Are you afraid to go to sleep because you’re concerned your head will explode? If so, you may have experienced a disturbing condition known as exploding head syndrome (EHS).
Exploding head syndrome is a member of the parasomnia sleep disorder family, such as insomnia or sleep apnea. According to the American Sleep Association, occurrences of EHS are characterized by loud noises in the head like a gunshot, an exploding bomb or firecrackers, etc. Deafening noise may happen in conjunction with intense flashing lights.
Are There Physical Side-effects of Exploding Heal Syndrome?
It is comforting to know that EHS is not a lethal condition. It does not cause pain to the experiencer. Some people have reported shortness of breath and/or rapid heartbeat, which is likely attributed to anxiety.
Because EHS (rudely) interrupts the sleep cycle, the affected person may struggle with extreme fatigue the following day(s).
What is the Cause of EHS?
Exploding head syndrome is one of those puzzling conditions that scientists and researchers have failed to solve. Various hypotheses have been purported, such as middle ear or eustachian tube malfunction, minor brain seizures, and/or high stress levels.
How to Grapple with Exploding Head Syndrome
This condition, although weird, may not require treatment. Symptoms typically disappear in time. Some EHS sufferers have found relief of symptoms from the (anti-depressant) drug clomipramine.
Stress can spark EHS. In this instance, create a stress management plan, which may include:
• Creative visualization
• Keeping a journal
• Tai Chi
• Nature walk. Take time to appreciate natural beauty.
• Warm bath before bedtime
If the symptoms of exploding head syndrome become unbearable, consult with your medical professional or a sleep specialist. In the meantime, don't worry. Your head is not going to explode.