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Dying in your sleep


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I'm not sure if this is the right category or not but this has been on my mind all day..

 

How do people know that dying in your sleep is peaceful? I mean no one has ever come back to tell us that it is. It could be the worst feeling or worst way to die.

 

I'm wondering this because my grandmother passed away in her sleep. I let my mind wander and i am wondering if it is really peaceful.

 

I know this is very random and maybe a bit weird but i would just like to know everyones thoughts on it...

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I have thought about this before but I am scared to think about dying. Sometimes I worry about when I go to sleep if I will wake up the next day. I usually worry like that when I am sick and my asthma's REALLY bothering me.

 

I think we really dont know how it feels we die in our sleep. In a way, it's probably like sleeping forever and never waking up.

 

I dont know but I have pondered this before.

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Well sometimes I get really bad headaches and I fall asleep, and I don't feel them during the night, since I am in REM sleep.

 

Someone will die in their sleep from just a few causes usually: heart-attack or more commonly a pulmonary embolus (blood clot in the lungs).

 

So in their sleep, you assume, they are not in pain when it occurs, so it's a more peaceful path.

 

Hugs, Rose

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i have actually thought about this a number of times. i think that when someone wakes up dead, we console ourselves by saying that s/he died in his/her sleep. in reality, pain thresholds lower as we rest, as anyone who has ever turned an ankle can tell you. either way, death is inevitable for all critters, so we might as well just enjoy the ride while we can and not worry about how and when we might go.

 

i had a close friend who passed away in his bed, and the usual things were said about dying in one's sleep. i didn't know to tell everyone that he had sent me an email at 2 AM to say goodbye.

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I have heard that the brain can stay conscious for 7 seconds in the event of total oxygen deprivation, like cardiac arrest (longer if there is only partial deprivation). Now those 7 seconds might be painful since it is the brain that registers pain. But bewilderment and shock may mask the pain. And what if 7 seconds isn't enough to wake up the brain?

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I could sit here an explain neuron and synaptic response and the processes of death, but more to the point, I can tell you that as a therapist I worked for 3 years at nursing homes, and volunteered with hospice to sit with those that were dying and had no families.

 

I have held the hands and attended the deaths of 32 elderly and severely handicapped people. The only one that did not fall into the sleep that comes before the body lets go, and then the peaceful relaxation of a body that is finally getting respite from the hardships of life was an elderly man who had committed a crime in his youth and had only confessed to his doctor an hour before. He went to sleep, but was having tortured dreams when he went.

 

I think for the most part that the body lets go easy. The organs let go or the heart stops. Sometimes there is one last gasp for air as the body fights the reality that the mind and spirit have already accepted. Other than that, most go with a peaceful expression and little if any stirring.

 

Life is a gift, and for those lucky enough to live that long, death is usually a reward...

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Well, I have been lucky enough to dodge that bullet several times....

 

But don't think that I am not comforted in the knowledge that death is peaceful to those at rest every time that I have to go under the knife.

 

I am not afraid of death, I am only afraid of letting my kids down.

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My grandmother died in her sleep many years ago. My grandfather found her still in the same position that she was when she fell asleep. It was not like she had awakened at all or felt anything. I would hope based on that , that dying in ones sleep would be quite peaceful in most circumstances in that they probably felt nothing.

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ahhh death. So intriguing isn't it? My husband's grandmother just passed away. Imean, like just 2 weeks ago.

 

She was talking on the phone to her son in law, told him to hold on, called to her daughter who was in another part of the house, "Di - your husband's ready to talk to you." Then fell to the floor and died on the spot.

 

Fa - ree - key!

 

The weird thing is, that when the paramedics came, they pronounced her dead and left her there. They covered her with a sheet, which was nice, but apparently they leave the body to be picked up by whomever the family makes arrangements with.

 

Weird huh?

 

Death....so fascinating and mysterious...

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I"m not sure if people feel pain when they die in their sleep, but my bet, I dont' think they do. I have a habit of tossing and turning in my sleep at times (I usually don't know until the next morning when I get bruises on my arms from bumping it into my night stand). When I get bruised in my sleep, I rarely ever feel it at all.

 

So my guess, I think passing away while sleeping is a pretty peaceful way to die.

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I've thought about this. Honestly, who knows? Most likely it is peaceful because they will not have awareness of what is happening. If they wake up bc of a heart attack or a sharp pain, it would happen so quickly.

 

I don't dwell on the 'moments of death' anymore. I went through a big thing with it. My father died a violent death, and I heard so many ask the question "was he in pain?" Actually, one of the first things the coroner told us was "Don't worry, he wasn't in pain. It was fast."

 

How would I ever really know? The coroner didn't experience it, my dad did. He inferred based on medical examination. His job was to be 'sensitive' and comfort at a time of pain. Let's just say I am skeptical.

 

Without getting too black, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on that.

 

First off: dying in your sleep IS peaceful by virtue of its quickness. Even if in agony 30 seconds, that is nothing. We've all had at least 30 seconds of pain in life, and been fully aware of it. We can endure that without going mad.

 

It doesn't matter if we die in pain, or peaceful, or whatever. Why would the moment of death be special from any other experience? It ain't. The only sadness is that the person should be in pain AT ALL. Why do we make it into a huge deal? The time is the same..30 seconds peeing in the toilet or 30 seconds of dying.

 

I really am not meaning to be insensitive here, but I do believe this. Having several important people die in all sorts of ways - I really do think the living time is more important than focusing on the dying time. We can not do squat about the dying time, most often. Prepare and live each day prepared for death and this stuff becomes irrelevent.

 

Ideally, we would all pass smoothly to the next plane (or whatever you believe in). Also ideally, living people would not suffer disease and illness etc.

 

If someone lived a good life and you loved them, why waste time focusing on their death. Think of their life. The moment of death is an experience he/she can not share with you, so give it up. Your time will come to experience death for yourself - and i'm betting it is nothing like we think it is.

 

***super big emphasis on not-trying-to-be-insensitive***

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It's funny, getting older isn't a curse it's a privilege. Yet when we are so down and out it looks as though death would be such a relief. I would imagine if you were dreaming, you would experience some pain, but it would be peacful.

 

That's wishful thinking, but I think dieing in your sleep from the outside looking in looks peaceful.

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Yeah, I feel you. My out look on the after life is, either there is nothing, just complete silence, away from all the bad stuff and pain on earth, or I'm a angel or spirit somewhere. One of those is likely, and not so bad.

 

Enjoy living, even when you don't feel like caring on, like how I feel sometimes.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi,

I read your post about dying in your sleep. We just had an aerobics teacher who was about 55 years old and she died in her sleep. I always thought that really old people died in their sleep but I think that when God wants you to die it can happen at any age. I think it is sad when one dies in their sleep at only 55 years old.

 

Kathy in Calif.

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