In the moments before death, many have vibrant and meaning-enriched dreams, but very little science has been done to investigate this phenomenon, according to Scientific American.

A new study in the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care is the first study to focus on the patient's point of view. Findings suggest that dreams and visions are a part of dying - a positive part of dying.

Researchers at Daemen College and Hospice Buffalo studied 63 hospice patients who were admitted over an 18- month period, according to Scientific American. Patients were interviewed every day about their dreams. Most reported at least one dream with emotional significance, marked by a feeling of realism. As the dying process progresses, patients reported a comfort from the dreams as they transitioned from dreams about the living to dreams about the dead (loved ones who had previously passed).

Often times, these dreams and visions are dismissed by medical personnel as hallucinations or medication side effects, but previous studies have indicated that 89 percent of hospice nurses surveyed in 2013 believe that the dreams and visions are linked to a peaceful death, according to Scientific American.

As dying progresses, realistic and impressive dreams become more prevalent and provide a source of comfort. The recent study has broken these dreams down into six categories, as described in Scientific American:

"1. Comforting presence: A loved one-often deceased but sometimes living-offers solace.

"2. Preparing to go: Patients ready themselves for a journey. In one patient's dream, she boarded a plane with her (living) son and felt comforted.

"3. Watching or engaging with the dead: Deceased friends and relatives play a significant role, which patients overwhelmingly reported as being comforting.

"4. Loved ones waiting: Deceased friends often seem to be 'waiting.' Three days before her death, one woman reported both visions and dreams of being at the top of a staircase with her (predeceased) husband waiting for her at the bottom.

"5. Distressing life experiences: Patients may revisit traumatic life experiences, such as war, childhood abuse, or difficult situations or relationships.

"6. Unfinished business: A few patients report distressing dreams that center on fears of being unable to accomplish important tasks. Two young mothers recount dreaming about caring for their children."