One of life’s most painful experiences is losing a loved one through death. It’s possible to suddenly disappear while in the midst of doing something. Those who must deal with the aftermath of a sudden death often wonder how and why it happened. Knowing the cause and manner of death of a loved one may help the bereaved find peace with the loss.
WebMD reports that cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac death, is a leading cause of death among the asleep. When a person’s heart suddenly stops beating, this is what happens. Arrhythmia, coronary artery closure, congenital cardiac abnormalities, and other medical disorders like scarring, inflammation, and abrupt electrical discharges can all lead to this. If a person has an undiagnosed heart problem and passes away abruptly, it may be because the person’s symptoms were overlooked because they occurred during sleep, when the body is at its most relaxed.
According to healthline Low blood sugar is a leading cause of death in the sleeping population. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when a person with diabetes fails to take adequate measures to prevent a drop in blood glucose levels. This is especially risky because the brain receives no warning of the blood sugar drop while the body is at rest. Coma or death can result from untreated hypoglycemia.
Another medical issue that can cause death while sleep is sleep apnea. This disorder manifests itself when a person has trouble breathing when sleeping due to a narrowing of the airways. Oxygen depletion can cause difficulty breathing and even death in extreme circumstances.
Sleep-related deaths can also be caused by things like pulmonary embolisms, strokes, and unintentional suffocation. A fatal pulmonary embolism is a clot that forms in the lung and blocks blood flow. A stroke happens when brain blood flow is interrupted, leading to cell destruction and maybe death. A person can accidentally asphyxiate if their airway is blocked by something like a pillow, blanket, or even their own body.
Finally, a death that occurs during sleep could be the result of an undiscovered or untreated medical ailment or disease. There are too many unknowns to provide an accurate estimate, but it is crucial to keep in mind that numerous medical disorders, such as heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, or cancer, can result in sudden death while you sleep with little to no warning.
No one can know for sure how or when they will die. While this is a tough reality to face, it might be consoling to know that most deaths are caused by things outside of a person’s control. Knowing what brought about a loved one’s death in their sleep can help lessen the emotional toll of losing them.