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What is Exploding Head Syndrome Sleep Disorder?

The sleep disorder called Exploding Head Syndrome is a rather rare condition where the person wakes up abruptly feeling or hearing an explosive noise in their head. The strange thing is that there is no actual pain, but in this moment, it is such a shock to the person that it is not uncommon to have the perception of pain.

When does it happen?

It is quite a terrifying thing to experience and it happens when you are not yet awake, so it adds to the confusion or shock. The exploding head syndrome usually happens as you are about to fall asleep, but you are still awake, so in that transition window.

That said, there are actually reports of people having the exploding head syndrome during the day, when absolutely awake, so it is rather unclear and the scientists or doctors have not really pinpointed what the issue is, what is causing it and many other elements about it.

What is known however is that it tends to run in the family, so if someone has this sleep disorder then there is a high chance that others in the family at present or in the past also had this exact same disorder.

Quotes from Sufferers of Exploding Head Syndrome

  • “…I immediately woke up in a sweat and my body was shaking…”
  • “…just as I was about to fall asleep, it sounded like a 308 calibre rifle… The sound produced no pain, but did create anxiety for weeks…”

What Patients Report About Exploding Head Syndrome

  • Explosive noise
  • Perception of pain
  • Flashing lights
  • Inability to breathe

Frequency of occurrence is very random. These events can happen randomly or they can happen a lot during a certain period and then stop altogether for a long time.

People of any age can suffer from exploding head syndrome, but the older people, closer to retirement and above, tend to have it much more.

Final words on Exploding Head Syndrome

I hope this article was helpful to you and if you are experiencing this sleep disorder then at least you have comfort in knowing that apart from the shock and disturbance there is no known actual damage to your body or anyone else.

One Comment

  1. I’ve had Exploding Head Syndrome. Absolutely terrifying! Each time it woke me from sleep about 1:00am. The first time I “heard” very aggressive pounding on my front door. The next time I “heard” a large chandelier crash from the deiling onto the floor. I experienced both of these sounds several times during a time when my life was very stressful & I was exhausted.