I think it has something to do with a temporal dysfunctional proprioception, with the representation of your body-plan as a function of certain structures in your brain and as a derivative the awareness of the position/ location of your body in space. The fact that you are aware where your arms and legs are isn't at all obvious. It can go wrong and does so in many cases, like with amputations or as a consequence of lesions in certain areas of the brain, tumors, hemorrhages, mechanical injuries and so on.
A team of Belgian neurologists (link in Dutch) were able to induce with electrodes out of body experiences in a 63 year old man with hearing troubles and image the brain during artificially induced OBE's with PET scans.
As a follow up on how far from obvious the representation of your body in your brain is and how terribly things can go wrong with the body plan imprinted in your brain while still in the womb, BIID: Body Identity Integrity Disorder might serve as illustration. Someone who suffers from this does not recognize part of his/her body as his/her own and might from a very young age have an overwhelming desire to amputate that part e.g. a limb or part of a limb, that he/she has no representation of in his/her brain, even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and it is fully functional. BIID patients are often able to localize exactly at which point the desired amputation should take place. Some people might go so far as to mangle the "excess" part to a point where amputation becomes necessary.
I totally have that same thing. I side with the disorder theory also. I have it so severe at times (frequently throughout the same night, and night after night, which I refer to as a "cluster attack"), I have to take medication for it, which pretty much keeps it from happening (but still happens occasionally but it seems only in the mornings when the medication has worn off).
It is scary. Each experience can differ on the degree of scariness. It often has pleasant aspects to start out with but then goes in a scary direction almost every time. Sometimes for me there are auditory hallucinations with it and this is UBER scary and just damn weird.
It comes and goes.
No. Never heard of that one but I really don't know much about the disorder. I always just thought I was a freak until I started having it so much I saw a doctor about it and that is when I learned it actually had a name and other people experienced it.
A common thing I experience also is hallucinations of giant spiders or insects upon waking. I recently learned that in particular (spider hallucinations) is common.
It rarely happens (the spider thing).
I remember a few times I would wake up and see floating snakes lol.
I would really hate the OBE like ones where I would float out of my body and look back and see myself laying in my bed. Now THAT scared the shit out of me.
I'm sure it was just dreaming but it feels so weird and real. The physical sensation itself during one of these experiences is unique and hard to explain. Like your whole body is buzzing or something.
I have not had an OBE since I was 18 and smoked some really great hash. Oh and the time I dropped acid too. It was 1972 after all. No bad trips but I had a few of drug induced woo experiences back then.
And no, I never had flashbacks or looked into the sun for hours or had babies (years later) with birth defects.
I sum up the experiences as stupid self indulgence.