Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS), the Bangungot, the Hmong and the CDC

This is a five-part series about SUNDS and Bangungot. The first two sections covered my own Bangungot dreams. This segment will go into the history of SUNDS, including the Center for Disease Control's studies of Hmong refugees that died suddenly in the night. When I went away to college, a graduate student in Asian studies identified my sketches as a pathology shared by many individuals of Eastern heritage, transliterations include: Bangungot (Phillipines), Dab Tsog (Laos), Lai Tai (Thailand), Pokkuri (Japan), Khyaak (Nepal), Gui Ya Chuang (China).

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Bangungot Dream and Analysis

Bangungot Dream and Analysis

For years I was plagued by recurring hypnogogic dreams. I didn’t know at the time that there is a tradition of these dark nightmares in South Asian culture. It’s a well-documented occurrence that (mostly) men from Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines dream of a creature that suffocates them. Because many who experience this creature (called most often “Bangungot” but also and in other cultures: “Dab tsog,”...

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