Research suggests that too much or too little sleep is associated with a greater risk of mortality overall

But dying in your sleep can happen at any age, often being a huge shock to friends and family, leaving many questions unanswered

The supine position—lying flat on your back—that many people assume while sleeping can affect lung volume

Similarly, high blood pressure that is not controlled can raise the risk of strokes, which can be fatal and occur during sleep

Other conditions that are more likely to worsen at night include heart failure and sleep apnea, which causes the breathing to start and stop during sleep

Other heart disorders such as arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, can also be dangerous if not managed, Sovani says

People with these conditions are often fitted with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators; the former uses pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate

Chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity can contribute to overall poor health and raise the likelihood of complications