When I was 36, having taken some new medication in addition to the anti-depressant medication I already took on a daily basis, I went to bed and went to sleep.
Whilst asleep, I understood that I existed as an entity, separate from my body and also separate from my surroundings, which were a kind of ‘nothingness.’ I felt that I was an entity made of energy, which I perceived as beams of light, and I had a profound sense of contentment.
I understood from someone else who was there, but like me existed without a physical body, that my role as a being of energy only (i.e., a role which I had when there) was to go to other planes of existence and help people cross (in 'spirit,' though that term wasn't used) to another plane. I felt that I would be helping them by doing this.
I was sent to another plane and passed through several different planes/realities to the person who I was to help. She was a Caucasian girl, likely of around high school age. I saw her from an angle above her, but not directly above her. She was sitting and talking to friends at a table. I was able to embrace her spirit and move it with me through the planes to the one I had been in previously. This appeared to take more effort than moving through the planes by myself had taken.
Throughout the entire experience, I continued to feel the sense of positivity/contentedness.
Upon my return to the initial plane, I was spoken to by someone else who was there. (I mentally termed them 'god' as that was the term I knew which was most closely related to what they were, but I was aware that they weren’t 'god' as defined by religion). I am not sure whether I heard them speak the words, but I understood from them that I could stay there and continue to experience what I had been experiencing (i.e., feeling the sense of contentedness and helping people pass between the planes) or I could return to my body. I understood that if I chose not to return, the part of me which existed on earth would die.
Upon considering the possible impact of my death I chose to return, due to the likely impact my death would have on my parents.
At that point I woke up, though I continued to feel the 'contented' feeling for some time, before making a conscious effort to awaken completely. I felt that I had been taking very shallow breaths and needed to breathe more deeply to wake up properly.
I felt like I had experienced an NDE and immediately started researching what had happened to me on the internet. I discovered that the new medication which I had been prescribed could react with the medication I was already on and could lower the heart rate. A medication interaction website indicated that taking the two medications together presented a risk of death and that it was inadvisable to take both medications at the same time. I did not do so going forward.
I also established that the anti-depression medication I had been on for some time can cause lucid dreams. I had experienced some vivid nightmares upon commencing use of the anti-depressant medication and this was a known side effect.
Although I hadn't previously experienced any vivid positive dreams, or any dreams which felt as though they were reality, I concluded that it was likely that I had experienced a kind of dream. At that point I was disappointed, as there was a clear explanation for my experience, and I considered it unlikely that any part of the experience was real. However, having mentioned my experience, in passing, to a doctor, the doctor suggested that the choice I was faced with, to die or wake up, may well have been genuine. (Accepting that other aspects of the NDA were likely a vivid dream, which I felt was likely to be as a consequence of the interactions of the medications I had taken.)
Although I feel that my experience in general was not ‘real’, i.e., I did not exist as a being of energy (which I have mentally termed a 'light being'), I think it likely that I was close to death that night and that if I had chosen that option, I would have died peacefully in my sleep that night as a consequence of the interaction of the medication I had taken.
I found that I was able to return to a feeling that was similar to, though not as strong as, the feeling of positivity I felt on that occasion, when I undertook some guided meditation.
It may not be of relevance, but I suffer from hypnagogia, so have some issues with sleep which could perhaps be connected to this incident.