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What ‘Dying in Your Sleep’ Actually Means

Everyone’s heard the phrase “dying in your sleep.” But what does dying in your sleep feel like? Is it really peaceful, like Grandma’s obituary said? What actually happens when someone dies in their sleep?

What dying in your sleep is actually like—i.e., what happens to the body, since we have no firsthand accounts—depends on the true cause of death, of which there are many. Science tells us that, yes, it is actually possible to die a seemingly painless death while remaining asleep.

But what are the facts behind the obituaries? What can actually cause you to die in your sleep? Read on to learn what the phrase really means.

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