Exploding head syndrome

I’ve just found an article with two interesting cases of ‘exploding head syndrome’ – a medical condition where affected people spontaneously hear an exceptionally loud explosion-like noise.

The condition is relatively harmless, causing people only to be startled, and it doesn’t seem linked to seizure activity or epilepsy. Owing to the fact it’s both benign and uncommon, it’s not been widely studied and so its cause remains a mystery.

Case 1
A 48-year-old man was seen in December 2006. For the past several months about three to four times a month, he had been having attacks of a peculiar sensation in the head likened to the noise of an exploding bomb only at night while going off to sleep. The ‘explosion’ would wake him up and disappear completely the moment he woke up.

There was no headache and no associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or any visual sensation. For the past 3 months, the frequency of these sensations had increased and had been occurring nearly daily at the time of consultation. The noise occurred only once during every night, after which he could go off to sleep. His past medical history had been unremarkable and he had never suffered from any significant headache problem. General physical and neurological examination had been unremarkable. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain with contrast had been normal. He was prescribed Flunarazine 10 mg daily. At 6 months’ follow-up he had much improved and noticed the exploding head symptom only on two occasions.

Case 2
A 65-year-old man was seen in February 2007. He was hypertensive and diabetic (both well controlled on oral medication) and had been having infrequent attacks of International Headache Society migraine headache (every 2–4 months) without aura since the age of 15 years. For the past 4 months prior to consultation, every 2–3 weeks, he had been awakened while going off to sleep only during taking a daytime nap by a sudden exploding (like a bomb bursting) noise in his head lasting for only few moments.

This noise was always accompanied with jerky elevation of his right arm and a queer sensation in the right side of his chest (not arm) and again lasting only momentarily. He felt quite well on waking up and could go off to sleep again. These were never accompanied by any visual flashes and never occurred during sleep at night. These sensations were very different from his migraine headaches, which lasted for several hours and the noises were not accompanied by any nausea or vomiting.

Physical examination was normal and his blood presswure in the clinic was 136/80 mmHg. He had already had a MRI of brain with contrast, MR angiography of brain and two interictal sleep EEG recordings performed before consultation with the author, all of which were normal. A video EEG with daytime sleep recording was performed, but no event could be captured.

Link to article with case studies.
Link to PubMed entry for same.

241 Comments

  1. Daniel Plainview
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    First of all, i’ll try to write in good english, i’m french.
    Exploding head syndrome is a peculiar thing.
    I’m pretty sure i experienced it several times before. Currently i’m 20 years old and it seems that I don’t have this syndrome anymore. The description in this article are pretty close to what i coul feel when it appeared. I felt it in the morning, when i was awakening. Same thing, big explosion noise and startling. Pretty weird feeling.
    The only thing that I have today is hypnagogic hallucination. I don’t know if there is a link between the two. Anyway that’s interesting.
    Mind Hacks is a great blog ! Keep up the good work ! :D

    • Edd
      Posted August 31, 2010 at 12:56 am | Permalink

      I seriously thought something was horribly wrong with me. I would never explain to anybody about my experience with this in fear of being called crazy or something. I’m so glad to find out that there are other people who experience this strange phenomenon. I don’t suffer from this as often as I did when I was younger (i’m 18). I found out that I would only get woken up by this if I slept on the left side of my body. Everytime is different in the sense that I “hear” a different sound.

      • Julien
        Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        This actually happened to me for the first time last night, was a odd feeling for sure. I went to sleep and no more than 10 mins after i closed my eyes a burst of white light hit the back of my eye lids and then when it hit its peak of white it felt like a explosion and my chest actually raised off the bed as if i was shocked but sounded like a explosion. Freaked me right out. Once my heart stopped pounding i was able to sleep again no problems.

    • Cee
      Posted August 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Parasomnic hallucinations can be linked to sleep apnoea and most people struggle for breath on waking having experience of them. Prior to me experiencing exploding head syndrome I used to get those. I have nocturnal seizures also and EHS with me is linked to the seizures I think.

