MANILA -- Does sleeping on a full stomach cause "bangungot"?
Yes, said cardiologist Dr. Willie Ong, who explained that "bangungot" is not similar to having bad dreams or nightmares nor is it caused by a "batibat," a fat woman demon found in Ilocano folklore who supposedly puts her weight on an individual while sleeping until he or she dies of suffocation.
"Merong tinatawag medically [na] bangungot syndrome, ang tawag natin dito, acute pancreatitis. Palagay natin, [ang] isang tao madami siyang kinaing pagkain tapos natulog agad. Dahil sa dami ng kinain, nahihirapan yung pancreas na tunawin yung pagkain, namamaga yung pancreas at merong namamatay dahil dito," Ong said.
But for sleep specialist Dr. Rolando Dela Eva, bangungot can also be called the sudden unexplained death syndrome.
Dela Eva said the sudden unexplained death syndrome is usually experienced by southeast Asian males who are between late 20s and early 40s.
"Ang bangungot ay kadalasan nangyayari sa mga southeast Asian males, mga Filipinos. Merong impact ang culture at of course, kasama na rin yung pagkain," he explained.
Meanwhile, clinical psychologist Dr. Estrella Magno said bangungot, which she described as having nightmares, is caused by an individual's personal problems.
"Every part of the panaginip is about the dreamer. May problema siya na 'di niya inaasikaso. Nagkakapatong-patong na 'yan hanggang sa dreams mo, lalabas na yan," Magno said.
With differing opinions on what truly causes bangungot, the three experts also offered different advice as to how to help someone suffering from the condition.
Ong said a person experiencing struggle and a sudden spike in heartbeat during sleep should immediately be awakened to prevent further complications.
Magno, meanwhile, said the individual should just confront his or her problems. "Kasi 'yang bangungot na 'yan, kung halimbawa malaman mo kung anong ugat ng problema mo, mareresolba yan."