At 12/22/12 09:33 PM, MushookieMan wrote:
Another example is when people get so terrified of their nightmares that they suffer heart failuresthat's because of an increased heart rate + a weak heart
Also, there is a sleeping disorder called SUNDS (Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome), in which people in good health in their 30's up can have nightmares that cause them to panic in their sleep so much that they literally stop breathing and die. It's apparently very rare (100 cases in the U.S. since 1977, mostly people of Southeast Asian origins). Supposedly, it only happens over a long period of time after having certain nightmares (as in someone sitting on your chest all night long or repeatedly attacking you over and over for weeks in your sleep).
According to the Cambridge History of Disease manual, "The victim has no known antecedent illnesses, and there are no factors that might precipitate cardiac arrest; at autopsy, no cause of death can be identified in the heart, lung or brain. Postmortem toxicologic screening tests reveal no poisons."
I guess it's true what they say. In some cases, you die in your dreams, you die for real.