Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People With Near Death Experiences Can Differ In Sleep-wake Control

Date:
April 17, 2006
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
People who have had near death experiences often have different arousal systems controlling the sleep-wake states than people who have not had a near death experience, according to a new study published in the April 11, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

People who have had near death experiences often have different arousal systems controlling the sleep-wake states than people who have not had a near death experience, according to a new study published in the April 11, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, a near death experience was defined as a time during a life-threatening episode of danger such as a car accident or heart attack when a person experienced a variety of feelings, including a sense of being outside of one’s physical body, unusual alertness, seeing an intense light, and a feeling of peace.

The study, which is published in Neurology’s “Views & Reviews” section, compared 55 people with near death experiences to 55 people of the same age and gender who had not had near death experiences.

The study found that people with near death experiences are more likely to have a sleep-wake system where the boundaries between sleep and wakefulness are not as clearly regulated, and the REM (rapid eye movement) state of sleep can intrude into normal wakeful consciousness. Examples of this REM intrusion include waking up and feeling that you cannot move, having sudden muscle weakness in your legs, and hearing sounds just before falling asleep or just after waking up that other people can’t hear.

Of the people with near death experiences, 60 percent reported having times of this REM intrusion, compared to 24 percent of people who had not had near death experiences.

“These findings suggest that REM state intrusion contributes to near death experiences,” said neurologist and study author Kevin R. Nelson, MD, FAAN, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “People who have near death experiences may have an arousal system that predisposes them to REM intrusion.”

Nelson said several other factors support this hypothesis. Several features of near death experiences are also associated with the REM state. For example, the feeling of being outside of one’s body has been associated with the REM state and the conditions of sleep paralysis, narcolepsy and seizures. The feeling of being surrounded by light could be based on the visual activity that occurs during the REM state, Nelson said. During the REM state, the muscles can lose their tone, or tension.

“During a crisis that occurs with REM state intrusion, this lack of muscle tone could reinforce a person’s sense of being dead and convey the impression of death to other people,” Nelson said.

REM state intrusion is also associated with other disorders, including narcolepsy and Parkinson disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "People With Near Death Experiences Can Differ In Sleep-wake Control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060417110256.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2006, April 17). People With Near Death Experiences Can Differ In Sleep-wake Control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060417110256.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "People With Near Death Experiences Can Differ In Sleep-wake Control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060417110256.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins