Wonderful question! I thought the answers would be
more straight-forward, and I was surprised at what I came across.
I’m really glad I put the legwork into this, and I
hope it helps you!
If you know how to read research reports (since
it’s mostly complex jargon, more often than not), Google Scholar is a good
place to get some facts and figures. Make sure the articles are from within the
past 10 years, or you may find stuff that’s severely outdated.
The short answer: yes! Apparently!
Other relevant things to look up include sleep
paralysis, astral projection, near-death experiences (NDEs), and lucid dreaming.
The links below describe some harrowing and
distressing situations. Proceed with that in mind!
Here’s an anecdote about a possible NDE that led
to an OBE—I think it’ll be the closest to what you’re writing: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/02/my-out-of-body-experience
Here are some anecdotes that pretty decisively
explain that being unconscious while having an OBE is totally possible: https://www.theepochtimes.com/6-stories-that-could-make-you-believe-in-out-of-body-experiences_509167.html
It seems like it tends to happen in times of distress,
but not in all cases (https://www.theepochtimes.com/out-of-body-experiences-3-scientific-studies-next-steps_880818.html):
At the University of Ottawa in Canada,
researchers conducted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the brain of a woman
during what is described in the published study as an “extra-corporeal
experience.” They avoided the term “out-of-body experience,” because they felt
this term includes an emotional agitation and some other characteristics not
included in her experience.
In the same article, there is also a case of a
woman going to sleep and somehow knowing what was written in an envelope that
was placed after she went to bed.
Inducing OBEs in people with sleep paralysis: http://dreamstudies.org/2010/10/15/out-of-body-experience/
They’ve also examined a study in which they
checked MRI readings for an experiment that attempted to simulate an OBE: https://www.theepochtimes.com/study-said-to-show-out-of-body-experiences-created-in-brain-critics-respond_1349470.html
A more thorough description of common properties/characteristics
of OBEs: http://neardth.com/out-of-body-experiences.php
A summary of a study done on people with epilepsy
and schizoid disorders: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010945210001486?via%3Dihub
This article addresses how there doesn’t seem to
be any one cause or effect related to OBEs and how it may be related to the
areas of the brain that have your spatial senses: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/07/the-neuroscience-of-out-of-body-experiences/534696/
Patients under anesthesia can also have OBEs: http://www.anesthesiaweb.org/anesthesia-and-obe.php
A bunch of anecdotes: https://www.near-death.com/science/research/out-of-body-experiences.html
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