Exploding Head Syndrome

Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is a common phenomenon which consists of a strange noise just before you fall asleep or waking up.

Despite its unusual name which can feel very realistic that occurs with 14 percent of the population, exploding head syndrome does not cause any harm. These sounds can range anywhere from fireworks going off beside you, a bomb exploding, or a loud crash. Some people have described it sounding similar to a shotgun, crunching, crashing, or a lightning strike.

This unusual feeling is harmless, however this auditory hallucination leaves the dreamer very disturbed and confused. Experts don’t know how many people have exploding head syndrome. However women tend to have an increased chance of this occurrence.

Exploding Head Common Symptoms

  • Fireworks exploding
  • Door slamming
  • People yelling or shouting something
  • Electrical Static
  • Head exploding
  • Thunder/cannon ball sound
  • Shotgun close to the ear
  • Electrical static

Exploding Head Syndrome Reasons

EHS classifies under Parasomnias which are abnormalities or undesirable behaviors occurring during phases between sleep. This transitions are occur during  nightmares, sleepwalking, and bed wetting (sleep enuresis). Scientists are still determined to figure out why this phenomenon exists, however they feel it could be part of the brain called the ‘reticular’ formation.  This is a set of interconnected nuclei that are located throughout the brain stem at the back of the head. This would be responsible for helping a person fall asleep. This transition between sleep at alertness people experience strange occurrence like hypnagogic jerks, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations.

Treatment For EHS

Although there isn’t an official treatment for exploding head syndrome, there are many things affected people can do to enjoy a healthy sleep.  This experience can be confused with other headache syndromes. However, exploding head is  painless where as a headache syndromes inflicts pain.

  1. Maintain a healthy diet
  2. Do not oversleep
  3. Reduce stress
  4. Reminder that it is harmless and a natural occurrence.
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Danny Kim
Danny Kim
4 years ago

This is so annoying I get this all the time. I feel that stress might be causing this exploding head feeling. I used to freak out about it from time to time but know I dont really care that much. I used to get stuck in my sleep and then ‘BOOM” I would feel it. A loud noise popping in my head. So crazy we dream these sorts of things.

Interpret Dreams
Interpret Dreams
4 years ago

Thank the heavens I found this article. I thought I was going crazy when this happened to me. I kept this secret because I thought I was going crazy. I noticed when I was stressed out this would happen more, it actually sounds as if you head is exploding. It so weird when you wake up and nothing is wrong.