Exploding Head Syndrome And How It Affects Your Sleep

Health & Medical Blog

If you are awakened by a sudden loud noise with seemingly no cause, then you may have exploding head syndrome. While the name sounds strange and even funny, it's a real sleep disorder. Exploding head syndrome can not only make you feel uneasy, but it can also seriously disrupt your sleep. Read on to learn more about exploding head syndrome, what causes it, and how to get relief.

What Is Exploding Head Syndrome?

Exploding head syndrome is one of many parasomnia disorders many people experience. Parasomnia refers to abnormal movements and activities that occur while you are sleeping. Exploding head syndrome is one of several "sleep start" disorders. These disorders tend to happen as you are falling asleep or when you are coming out of deep sleep. Oftentimes, people see flashes or experience a sudden jerk at the same time they perceive the noise.

What Are the Symptoms of Exploding Head Syndrome?

Most people describe hearing a sudden loud bang like a gunshot or firecracker, but some say the sound is more like a bomb. Many people fear they are experiencing an aneurysm or other serious health problems. However, the disorder is not usually a sign of any health condition. Most people feel no pain except for a mild headache. Frequent sufferers often experience anxiety towards falling asleep and increased insomnia.

What Causes Exploding Head Syndrome?

The causes for exploding head syndrome are not entirely clear. There may be a neurological component such as misfiring neurons. It could also be caused by shifting parts in the middle ear. The condition seems to be exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Fatigue is another factor. This disorder could also be a sign of another sleep disorder.

What Are Ways to Get Relief for Exploding Head Syndrome?

If you are concerned you have a serious health issue, see your doctor, first, to rule that out. For most people, stress reduction techniques will lessen the severity and frequency of the disorder. If the disorder is causing severe problems with your life, then you may need further examination for other sleep disorders or mental health issues. Stress and anxiety-reducing medication could be available depending on the results of your examinations.

An occasional bout of exploding head syndrome, or any other parasomnia disorder, is usually not a problem for healthy people. However, if you are experiencing this condition often, then you should visit a sleep center for an examination. A sleep center doctor will examine you for any neurological abnormalities and behavioral habits that could be making your disorder worse.


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