When I’m falling asleep, I generally have a few moments where my mind seems to be shifting around in my body, right before I drop off. This is probably more apparent when I’ve had enough sleep so that I’m lying there in bed wondering if I’m going to get to sleep, what a luxury that is!
Because I know that I have to let go of any direction of mind in order to fall asleep, I tend to turn my attention to where my thoughts just took place, to where my awareness is in my body. That’s when maybe I’ll experience my consciousness taking place somewhere other than between my ears. This is not usually a continuous thing, but a now here, now there, in my side, in my leg, in my back thing. And then I’m out like a light.
I occasionally come to the same experience in the daytime, which is why I think it’s about waking up as well as falling asleep. There’s a sensation of my balance being dependent on where my consciousness is taking place, in an upright posture.
I read about hypnic jerk phenomena the other day, that’s where the muscles in the arms or legs contract just as a person is dropping off to sleep, and they wake up. The article I read said about 70% of the people experience this regularly, and they hypothesized that the mind feels the loss of motor ability but doesn’t recognize that it’s connected with sleep, and so tries to regain motor ability with a signal to the muscles. I guess what I’m talking about is connected with that same shut-off of motor ability, and the trick is to perceive consciousness taking place without motor ability.