‘Can dreams kill?’ A tweet asked me. I didn’t know, although it is something I’m interested in, as part of exploring the paranormal, death, dying and burial customs as they help form a picture. There are many stories in folklore, like “The Nightmare on Elm Street”. The German’s evil creature called “Mara” who sits on people’s chests while they’re sleeping. People who describe anxiety attacks say it feels like someone is sitting on their chest, coincidentally people also say it feels like a ‘heart attack’. Norse legends say the elderly die from shattered dreams.
“Field Trip”, is an X-files episode where an hallucinogen tries to keep the agents compliant while the plant digests them, a little different of a take on the can dreams kill?
A quick Google had an article from 1981 by the New York Times, posing that the deaths of 18 Laotian refugees. All died in their sleep over a period of 4 years; full autopsies revealed natural causes as the answer. An article published in Europe PubMed Journal, by Parmer (1998) stated “Emotional stress is a trigger for coronary artery spasm.” I assume a coronary artery spasm is not good, but also that it may not be fatal every time it occurs. It also probably feels like a heart attack (if you’ve not experienced it before) as people with anxiety say it does.
I rarely dream but when I do they’re bizarre and sometimes my subconscious playing cruel tricks, although sometimes the absurdities will kick my conscience mind into gear and I’ll wake analysing what I just experienced playing out in my mind.
While refugees have had vastly worse experiences than I have. These experiences could help their minds create realistic to recreate, making it difficult to rationalise. The refugees also didn’t speak English very well and would have felt isolated even though in a safe place. It is a common cause of death for Filipino men between 30-40 that there is a lot of work on the horror of the devasted dreams.
Night Terrors exist in western psychology and mostly experienced by children who wake up in a physiological state of terror (sweats, dilated pupils, screaming, etc.). There doesn’t seem to have to be environmental factors as a consistent factor in these experiences. Children mostly grow out of it. 2%-8% of people don’t and experience these on and off for years or even ever.
– If the dreams are bothering you and you wake up, distressed seek the help of your doctor.
– Wind-down before going to bed (yoga, reading, talking with someone, reduce stimulation)
– Plan to get adequate sleep (i.e. don’t put off going to bed until you’re exhausted, sleep is important in maintaining a healthy mental disposition)
– Eating before going to bed makes your body think it’s going to be doing some work. Imagine it’s shock when you sleep, and what now does it do with all that energy (play with your brain?)
– Make the bedroom a relaxing and peaceful environment.
– Reducing general stress has got to be a bonus for anybody
It has also accepted that negative paranormal attachments can cause nightmares. If none of the above is working, you might want to consult a spiritual healer. (Make sure you check with a doctor before you take even a natural herbal suggestion as it may interact with medication or other medical issues negatively.)