I am currently attempting a major running challenge [might get almost ‘spiritual’ by the end of the month? Certainly already becoming somewhat meditative]. To run the days, i.e. to run the same distance each day in November as the date. So, 1st November was 1 mile, up to 31st November being 31 miles. Just about to head out for 16 miles for today and started thinking [as I am now constantly tired/sleepy] about that moment of falling you sometimes experience when you are drifting off to sleep.
There are a couple of theories: It has been suggested that as the muscles relax, the brain interprets this as a sign of falling and automatically alerts the limbs to try to prevent this. Or the sensation could possibly happen due to the onset of mini-dreams occurring before the onset of Sleep Paralysis.
At least I haven’t developed narcolepsy. To be falling over constantly in a Neo Matrix ‘bullet-time’ slow-mo sleepy faint would be most disturbing. Let alone being constantly woken with a Little Nemo falling out of bed bump.
I’m guessing that part of the fascination with these surreal body position ‘tricks’ [beyond the wonderment caused by the ‘obviously’ impossible, due to gravity, posture] is the serene almost ecstatic spiritual revere the participants appear to be experiencing [a common part of a magician’s Repertoire, “You are falling into a deep sleep / trance”]. The fact that even in the 21st Century we are still nonplussed by this type of illusion [also think fakir’s levitation tricks] seems to indicate we are still in thrall to our dreams?