Exploding head syndrome is a condition in which you may hear sounds of explosion while you sleep or wake up.

Although its name and symptoms sound scary, exploding head syndrome isn’t a dangerous medical condition. It belongs to a group of sleep disorders called parasomnias. Parasomnias cause abnormal behavior during sleep like sleepwalking, sleep-talking, or doing other unusual things in your sleep.

You can learn about the causes of exploding head syndrome and other helpful information.

Scientists aren’t sure what causes exploding head syndrome. It’s more likely to occur when you’re extremely tired or under stress. Some researchers believe that exploding head syndrome may be linked to:

Scientists used to think that exploding head syndrome mostly affects people over the age of 50, specifically women. However, an older study that included 30 people with exploding head syndrome has found that some people begin to experience symptoms during childhood. In addition, a 2014 study has found that exploding head syndrome is also common in college students of all genders.

Although there are no known risk factors, some research suggests that exploding head syndrome can occur in people who’ve experienced sleep paralysis.

If you have exploding head syndrome, you may experience the following.

  • You hear a loud noise in your head as you drift off to sleep.
  • “Sounds that don’t cause physical pain and can’t be heard by other people.”
  • Sounds that startle or frighten you and wake you up.
  • sweating, a rapid heartbeat, or trouble breathing after waking up

Some people have seen flashes of light and felt twitches in their muscles. Exploding head episodes can happen at any time of the night, but they stop when a person is awake.

According to a recent study, around 4% to 7% of people with exploding head syndrome have at least one noise episode per month.

You should contact your primary care doctor or a sleep specialist if you believe you have exploding head syndrome, especially if it causes you anxiety or prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.

The main sleep specialists that can help you manage your exploding head syndrome are psychologists and psychiatrists with training in sleep disorders. These specialists treat thoughts and behaviors related to sleep. While psychologists mainly use talk therapy or behavioral therapy, psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help with your symptoms.

People with exploding head syndrome often ask their doctors questions.

How is exploding head syndrome diagnosed?

A doctor may ask you about the following.

  • A description of your noise attacks.
  • Your other medical conditions are not listed.
  • family history of sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, or parasomnia
  • You take some medications.

They may also order a sleep study called polysomnography. This study is performed while you’re asleep, and it helps identify various sleep disorders, including exploding head syndrome.

Doctors may also run some tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that might be causing your symptoms. These include blood tests, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or electroencephalogram (EEG).

How is exploding head syndrome treated?

There is no standard treatment for exploding head syndrome. Your doctor will suggest a treatment plan based on your age, severity of symptoms, and presence of other medical conditions.

“Treatment isn’t needed for many people. Some find that the following non-pharmacological solutions help reduce the intensity of exploding head episodes.”

Some types of medications that affect neurological activity may provide relief.

What does exploding head syndrome feel like?

People with exploding head syndrome describe their noise attacks.

  • There are explosions.
  • There are gunshots.
  • crashes
  • thunder

There are other sounds you can hear, but they are usually pain-free.

Is exploding head syndrome dangerous?

“This condition isn’t dangerous despite its alarming symptoms. Your doctor will look for any underlying medical conditions that might cause the same symptoms.”

Despite a scary-sounding name, exploding head syndrome isn’t a dangerous condition. It may be caused by Stress and anxiety are related. or imbalances in the neurological activity in your brain. Although scientists used to think it’s more common among women older than 50, newer research shows that it can happen at any age and in all genders.

Make sure to speak with a doctor if you experience loud noises during your sleep that cause you to wake up. Your doctor will rule out any underlying medical conditions. Although there’s no special treatment for exploding head syndrome, relaxation and Stress reduction techniques are often helpful.