I am a new D&D player with a group of 4 players with level 4 characters. Every session at least one and sometimes two of the party end up unconscious and close to dying, and at the end of the session we end up with over 1000 XP. I've already died once (along with my g/f; my friend only survived as he had Second Wind).

Is this how normal D&D is played? I had a look at the DM's Guide and the encounter section suggests to me that these are all deadly challenges.

How do I approach this issue with the DM, who is also new?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! We generally encourage users to ask one question per, well, question. Since you've already expressed that you're uncomfortable with the game's lethality, I prioritized the second question (how do I talk to the DM) over the first - it doesn't matter if it's normal or not if you're not having fun. \$\endgroup\$ – SPavel Apr 9 '16 at 18:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @wickerman, which edition of D&D are you playing? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 9 '16 at 18:41