Sleep, Death, and Dreams

Sleep, Death, and Dreams

(dreams)

A natural association between sleep and death has often been noted in different cultures and time periods. Some contemporary metaphorical expressions even convey a sense of this ancient association, as when a sleeping person is described as being “dead to the world,” or when a deceased individual is referred to as having gone to his or her “eternal rest.”

Beyond external appearances, the inner experience of dreaming is often that of entering another world. In this other, seemingly more spiritual world, one may sometimes meet deceased individuals and may even receive specific information from departed friends and relatives. In such dreams (as well as in out-of-body experiences) one may have the subjective sense that the soul can be at least partially separated from the physical body, thus constituting yet another way in which sleep is similar to death.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.