      I eat a stone age/blood group strict diet, do not drink take recreational drugs. From what I can read on the internet it is assumed that the loud noises are imaginary, I can tell you they arent. I’m a scientist (trained) and I observed that the experiences starts around the aortic region, I feel it moving up, hear a ‘whoosh’ at both ears or an electrical buzz sound then comes the explosion. So I don’t know whether it’s circulatory or electrical but it IS physical.

      I dont take anti-epileptic medication nor any other medication. I tested out flax seed oil which helped then I got the experience again, took an extra one at night and this really helped. Stress makes them worse so I do a relaxation tape before I go to sleep, this helps also to reduce the frequency of occurances every night.

      • john
        Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        This was a very spot on description.. its not a mental thing, it feels like a physical thing. I feel it in both my ears and its like a build up and starts to buzz, then the loud sound, almost like an atilm bomb or nuclear bomb goes off and I wake up but my ear drums still feel alittle weird and pressured or constricted.

      • florence rainey
        Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

        I have the same thing you have just described .was scared to mention it to anybody .thought I was going mad at times . you have described my symptom exactly .am so sleep deprived . I am so relieved I will go to my doctor now.

    • Joseph Dean
      Posted February 5, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      I’m 30 now but I had it a few times in the past 7 years.It happened two times right before I started to wake up just at this one house. But when I would wake up I would hear tapping all around my bedroom,somebody walking down my hallway and there would be nobody there.Me and my wife would see figures that looked like around four feet tall out of the corner of our eyes.We would also feel something touching us and looking at us.The loud noise would sound the same everytime like a book got slammed on the ground.It hasent happened anywhere besides that house.

  2. Jamie
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I have also experienced this phenomenon a handful of times, all while falling asleep. The explosion startles me and wakes me up, but as far as I can tell I am otherwise unaffected. I also have gotten occasional migraines (with aura) ever since my teens. I was once hospitalized as a teenager with an acute migraine that affected my speech with symptoms similar to those of a stroke.

  3. Posted May 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had this as well, several times. I’ve long been of the impression that this is what is described in the Wikipedia entry on lucid dreaming, specifically in the segment on wake-initiated lucid dreams (WILD). Quote:
    “During the actual transition into the dream state, one is likely to experience sleep paralysis, including rapid vibrations,[15] a sequence of loud sounds [etc]“.
    If this is as normal as it seems from this quote, it’s not right calling it a syndrome.

  4. Ben
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had this a few times just since the last year or two – weird to see it described! Don’t much like the name though, it’s quite Scanners.
    I also sometimes have “ping tinnitus” – http://www.auditory.org/mhonarc/2005/msg00703.html .
    Do I win a prize? And might they be connected?

  5. Daniel Plainview
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t seem to be so uncommon after all :)

    • FallingAway
      Posted October 29, 2011 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      I don’t suppose it is. I have experienced this, sporadically, from when I was quite young until quite recently, though I didn’t tell anyone for fear that I was going insane or something of the like. I’d bet that it’s rather common

  6. Nigel Thomas
    Posted May 9, 2009 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    I have experienced this too, not recently, but quite often when I was in my 30s. It is a little weird because although the explosion seems quite loud, and happens quite unexpectedly, you can tell it is not a real sound. I am not sure how. Perhaps it does not echo in your ears the way a real loud sound would. I never thought something nearby had really exploded.
    My guess is that it is more like the auditory equivalent of a phosphene, the product of some random stimulation of the auditory system, rather than being like lucid dreams or hypnagogic images. Those are representational phenomena, you dream or imagine events or people or things; this is just a random burst of meaningless noise.
    As Daniel says, maybe it is not so uncommon after all. Probably most people just never report it. Although it worried me a little bit back when I had it quite often, it never seemed significant enough to take to the doctor. I do not think I ever mentioned it to anybody before this.

    • Lynn
      Posted May 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      I have read a lot of these posts and am very interested how this happens. I had never heard of this syndrome before. I find it also interesting that my mother has heard the same thing over the years. So what do I make of that?

