Exploding head syndrome – I think I have a few of the symptoms

Exploding head syndrome – I might have it!

I think I might have Exploding head syndrome actually. Ever since I was a kid I’ve experienced weird sounds and stuff when falling asleep, not regularly, but it still scared the shit out of me on a number of occasions.

If you don’t know what Exploding head syndrome is, I will try to explain the basics of it, otherwise I’d suggest checking it out on Wikipedia for example.

Exploding head syndrome is a benign condition that causes me to hear loud, scary or irritating imaginary sounds when on the verge of falling asleep or just after sleep occurs. It might sound like I’m crazy for hearing sounds, but Exploding head syndrome is actually real and it has woken me up with a bang more then a few times, often leaving me shocked, scared and/or with elevated heart rate. The name can be a bit deceiving, because EHS does not hurt at all, it’s just uncomfortable.

exploding head syndromeExploding head syndrome is thought to be triggered by minor temporal lobe seizures, sudden shifts of middle ear components and/or stress/anxiety, impairments in calcium signalling and brainstem neuronal dysfunction. There are also reports that suggest that tinnitus might be a culprit. Although little to no research are available and there are no treatments or help to get… what I know of. There are also reports of one seeing lift flashes, lightning or light static.

I for one mostly get the Exploding head syndrome with sound only, but I do recall seeing lightning flashes while trying to sleep sometimes. Some of the sounds you might hear when you have Exploding head syndrome (EHS) are:

  • The sound of a bomb.
  • The sound of gunshot.
  • A loud clash of cymbals.
  • The sound of a door slamming.
  • An extremely loud rushing sound.
  • People screaming or shouting.
  • An electrical buzzing sound.
  • Any other loud sound which can’t be described exactly.

It’s not said that you hear all of them, or only one of them. For me it’s usually a clash of symbals, a extremely loud rushing sound or electrical buzz or static, or something I can’t describe. According to those few who have researched this (no clinical studies been done yet), they say that EHS is harmless, although might be distressing and/or uncomfortable for those who experience it.

For me it’s very random when it occurs, and I can’t seem to see a connection with me being stressed or not. But I do wake up with bang, it scares the shit out of me.

I do have tinnitus and trying to sleep with that is already a pain, but imagine falling asleep, shifting between being awake and sleeping, slowly feeling your body and mind drifting off to sleep and suddenly be jolted back to reality, wide awake because you heard one of the loudest noises ever… coming from inside your head. That really makes you on edge and really makes it hard to go back to sleep.

Have you ever experienced Exploding head syndrome? Leave a comment with your thoughts, suggestions and/or experiences.

I thought about writing this post because last week I had EHS episodes almost every night, I don’t know why, nothing special was happening in my life, nor was I stressed or distressed of any kind. It has however made me a bit reluctant to sleeping the last few days, and I can’t seem to fall asleep normally and I want to listen to music or have the TV on in the background, just to be able to focus on sounds that won’t scare the life out of me.

I hope this post could help a little bit if you experience the same thing, because it’s a horrible thing when happening.


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