Common Reasons Why People Die While Sleeping
Sleep is a necessity of life; however, people can and do die while sleeping. It is estimated that 6,000 people in the United States die unintentionally while they’re asleep each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are several common reasons why people die while sleeping; some are natural, and some are not.
According to healthline, The most common natural cause of death while people are sleeping is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops temporarily during sleep. It is usually caused by an obstruction in the throat, such as a blocked airway or a collapsed Lung. These blockages can cause an individual to wake up repeatedly during the night, disrupting their sleep. In severe cases, the lack of oxygen from the pauses in breathing can cause the individual to die.
Another common cause of death while sleeping is heart-related. Sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and arrhythmias can all cause death while sleeping. A sudden cardiac arrest is a disruption to the electrical system of the heart that suddenly stops the heart from beating. This type of event is often fatal and can happen while the person is sleeping. Similarly, a heart attack is a blockage of the coronary arteries which can cause the heart to stop working. Arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, can also lead to death while sleeping if they are too severe. All of these heart-related issues can cause death at any time, but the fact that people are often in a vulnerable and relaxed state while sleeping can make them more likely to die if they experience any of them.
Sleep-related deaths can also be caused by external factors. These can include environmental hazards, such as carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty heating systems, or suffocation from pillows or other materials in the bed. Sometimes people can die as a result of insomnia, either due to the mind being overworked and not able to rest, or due to abuse of sleeping medications. Finally, people can die from drug- or alcohol-related incidents, such as choking on vomit or having a deadly overdose.
Whatever the cause may be, death in sleep is still a significant source of mortality. It is important to understand the common causes of death while sleeping, in order to help reduce the risk. Some preventive measures can include avoiding sleeping medications, checking the environment for carbon monoxide, treating or monitoring heart-related conditions, and getting proper sleep. If someone experiences symptoms such as breathing pauses or arrhythmias while sleeping, it is important to seek medical attention. Taking the proper steps can help to prevent death while sleeping.