  7. Posted May 10, 2009 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    This was, of course, the subject of a recent episode of “House, MD.”

  8. Ben
    Posted May 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Nigel – you are exactly right about knowing that it isn’t an external sound, I had also noticed that lack of reverberation.

    • magdalena
      Posted September 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Hello to all, I have been having this loud explosions inside my brain for almost a year and a half quite often. The first time I was really scared and I did not want to go back to sleep. After the explosion I touch my body for any sign of numbness or sensitive spot assess my vision hearing and speech. Nothing wrong, never commented with my family doctor because I was afraid that they may find something wrong with my brain. The explosions happens just before falling asleep. After reading all your comments I guess I can relax a little bit. Thanks for posting it. Magdalena.

  9. dellaguya
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    I had this occur back in 2004 when the Mayo Clinic initially prescribed a very low dose of seroquel for me to combat extreme insomnia (no sleep for 4-5 days). Exactly as others have described I would hear a very loud explosion, followed by a period of stuper (not seeing others report this), my whole body jerked, and of course a racing heart. The latter seemed a natural reaction to a blast in my opinion. I also quickly determined that it was an internal versus external phenomenon. The Mayo Clinic sleep specialist pulled out a book and showed me “Exploding Head Syndrome” to quell my anxiety (stuper following the event was also a symptom). I was told it was a benign seizure. As mine only occured ONCE/night and right before I went to sleep I didn’t puruse it at that time. It did eventually stop.
    This syndrome has recently returned. It now occurs three or four times a night. The noise is not as “loud” as 2004, but at times it feels if an ice pick has been rammed in my eye. The body jerkng is the same, but the stuper seems shorter. This started about a month ago when taking a new med. About ready to change that med.

    • leonard
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      It’s always scared me, especially the ice pick in the eye occasions you’ve expressed! also a huge brain jolt like something just thumped me around the head, (Posessed of some sort, they really horrorfie me) and a sizzling electrical noise. I’m writting now because I just suffered an attack, but this time I felt a ice pick through the lip! I awoke highly shocked, (heart thumping) and I could still feel a prick in my lip lasting a couple of minutes, I’m just glad someone else is experiencing exactly as I do.

      • Toni Mills
        Posted July 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        I have also experienced this on many occasions, when im thinking before sleep, last night I was having great thoughts, then bang metallic clashing, when i tried to remember my thoughts, i couldn’t, so i started from the beginning with the first thoughts i had when i lay down, just as they were getting good again, it happened again and like before it took a long time to remember my thoughts, I cant help but wonder if it is a high frequency sound that is always there, but you can only hear it when in deep, higher vibrational, thought, hmmm, is the sound designed to be that way, just a thought, as most people who have commented appear to be in good health and not on medication, so no explanation!!, I am a 32 year old woman, who is in good health and not on medication, I going to try again tonight and see what happens. Love and light to all.

      • Jim
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        I get a very loud electrical sound. Like the sound you would expect to hear from the old style TVs (when you first turn it on and the TV is still warming up), except amplified 100 times. The sound makes me jump, rip my eyes open and shocks me. I’m a 25 yr old man. I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea (although this does not feel like a regular apnea instance). Also, I have consistant tinitus.

  10. Wolf
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    I am a 26 year old man who has been suffering from exploding head syndrome (god I hate the name too, haha) for a few years. I believe to have had it for awhile, but as I got older the “louder” the sounds have gotten. A few years ago I would get them more frequent, almost like clockwork every night. Some nights; a couple, or a few, others nights; one or none. I always just associated it with stress, because I would notice it occur more often when I was restless or had a lot on my mind. The most frequent noises that I get are short circuited buzzes, door slams, and recently incoherent talk/babble from loud voices. I feel paralyzed after they occur and sometimes they will sound very eerie. I have gotten the “white light” experience along with the noise, but only for very extreme cases. Something interesting as well, is that I noticed that it would happen when I slept on my side. When I would have one or more ears burried into my pillow. There was a time (3 or 4 years ago), when I would anticipate the sensation, and change sleep positions to almost “catch it” before it happened. Often times this trick would work.
    Now that I’m relieved to know many others suffer from the same experience, I have grown more interested in knowing what the cause of this is. When I was younger I did take a lot of drugs recreationally, and felt that it could have been a long term reaction from it. I also have had a history with depression, and was prescribed an anti-depresent in my late teenage years.

