Top proven 8 reasons people die in their sleep
You will agree with me that as humans, we spend one-third of our lives asleep, so it should be no surprise that a lot of people die in their sleep. Many of us have either heard or have seen people who died in their sleep. This means that it is a common health disaster. In Nigeria, there are lots of reported cases of people who died in their sleep and this has left lots of people wondering why this happens, some are even scared of sleeping at night.
Sleep is regarded as a brother to death by some people. The dangerous thing about this mode of death is that everybody is at risk both young and old, even the sick and the healthy people. There are cases of healthy people who died in their sleep.
It is very important to know why this thing happens to humans. There are different causes of death in sleep, but in this article, we will be focusing on the three major causes.
It’s very distressing for a person with no known illness to go to bed only for them not to wake up the next morning. But what does it mean to die in your sleep; how does it happen in the first place?
Medical professionals point out that there are health and scientific explanation for persons dying in their sleep.
1. Central Sleep Apnoea
Apparently, the brain remains active even as one sleeps. Research done by scientists from University of California holds that a cumulative loss of cells in the area of the brain that controls breathing can be a cause.
This condition is termed as central sleep apnoea. It is a disorder in which one’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep and it occurs because the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control one’s breathing. This condition can lead to sudden cardiac death.
2. Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS).
Dr Kenneth Ruzindana explains that some cases of this rare condition are mostly due to Sudden Death Syndrome, which is a loosely defined umbrella term for a series of cardiac syndromes that cause sudden cardiac arrest and possibly death.
He says that some of these syndromes are the result of structural problems in the heart.
3. The Electrical Channels of The Heart
“Others may be the result of irregularities within the electrical channels of the heart. All may cause unexpected and abrupt cardiac arrest, even in people who are otherwise healthy. Some people die as a result of it,” he says.
Dr Ruzindana notes that most people don’t know they have the syndrome until a cardiac arrest occurs.
“Many cases of SDS aren’t properly diagnosed, either. When a person with SDS dies, the death may be listed as a natural cause or heart attack. But if a post-mortem is performed to understand the precise cause, they may be able to detect signs of one of the syndromes of SDS,” the medic adds.
Dr Wilbur Bushara explains that high concentrations of carbon monoxide have potential to kill in a few minutes.
4. Household Appliances
Household appliances, such as gas fires and central heating systems, are possible sources of carbon monoxide.
Dr Bushara says that though this gas has neither smell nor sound, it is very deadly explaining that this happens because it deprives the blood of oxygen.
“If this gas builds up in a room, for example, breathing it in can become toxic. When one inhales lots of it and it piles up in one’s lungs, it can be very deadly, especially if one is asleep. But if they are awake, they can at least experience symptoms, such as wooziness, body weakness and a slight headache, among others,” he says.
5. Cerebral Aneurysm
He also highlights that some of the other factors that can trigger death while sleeping include; cerebral aneurysm — an abnormal focal dilation of an artery in the brain that results from a weakening of the inner muscular layer of a blood vessel wall.
The vessel develops a “blister-like” dilation that can become thin and rupture without warning, and this kind of hemorrhage can lead to a stroke or even death.
6. Widow maker Heart Attack
There is also the widow maker heart attack. Medics explain that this type of heart attack happens when the left main artery gets blocked. Whereas other forms of heart attacks can jolt victims to their conscience before death occurs, this particular one doesn’t.
7. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colorless and odorless gas that can be lethal if too much of it is breathed into the lungs. It can be found in the fumes that come from running cars, generators, stoves, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, furnaces, and so on, and it can be almost impossible to detect unless a carbon monoxide detector is in use.
How does it kill? Basically, if enough of it builds up in a small enough space, breathing it in can become toxic. And if you inhale enough of it, just having it in your lungs can be enough to “seal the deal” in a very final way.
If awake, the victim may experience symptoms like dizziness, weakness, a headache, or an upset stomach. But what if it catches you while you’re asleep? Well, people who are sleeping often experience no symptoms, and they can die in their sleep before they even realize that it’s happening.
8. Myocardial Infarction
A myocardial infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack, can happen during sleep, though thankfully, the odds are pretty good that this specific type of cardiac event will wake its victim up before it kills them.
Heart attacks happen when blood flow to part of the heart gets blocked. This blockage can destroy part of the heart muscle.
How does it kill? If enough heart tissue gets damaged, the heart may not be strong enough to pump any blood out to the rest of the body. This can result in heart failure, which could be lethal if medical treatment isn’t obtained immediately.
Unfortunately, it isn’t usually possible for a heart attack victim to seek medical attention if they are asleep, and that is the part that’s terrifying.