How To Die In Your Sleep?

The average person will live an average of 25,000 days. That’s right … Every night you go to sleep, the Grim Reaper is waiting for you on your pillow, ready to count down those last few seconds. As sad as it is, this number does not even include the people who die in their sleep (according to some studies, that figure may reach up to 40%). If you’re like me, then this unnerving fact makes you wonder: “How can I die in my sleep?”

grayscale photo of sleeping woman lying on bed

Well, let me tell ya’. There are hundreds of ways someone can die while sleeping. Naturally, some are more common than others but one way or another they all lead to the same destination – six feet under! No pun intended …

1. Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a condition in which your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. The most common cause of death from hypothermia is falling asleep outdoors in cold weather. In 1928, the Norwegian polar explorer Umberto Nobile fell through the ice while trekking across the Arctic Ocean and froze to death four days later.

Another example of an individual succumbing to hypothermia happened just south of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin at Devils Lake State Park on August 19th, 2009 – a man was taking a swim when he miscalculated how long he could stay submerged and drown – his core body temperature reached only 68 degrees Fahrenheit at autopsy.

Regardless of whether you freeze to death or drown, hypothermia can also cause fatal heart arrhythmia, which is why so many people who fall through the ice and survive die of cardiac arrest later on.

2. Choking

As much as I would like to say otherwise, choking is no laughing matter … If you are still “choking” on what I mean, then let me give you an example. On March 9th, 1973 an Englishman named Peter Tripp stayed awake for 201 hours (8 days) as part of a stunt/publicity appearance for his latest movie – he died shortly after breaking the record at the age of 39.

That’s right; he died in his sleep from choking to death! His final words were: “This is it…I’m going…I’m gone.” He eventually fell into a coma and never woke up.

3. Asphyxia

Another known cause of death that has occurred in people’s sleep is positional asphyxia. This occurs when the sleeper slips into a position in which he cannot breathe properly. The most common position in which this happens is when the sleeper lies face down with his face in a pillow, restricting airflow through the mouth or nose.

Many accidental deaths have occurred due to this throughout history involving invalids who were bedridden, children who suffocated under their parent’s weight while sleeping, and others who died after falling asleep passed out overhanging their couch or chair. Although rarer than suffocation by smothering, it can still happen in cases where someone falls asleep on top of another individual.

4. Strangulation

Another way you can die in your sleep is if you are strangled to death. The most common of these cases is when the sleeper’s partner secretly murders them during sleep by suffocation with a pillow or plastic bag, but choking on food also causes an average of 3,000 deaths per year.

Couples have slept together for centuries, however, this does not mean that lovers always remain faithful – sometimes their beds become graves!

Some of the most alarming recorded cases have occurred at mental hospitals where patients were abandoned by staff members who were either incompetent or absent-minded enough to go home for the night – 26 such incidents were documented between 1883 and 1973 alone.

In almost all cases involving one patient murdering another, it was found that the assailant was in a state of severe psychotic agitation at the time.

5. Suffocation

As if smothering and strangulation aren’t bad enough, suffocation is also possible during sleep. It only takes about four pounds of pressure to cut off blood flow to the brain for five minutes; after that, irreversible brain damage may occur – this is why when people are severely depressed they sometimes resort to “sleeping pills” (barbiturates) which act as respiratory depressants.

The most common method by which people commit suicide through suffocation is with plastic bags or pillows. Some research suggests that it may be more humane than other methods because there is no significant drop in oxygen levels within the bloodstream, although death usually occurs within 10-15 minutes of continued apnea.

It is also a prominent means by which infants suffocate, which is probably the most heartbreaking case of death during sleep you can find.

6. Hyperthermia

In some cases, people who have died in their sleep were found to be suffering from hyperthermia (overheating) at the time of death. This occurs when individuals lose the ability to control their body temperature and suffer fatal fevers as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit!

Hyperthermia is common among elderly individuals; however, it usually does not kill them but instead causes delirium and hallucinations in which they “wake up,” only to fall right back into a state of unconsciousness shortly thereafter.

Similar conditions like heat stroke and neuroleptic malignant syndrome may also cause this. One of the most famous cases of hyperthermia occurred in 2007 when a 12-year-old boy named Cameron Mott died from a high fever that developed throughout one night as he slept under his mother’s supervision.

His body temperature rocketed to an astounding 108 degrees Fahrenheit, and his autopsy revealed nothing but flu symptoms which were ignored by doctors before his death.

7. Too much or too little Potassium

Another factor that leads to death during sleep is having too much or too little potassium.  Potassium, a mineral found in bananas and present in every cell within the body, helps control your heartbeat – if your level drops too low, you may experience cardiac arrest from which you will never wake up!

It also works as an electrolyte, regulating the transmission of electrical signals within neurons, which can lead to muscle spasms (cramps) and temporary paralysis.

If you have too little potassium, your muscles will contract uncontrollably as a result – this usually occurs as a side effect from diuretic drugs or from drinking copious amounts of water over an extended period.

Whenever someone has been bedridden for a long time without moving their muscles, they may die in their sleep simply because their heart isn’t strong enough to pump blood through a contracted circulatory system.

This is called “the Vincent Crignola syndrome,” either named after the doctor who discovered it or named after the man whose son was murdered by John Gotti’s mafia group who lived long enough to name his assailant. Either way, it is a fascinating case – even more so when considering that the above facts were discovered after Crignola’s death by an autopsy!

A rarer variant to this disorder involves those who take too much potassium; it may occur as a result of using supplements or from eating large quantities of foods such as bananas and potatoes. This can cause cardiac arrest due to respiratory paralysis and usually occurs within several hours.

There have not been many cases of extremely high serum potassium documented, but one famous example occurred in 1993 when American artist Jasper Johns used 10 times the recommended dose to paint his nails with metallic silver – he fell asleep and never woke up again.

So these are some of the ways how to die in your sleep without suffering from an illness! Some of these cases may seem odd and weird – but they are true and 100% medically sound.

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