    • Will
      Posted June 24, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

      I have something very similar to you! I too get the weird alarm type noises and buzzes, (as well as the odd explosion or thudding sound) good to know its not just me!

      • Will
        Posted June 24, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

        Ps also the voices or weird babble, that especially freaks me out!

      • alex
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        I am in my fiftys. I have awoken many times by what I call door slamming noises. I eventually stated having noctunal seizures followed by periods of memory loss. I have had MRI’s and EEG’s all normal. Im on medication now, but this morning i heard much quieter noises like two pipes clanging. weird huh? But I see Im not alone or there are even more intense noises. Im lucky i guess ??

      • Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        i also hear these electrical sounds basically in the mid central back of my brain,constant sound. turn my head to left, loud to left side turn my head to right the sound increases to the right, hold mt head backwards noise loud to back of neck.Push my hesd foward and down it quiets down a bit.Sometimes i turn my eyes rt or left electrical charges not all the time but enough. sounds like when doctor took me off cymbalta.zzzzzzz zzzzzzz

  11. Waters
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I’m so relieved to see so many people have experienced this phenomenon. SHortly after I was diagnosed with MS about 6 years ago, I started having these episodes just as I was drifting off to sleep. It sounded as if someone dropped an encyclopedia type book flat onto a hardwood floor. The first time I got out of bed and searched for the source of the npoise, for which none could be found. When it happened again the next nite, I realizes it was in my head. With it came a quick flash of brite lite, just as long as the noise itself. Followed by a racing heart, which I assume is adrenaline. I wanted to ask my doctor about it, but had no idea how to desribe it. I had the same problem when the MS caused Restless Leg Syndrome. How do you describe this stuff to a doctor when you’ve never heard of it before??? I’v learned from this disease that the brain can play some pretty crazy tricks on you. When I saw the episode of House describing and Bless Me, even naming this phenomenon, I was so excited. Now I can Goggle it and find out if i’m having an anurism once and for all….THANK GOD for that episode. phew

  12. nealcassady
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    i JUST experienced this feeling about 20 minutes ago, for the first time ever. i typed in “body felt loud explosion” into Google – which lead me here. the whole thing really freaked me out..
    watching TV on the couch, all of a sudden – REALLY loud bang below me, felt like a bomb went off.. ears started ringing, racing heart, was a bit dizzy, then internal feelings went away after 2min or so.. have no idea what it was, felt like i was jolted by electricity from the inside out with an accompanying BOOM sound that was really really loud, so loud it made my ears ring?
    someone’s gotta help!

  13. nealcassady
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    i JUST experienced this feeling about 20 minutes ago, for the first time ever. i typed in “body felt loud explosion” into Google – which lead me here. the whole thing really freaked me out..
    watching TV on the couch, all of a sudden – REALLY loud bang below me, felt like a bomb went off.. ears started ringing, racing heart, was a bit dizzy, then internal feelings went away after 2min or so.. have no idea what it was, felt like i was jolted by electricity from the inside out with an accompanying BOOM sound that was really really loud, so loud it made my ears ring?
    someone’s gotta help!

