Most people have had a basic lucid experience. That is, thinking "oh this is a dream" and then waking up. The only thing that you do differently is stay asleep for longer. If you explain it in basic terms without referring to astral planes and other jargon then it isn't really that scary. I find that these things are more common than we think. When I first started looking into astral projection and lucid dreaming 3 people I work with decided to let me know, independently of each other, that they experienced sleep paralysis regularly.
In a lot of cultures people discuss their dreams regularly as a part of their lives. I think that things are more hidden in the west because people don't want to show others the inner workings of their minds.
"The real question is not whether there is life after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death" - Osho