paralysis.
Pressure on the Chest: Sometimes experiencers feel a suffocating pressure, a crushing weight on their chest as if being pushed downward into the bed. They may be unable to feel the breathing process continue, but those who see their chest can see it continue to inhale and exhale --- they just don't feel it, as the body has gone to sleep and the awareness has lost contact with sensory input from the body.
Other Imagery and Sensations: Any sort of visual imagery may be seen; a beautiful landscape, perhaps, or one's own bedroom. Any sort of sound is possible from animal noises to inspiring concert music. Sensations of Taste and Smell are possible but are less common.
Sexual Arousal: The penis and the clitoris become engorged with blood, but this occurs without the use of the voluntary muscles.
The Presence: Some experiencers see or otherwise sense other beings, usually malevolent beings, in their immediate vicinity.
The Throttler: A being perceived as strangling the experiencer who feels unable to breathe
The Crusher: A being perceived as sitting on the experiencer's chest or suffocating him or her.
The Old Hag: A witch or a phantom being sent by a witch to torment the individual.
Demons: Any sort of entity that is perceived as evil in a religious or spiritual sense. Could be a Dark Man, a Robed, Hooded Figure, etc.
The Incubus/Succubus: An Incubus is a spirit/demon that seeks sex with sleeping females while a Succubus is a spirit/demon that seeks sex with sleeping males. The human partner may enjoy these visits and maintain a long-term relationship with the 'spirit lover'.
Aliens: Beings who paralyze experiencers with technologically sophisticated devices and abduct them. Some experiencers report being physically abducted, while others report that only their spirit was taken (abduction of the Out-of-Body self).
The Dearly Departed: Apparitions of the deceased.
Creatures from Folklore: The folklore of various cultures mention any number of strange beings that paralyze, abduct and interbreed with humans.
Evolution into OBE or LDE:
Awareness during Sleep Paralysis, if continued, will often evolve into an Out-of-Body Experience or a Lucid Dream Experience. The following are indications that the Awareness of the ASP experiencer has brought about an OBE or LDE:
Indications of OBE/LDE
Dissociation: Sensations of drifting, feelings of floating above, or being floated away from, the body, Sensations of flying or of being moved by a powerful force such as the wind.
Seeing One's Body: Seeing one's own inert body from an external viewpoint, usually from above.
Passing thru Walls: The experiencer may walk, fly or be floated thru walls, windows or the ceiling of rooms.
Interpretation of the Experience: A recognition of being Out of the Body or of being in any anomalous state. Any attempt to interpret the experience while it is going on indicates at least a degree of reflective awareness.