  14. katy
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    over tha past 6 weeks i have 3 exploding head attacks, i am struggling with sleep at the moment and i mean 3 nights no sleep one night sleep, prior to this i have had the whole body jerking when just about to fall asleep, mine fells like 2 electric wires touching and making a sound then the loudest bang with my head jerking a few times it is scary i have suffered from severe magraine for 48 years vomiting for 8 solid hours and pain you cannot describe but with this there is no headache and no pain

    • Roxanne
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Tonight I was awakened by EHS again(2nd or 3rd time), and I decided to try to look it up. I was afraid of aneurism or something life threatening. No headaches, yet I have had the body twitching movements. Both always occur as I’m falling asleep. Possibly a connection to too much drinking the previous night. Will pay attention to left side tendency in future. Thanks for your post, Katy. Thanks for establishing this site.

  15. Robert R. Watkins
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Until I saw the show Doc Martin, I thought that I was the only person who had this condition. It doesn’t happen very often, it isn’t painful, & I can fall to sleep after the “event”.
    Like most, I just hear a very loud blasting sound which makes me jump up & look around & wonder what the hell just happened. I’m 63 & this has been going on since my teen-aged years. It seems so stupid to me that I thought that it couldn’t happen to anyone else, so I was very shocked to see it shown on Doc Martin; it makes me wonder how many others have this condition & have never reported it! (Sort of like reporting a UFO).

    • dan
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:01 am | Permalink

      I, too, sometimes get that explosion sound..was reluctant to say anything to anybody in fear of being ridiculed or perhaps even a hypochondriac…I am a former Navy Hospital Corpsman and pride myself to be medically informed, but the high pitched ringing in my ears (sounds like insects at night) accompanied with the occasional explosion that you could swear everyone within a mile could hear comes and goes, but the high pitched sounds remains…ya cant win em all

  16. Shelby
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    When I Googled “explosion in my head”, I did not think that I would encounter not only a name for it, but that other’s have experienced it too. I thought some part of my brain was actually exploding. It is somewhat of a relief to see that I am not the only one and there isn’t an fatal underlying factor/s. It happens when I am asleep or just drifting off to sleep and I have not only experienced the very loud explosion, but also an extremely loud yell/scream/roar, which seemed to be directly in front of my face. I woke up suddenly and looked for the person who yelled, but obviously there was no-one there.

    • Will
      Posted June 24, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

      The scream/roar really makes me jump I have that too!

      • Cathy
        Posted August 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        I experience a yell/roar in my ears that wakes me up on a frequent basis. It seems to only happen when I’m sleeping on my back. I have never given it much thought, assuming it was part of a dream, but last night it happened while attending an outdoor concert and it was followed by a short period of dizziness. My brother witnessed the event and agree’d it was weird! That is what prompted me to investigate!

        Thank-you all for sharing your experiences!

  17. Jackie
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m 58 and I’ve been having these symptoms off and on for years. Just as I’m falling asleep a loud explosion in my head and at the same time lights as if a fireworks explosion happened. I’m still trying to figure out how to minimize this problem, but when I eat chocolate, sweets, pasta or just eat too much just before bedtime, I can almost be sure it’s going to happen. Anyway I too am relieved that I can put a name on the condition and while I don’t wish it on anyone, I’m also relieved to know it’s not just happening to me. Thanks and good will to us all……

    • Shelly e
      Posted September 3, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      I have this awful condition too. I don’t have the noise with it just sharp pain in my head as I’m falling asleep. It keeps occuring over and over as I’m drifting off. But I too am trying to watch what I eat to see if if makes a difference. Does pasta, chocolate and sweets affect you if you eat them late in the day or if you eat them at all?

    • Jackie Short
      Posted January 19, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      Jackie: I have had the same exploding and bright lights for about two years. It happens at least twice a weeks. I am so glad I am not the only one and now I can explain it to my family and Doctors. Thank you for your insight.
      Take care and good luck.

  18. Hannah
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m 16 and I’ve had this condition for two years…I’ve got no medical problems, never smoked nor done drugs, never really done anything that could be a cause.

    I believe that there must be some kind of cause, however. I wish I knew. I have noticed that it happens more when I am tired or stressed, though. I’m not sure I would say extreme fatigue, mind.

