"Nelson thinks that near-death experiences are part of the dream mechanism and that the person having the experience is in a REM, or 'rapid eye movement,' state.
'Part of our 'fight or flight' reflexes to keep us alive includes the switch into the REM state of consciousness,' he said.
During REM sleep, there is increased brain activity and visual stimulation. Intense dreaming occurs as a result.
And the bright light so many people claim to see?
'The activation of the visual system caused by REM is causing the bright lights,' Nelson said.
And the tunnel people speak of, he says, is lack of blood flow to the eye. 'The eye, the retina of the eye, is one of the most exquisitely sensitive tissues to a loss of blood flow. So when blood flow does not reach the eye, vision fails, and darkness ensues from the periphery to the center. And that is very likely causing the tunnel effect.'
Nelson is doing studies now to prove that the same effect results from fainting."
I mean, I probably would have said there must be some kind of scientific explanation for the near death explanation, but reading someone else' no bullshit scientific explanation of it just sounds sooo cold. I guess secretly I do hope there's some sort of life after death. :(