THE BOTTOM LINE
Exploding head syndrome causes an exploding sensation in your head upon waking
It can lead to extreme daytime fatigue and stress
Talk to your doctor about the use of medication to treat this parasomnia
What is exploding head syndrome?
Just like its name suggests, this parasomnia gives you the sensation of your head exploding upon waking up. Yikes! That sounds like a terrible way to wake up and start your day. However, it can actually occur during any of your sleep stages! It is characterized by:
Loud noises, similar to a bomb explosion or a gunshot
Exploding sensation in your head (usually painless)
A bright flash of light (in some cases)
Shortness of breath
Increased heart rate
Feelings of panic
How common is exploding head syndrome?
Research has estimated that around 10% of the population is affected by it! Females are more likely to experience it and the average age of onset is 50 years old.
Can it impact my health?
This parasomnia can cause feelings of stress and is associated with extreme daytime fatigue in people who experience multiple awakenings per night.
What causes exploding head syndrome?
The cause is still unknown, although there are a couple of theories:
Minor temporal lobe seizures
Sudden shifts in middle ear components
Can it be treated?
Talk to your doctor to see if treating this parasomnia with medication is the right route for you.