Documenting & Researching Night Terrors

Exploding Head Syndrome

Exploding Head Syndrome is more common than what people know. This is because most people do not even know that they are experiencing it. Stats show that more than 80% of the population will experience an element of parasomnia sometime in their lifetime whether it be for a brief or extended period. It can be triggered by anything and everything from genetics, stress, anxiety, dietary changes, hormonal changes and so much more.

Exploding Head Syndrome is generally experienced just before nodding off to sleep or within the first two hours. It is characterized as a sudden, loud, sound of crashing, breaking or exploding object such as glass, metal, or electrical like materials. The sound is heard only by the individual and is perceived to be so loud that it often causes them to jerk awake, spring out of bed or feel sudden fear triggering an adrenaline rush.

Amazingly, EHS (Exploding Head Syndrome) is recognized as a biological safety precaution. When your body’s chemicals are soothing you to sleep at a higher rate than normal it recognizes this as ‘abnormal’ and will wake you. This is cautionary because it is alerting you that something is wrong. Maybe you are not “really tired” maybe medications are interacting in a less than positive way or you have been poisoned or possibly suffering from a reaction from something. So in this case, it is a good thing. As lousy at that sounds when you wake up to crashing vases in the middle of the night, ye I know, but it’s true.

The technical term is Auditory Sleep Start. So what’s the deal right?- It’s frustrating, annoying, irritating and keeps you up all hours of the night. Physical pain is not felt when experiencing EHS however it elevates the heart rate, and makes you feel like you had a close encounter with an understatement of dangerous. Sadly I have no clue how to cope with them except go back to sleep and try, try again. Oh yes, and remember to be reassured they are harmless. (Like that helps…)


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