Can people dream of their own death?

Next: Common misconceptions about dream content Up: Introduction to the DreamFAQ Previous: Is this dream scene common?

Can people dream of their own death?

A. Yes. This has been reported many times. The reports vary widely in what actual experiences are made when dreaming of dying; there seems to be no common pattern. Most probably the prevalent influence is again the thoughts of the individual about death. It can not be figured out whether dream-death experiences which match patterns given in actual near-death experiences are just based on reading about near-death experiences. Also, for instances of talking to deceased people, God(s) or other "supernatural" entities after dreamed death, it can not be figured out whether they are "real" or just based on peoples' religious belief (see also the FAQ for alt.atheism). A widespread old wives tale is that when you dream of your own death, you will soon die. Given the usual understanding of "soon" (and considering section 5.1), experience has proven this false.

A sharp line has to be drawn between dreams of death and actual near-death experiences. The latter occur in people with blood circulation failure just before they actually die, and sometimes are reported when medical art brings these people back to life. What constitutes the real source of these experiences is still not known for sure. Dreams of death have no connection to this, they are like all dreams just imagination.

[Editor's note: There is good evidence the "light in the tunnel" type experience is due to oxygen starvation in neurons, as it only occurs with near-death experiences involving loss of oxygen. --RD]
Sun Jan 22 22:05:07 GMT+0100 1995

Don't see what you need? Psych Web has over 1,000 pages, so it may be elsewhere on the site. Do a site-specific Google search using the box below.

Custom Search