Exploding Head Syndrome

Ouch. Although when I first read the title I was expecting something a bit different.

Exploding head syndrome is a rare condition first reported by a British physician in 1988 (PMID 2899248) that causes the sufferer to occasionally experience a tremendously loud noise as if from within their own head, usually described as an explosion or a roar. This usually occurs within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not the result of a dream. Although perceived as tremendously loud, the noise is usually not accompanied by pain.


  1. I have that. Thanks. I’ve tried looking it up a million times and never found it on the web. Probably because I wouldn’t have thought of calling it “EXPLODING HEAD SYNDROME.” It feels more like a buzz or a flash of electricity going through your head and it does only occur when you’re falling asleep. Usually, within a half hour.

  2. It is quite the name isn’t it?

    I hope it isn’t too serious. Sounds like it could be a pretty bad sleep disorder if it happens frequently enough. Have you ever seen a physician about it?

  3. No. It’s not that big of a deal. It’ll only happen once a day for maybe three days, four or five times a year. It’s more interesting than anything else.
    Oh, and it mostly occurs when you’re taking a nap, rather than going to sleep at night. Also, it seems to happen more with large doses of caffeine.
    I tried looking for it on the net and found this super weird tin foil hat guy’s blog. Try googling “It alarms myself” and I’m sure you’ll find it.

  4. heh, it’s happened to me too. it doesn’t hurt, just startling – cause it seems very very loud and from inside your head, sort of like if you had a mic hooked up to a loudspeaker system cranked all the way up and you blow into the mic as hard as you can for a quick half second burst. it hasn’t happened frequently enough for it to be a concern. in hindsight it does seem to be correlated to lack of sleep and stress.

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