Can You Die in Your Dreams? - Nightmare Death Syndrome

It is generally considered to be common knowledge that: ‘you can not die in your dreams’, however, the problem with ‘common knowledge’ is, it is frequently proven to be wrong.

My own interest in the idea of dying in dreams started when I first began to experience episodes of ‘Sleep Paralysis’, a condition in which you temporarily lose all body motor functions while sleeping, becoming physically paralysed half in and half out of sleep, mentally awake and aware, and suffering from visual and audible ‘hallucinations’, but unable to move at all.. And it's a scary thing to experience to be sure, but the scientific explanation was thorough, and logical. With the body producing too many sleep-inducing enzymes, and essentially being the opposite of sleep walking, the mind wakes, but the body does not.
So sleep paralysis is nothing more than a waking dream, and a medical condition brought on by poor diet and lack of sleep. Or so we’d all like to believe.
Can You Die in Your Dreams? - Nightmare Death Syndrome
With cases on record as far back as 1917 ‘Nightmare Death Syndrome’ is the name given to the phenomenon of seemingly healthy individuals dying inexplicably within their sleep. Particularly common within Asia, and notably within the male population, nightmare death syndrome (also known as ‘Bangungot’) has been recorded as the cause of death for hundreds of people who have died seemingly without any explanation, other than they appeared to be experiencing a nightmare.
And with witnesses baring testament to the fact that the victims could be heard groaning, and frothing at the mouth, while muttering about foul Demonic beings prior to death, some have come to believe that these deaths are the result of some kind of Demonic attack, with the victims having been murdered by an unseen and otherworldly killer.
Can You Die in Your Dreams? -Freddy Krueger
Most of the great movie monsters and villains of classic horror cinema have been based upon real life tales of terror, and the infamous dream-stalker ‘Freddy Krueger’ is no different. Said to have been at least partially inspired by reports of nightmare death syndrome, Freddy embodies the unholy entity that attacks when victims are least able to defend themselves, and brutally slays his prey from deep within the subconscious mind. Leaving wounds that are very much real, often proving fatal once the victim wakes (if they should ever do so again).
So, Can You Die in Your Dreams?
While technically the answer is "Yes!", modern research suggests that nightmare death syndrome is not the result of sleep-related attacks by Demonic entitites, but is instead due to a condition now known as 'Brugada Syndrome', a cardiac condition that adversely affects the flow of ions into heart cells in a way that can result in heart failure, during restful periods.
But who can say for sure, what happens in dreams.


  1. Most interesting topic you tackled here. You did it well. I don't know if one can die in dreams or not, I don't think anyone really can know for certain for if it is so, those who would know are dead.

    I do know it is possible to be hurt in dreams for I have dreamed of various things that produced wounds in the dream and awoke to find the same wounds upon me... sounds crazy I know but it's true and thankfully has only happened a few times.

  2. I never knew what i was experiencing was called "sleep paralysis". I have also researched it and even though there is supposed scientific explanation to this, i still feel that it is not that simple.... Very many times i feel that i am gonna die. My concern is this - if sleep paralysis is quote "nothing more than a waking dream" - why is this dream ALWAYS so evil, scary, negative, frightening??? And why so many times only mentioning GOD and praying pulls me out of this? And talking about dream wounds - i had those too... Good to know that there are very many people out there dealing with this same issue, however - i would love to find more answers to this beyond scientific explanation...

  3. The way you started your post was amazing - and true.

    Dying in your dreams is something I've always thought about but never looked into - thanks for the good read.

  4. dreams are based off of what happens in real life around you. once i had a wierd ass dream of me petting a dinosaur and it was actually my cat rubbing against my hand. no wonder that hairless dino felt fuzzy. once i dreamed i fell off a cliff and woke up to be face first on my bed room floor. apparently i rolled out of bed. and for some reason i had a dream of me being attacked by my music teacher who had ninja stars, along with the entire school. i ran outside of the gym and when i was near my house an evil toddler was trying to kill me with various sharp objects. i leaped into my house's window dodging objects like a badass and in my dream i realized i was dreaming and attempted to punch myself awake in the face. i only felt a light tap. must be sleep enzine crap making my body weak like that. then since my brain wasnt exactly at full capacity i tried to get under my bed knees first and i got stabbed in the head by a sharpened two by four. some times you can dream some wierd ass shit.

  5. I keep having nightmares should i go to the doctor?

  6. A very interesting read and I truly relate to Sleep Paralysis for I even turned into a hobby! For I found that during that time is the easiest time to have a "Out of Body 'Experience" that by the way, does feel like dying! It is something one has to get use to if you want to learn this difficult skill. A lot of people who suffer from what is called "Allen Abduction" speak of the paralysis befoe they are 'abducted."

    I write about this in my hub "Aliens Demons and Me." I also had few dreams were I was "shot' but but woke up before I died. It is also a common belief in some cultures that if you see your self in your dreams you will die!