Exploding Head Syndrome

5th October 2022 Off By Marketing

Exploding head syndrome is a condition that can occur while falling asleep, between sleep stages, or during arousal from sleep. The exact cause is unknown but it belongs to the same group of conditions called parasomnias. This condition is not a serious health risk so, don’t panic, your head will not explode into a million pieces.



Common symptoms include hearing loud noises like gunshots, fireworks, a bomb exploding, a door slamming, or a loud crash. Some people have described seeing a blinding light. These noises are hallucinations, which are just an imagination but will feel very realistic as they occur.

The loud sound or light can jolt you awake, leaving you with a pounding heart, you might even feel like you are having a stroke or heart attack. You may have recurring experiences or they might only happen once, and disappears once you are awake.



Exploding head syndrome is not fully understood yet, but some researchers believe it is a neurological issue, others think it’s fear and anxiety related. It might also be related to the components of your middle ear shifting during the night.

You are at higher risk of getting exploding head syndrome when you are stressed or have a history of sleep interruptions. Doctors thought it was more common in adults and women but new research shows that it is common in college students as well.



Speak to your doctor or a sleep specialist if you show any symptoms of exploding head syndrome. You will probably be asked to keep a diary of your symptoms, diet and emotional state every night for a few weeks. You might have to spend a night in a lab where a sleep specialist will conduct polysomnographic testing.


There is no known cure for this condition, as it might be triggered by another sleep disorder. A treatment plan will depend on other symptoms, age, and to which degree it impact your life.

Some medications that will influence neurological activity, such as anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants and calcium channel blockers may help.

Other treatments such as meditation, stress reduction, counselling or psychotherapy can assist, you should also change your sleep routine.

Knowing that this condition is generally not harmful and that there is no reason to be overly concerned is enough to improve symptoms.


Exploding head syndrome can be frightening especially when it happens for the first time. Try and reduce your stress levels before you go to bed