Originally Posted by olib
Ok THIS is definitely SP. No doubt about that. It's a textbook example. Waking up not being able to move but still conscious, seeing shadow figures etc. Basically your mind wakes up but your body hasn't woken up yet. You can get out of it easily, you said you already can, but just for further help if you need it some time, you basically move a finger first or a toe, then your hand or something and eventually move your whole body awake.
The other one you mentioned first (the floating/sinking/spinning) is the BEGINNING of sleep paralysis. You can induce this manually by relaxing your body. AFAIK this happens to everyone when they are extremely relaxed. It's just the mind misinterpreting the tactile sensations. It's actually a good way to get in to a dream through WILD, as long as you can keep your mind awake.
If you look at Oneironaught's relaxation technique somewhere on these boards (do a search, I can't remember where it is right now) he explains this in detail.
I've had experience with what you describe to and I think I understand what you mean by sort of self induced. I got it once when I was smoking weed, then it happened when I didn't smoke and I purposely tried to get it stronger by focusing on it.
Now I don't get it anymore, unless I want to. I can't describe how I can get it to not happen though, it's hard to describe brain workings. All I can say is try to induce it purposely through Oneironaught's relaxation technique or relaxation of your own (deep lung breathing etc.) or whatever you choose. After you can 100% induce this feeling on purpose. You should be able to relax without getting this feeling, all you'll get is a heavy feeling because your body is actually sinking in the bed because you're relaxed.
The best I can describe how to relax without getting it is to calm your mind and focus on breathing or the actual real sensation of your body getting heavier, don't even think about the spinning etc. and don't try to exaggerate the heavy body feeling by making yourself feel like your sinking further than you really are.
Trust me you can stop this, it's all in your mind. And I know all these nightmares and SP events etc. when thought about together may lead you to conclude that you're crazy, but you're not. They are all normal occurrences. There's probably even forums for people who get Sleep Paralysis.
SP can also be used to get in to a lucid dream through a WILD, and hence away from the scary situation (which doesn't have to be scary btw, I assume the only reason it was scary is that you didn't know what it was, now that you know you should be able to experience it without worrying).
It can be used to get in to a lucid dream because it's basically the end point of a WILD (body asleep, mind awake). Next time you get it, just close your eyes, imagine some scenery and you will be in the dream in no time.