Blow Your Mind: Can my nightmares kill me?


Are we safe in dreams? (Eryk Fitkau/Photographer's Choice/Getty)

We've all experienced frightening or horrifying dreams, but can our nightmares really scare us to death? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss the CDC's investigation of 18 sleep deaths in the 1980s -- deaths that inspired horror director Wes Craven to create his "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise.

We'll discuss the condition known as Brugada syndrome and discover how it can cause an otherwise healthy adult to die in their sleep.

Plus, is there really such thing as being scared to death? We'll break that down as well.

You'll probably remember some of this from my previous post, Actual Sleep Deaths Inspired 'A Nightmare on Elm Street,' but we go deeper into the science here. Plus, you'll get to hear all about Julie's crazy weird dreams.

So there you have it! You can find the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast on iTunes, Zune and the RSS feed. And don't forget the free HowStuffWorks App!

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About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.