Sleep should be a zone of comfort. When you sleep, everything is different. It is a daily getaway from the daily hassles of life, and a reclusion where all great things can happen. This is also where the not so great things happen, but hey, its just a dream.
Sounds great right? But what if one doesn't wake up? The old folks had always warned us. Sometimes sleep can kill. In the Filipino Culture, sleep at times is feared.
Our ancestors know of this. We Pinoys have always been told never eat and drink too much before sleeping because it causes bangungot. Honestly, this is something worth listening to since it makes sense. Wala naman mawawala. There are medical explanations out there, but experts as usual, they don't agree. Weird thing also, it mostly affects Asians. But there is one explanation that has been believed by Filipinos of old. A supernatural one.
A batibat is an entity living in a tree or bamboo that refuses to leave its home even if the wood has been used for a house. They are believed to be mostly harmless, but are said to cause death while sleeping. Most Filipinos before would avoid house corners or keep away from stout wooden posts when sleeping for fear that the wood has some creature living on it.
The huge and mischievous batibat would sit on its victim while sleeping. Some would insert his phallus to the mouth of the victim and his balls block the nostrils there by preventing the sleeper from breathing. Other batibats will sit on top of the victim's chest and stay there until the sleeper stops breathing completely.
To prevent death, one must wake up. But it isn't easy as it seems. One technique says that you have to wiggle your big toe and eventually your sleep ends. You can also bite one of your fingers or pinch yourself. If going to the extreme suits you, try to pee in your sleep. Just be ready for a wet bed and stinking pajamas, but at least you'd be alive to tell a tale.