odd electric blanket occurance

I use an electric blanket every night during the cold season to keep warm at night. It does an amazingly good job at keeping me warm for the energy it uses: I can be toasty warm, even sweating, in a 45° room.

Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve occassionally had a strange problem while sleeping. The first time I remember was sleeping at my grandma’s house early in the morning, back when me and my brother would go there while my parents were at work. I wake up only part-way. My mind is only part way awake, and things move through it sort of like a dream, but concious of my actual surroundings. I will feel groggily awake, but I can’t move my body, sometimes at all, sometimes limited to extremely slow movement that requires a lot of seeming effort. I also often have trouble breathing. My breathing will often seem to stop working automatically, so I have to force myself to breath, but this too seems to take a lot of effort. It is somewhat scary and I feel like I may suffocate without being able to do anything about it. The way I seem to get out of this is to put a lot of effort into moving my body. After a short bit, I will suddenly wake up and gasp in air. This is not an especially common occurence, and I can go pretty long stretches of time without it happening at all and, consequently, me thinking about it. But sometimes it does happen frequently over a period. It seems to happen more often when I have been oversleeping or am taking a nap.

Yesterday, I was lying in “bed” while reading a book (web development). I kept falling partly asleep, then waking up and continuing reading. That’s a common problem for me. At one point, I fell asleep and then partly-woke up, having the same problem I often do. I dreamt the light bulb of the lamp near my bed went out, and I thought that was quite bad since it’s a fairly new compact flourescent. Then a night-light went out, one that doesn’t actually happen to be in my bedroom, but was in this dream. I wondered what happened, and suddenly thought it had to be a short in my electric blanket. I suddenly felt like a bunch of energy was going through me or something, it was really wierd, and this started giving me lots of trouble breathing and moving. I thought to myself “oh no”, realizing I would be able to do nothing to stop myself from being electrocuted. I tried and really slowly moved my hand toward the switch on the control of the electric blanket. At first it took a lot of effort and I couldn’t seem to move towards it fast enough to make it. I thought “please” and pushed on. I slowly sped up my movement and finally made it to the switch. When I turned off the switch, I suddenly woke up and felt the wierd energy feeling instantly dissappear. I could breath easily and move about just fine. I felt remarkably good, that kind of good you feel when you suddenly find yourself leaving pain, though this wasn’t ever actually painful. My electric blanket was turned off, though it had certainly been on before (I could still feel the heat). The light was definately on though.

I don’t know what happened there, but I’m now scared to use my electric blanket. Looks like I’ll have to heat the room a little better and wear some warm clothes, as I had been before I got the blanket, until I figure out what’s up.