Science

Study Explores Potential Link Between Near-Death Experiences and “Sleep Intrusions”

One in ten participants of a newly released study were found to have had a confirmed near-death experience, or NDE.

Researchers, led by Dr. Daniel Kondziella, used an online crowdsourcing platform to “investigate the prevalence of near-death experiences and self-reported REM sleep intrusions.”

They used the Greyson Near-Death Experience Scale, or GNDES, to identify what they considered “confirmed” NDEs. 289 participants out of the initial 1,034 claimed to have had an NDE. Out of those, 106 were confirmed using the scale.

The Greyson NDE Scale was created by psychiatrist Bruce Greyson “to measure the depth of an individual’s near-death experience,” and it can be found here. The study used a cutoff of greater than or equal to 7 points on the scale to determine what they considered actual NDEs. What they found was that about 10% of participants had an NDE, and that those who had confirmed NDEs were more likely to also have experienced self-reported “REM sleep intrusions.”

“Following multivariate regression analysis to adjust for age, gender, place of origin, employment status and perceived danger, this association remained highly significant; people with REM sleep intrusion were more likely to exhibit near-death experiences than those without REM sleep abnormalities.”

The paper (which can be read in full here) contains information on the questions asked, participant demographics, as well as anecdotes and descriptions of individual NDEs. It’s worth a look. Notably, according to this study, “almost half of all near-death experiences were labelled as stressful.” I can imagine.

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