  19. joanne
    Posted October 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi, ive been experiencing this for a while, thought I was going mad, even asked my partner if he had heard the noise, it makes my heart beat like mad, and I do get the flashing light as well as the noise, thank god there is a name for it.Is it related to epilepsy?

  20. Wolf
    Posted November 19, 2010 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Back again. I’ve been thinking of the cause as well joanne. Now I’m not a medical expert, nor do possess any medical knowledge. But from what I’ve experienced, and from what I read, I’m convinced that it has something to do with the ear drum. I not only been to many loud concerts and festivals, however I am involved in music myself. Drums. Therefore it would make sense that it would relate back to that. It does feel like my ear drum is vibrating, or pulsating. I also used to dig rather deep when I would clean my ears, and I noticed that I would experience EHS symtoms that evening.

    But like I said, I’m not a medical expert. Just wanted to share my thoughts.

    • Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      I’m in my 70′s and have suffered ‘exploding head’ for a few years, although very occasionally. Last night was the first time I noticed pressure or ‘popping’ as on an aircraft. Recently my doctor suggested an ear syringe for a totally different reason but because of an unusual build up of wax which he described as like honeycomb, he couldn’t complete the cleanout. My hearing is fine, the syringe was to help relieve hay fever.
      Wonder if this has anything to do with head detonation ( better than ‘exploding?)

  21. Posted December 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    When I first suffered an exploding head syndrome attack, my heart almost jumped out of my chest. Since that first attack, which happened a little less than two years ago, I have had close to 10 additional occurrences of exploding head syndrome. It is a horrible condition that makes you feel like you’re going insane, but aside from that, it does not seem dangerous in any way.

  22. Siaarn
    Posted December 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I have this, but instead of a bomb, it’s usually thunder, sometimes it can sound like thunder but usually it’s accompanied by a dream about thunder and it’s so loud it wakes me up. Though sometimes it’s a different sound, more like just a weird explosion or just some random loud sound while I’m trying to go to sleep, it’s really weird.

    I noticed alot of the people who suffer from it are older, I’m 20 and it started when I was about 18 I think. It’s a really weird thing, it doesn’t worry me or anything but it’s kinda cool to see other people talking about it.

  23. kevin p
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Wow i had this explosion in my head happen to me last night. i was laying there and i had alot on my mind and was trying to just fall asleep and i closed my eyes and seen a very white bright light and i opened my eyes and closed them and was about to nod off and then a explosion like a bomb being dropped sounded and i sat up like what the heck is going on. i turned my light on to gather myself and i got up and walked around a lil cause it startled me and i went to sleep and woke up and was fine. weirdest thing that has ever happened but im glad im not the only person that has had this.

  24. Nancy
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I too thought I was the only one suffering from ‘head explosion syndrome’on this planet. I thought I was going mad or suffering from some form of mental illness until I saw the episode on ‘Doc Martin.’
    I used to accussed my children of ‘waking me’ up from my sleep by making ‘loud noises!’ So glad to know I am not going crazy!!

  25. Maria
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I have heard these audible sounds in my sleep since I was about four years old, I am now 52. The sounds can appear as a loud knock, shattering glass, a ringing phone, a drum or gunshot. I assumed it was a warning of some kind, but how fascinating to know that many others have experienced this. My sister is 69 and recently told me she had been experiencing the knocks and the sound of phones and gunshots since a small child and was afraid to talk about it. She told her husband and he thought she needed to seek help with a counselor. What an awful name though, “Exploding Head SYndrome”

  26. Scott
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    OK – so I thought that I would enter “Loud noise in head when falling asleep” into Google and what do I find? Exploding Head Syndrome…not something I actually expected to find. I am so surprised to see I am not alone with this “syndrome.” I too hear a loud “bang” and experience a bright white light (thank GOD its not that white light!) So, after reading these posts, does anyone have suggestions or a diagnosis/treatment from an M.D.?

  27. west dreezy
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Wow im so relieved that im not the only 1. i experienced this the other night for the first time, im 18. all i remember is jumping out of my sleep due to a monstrous bang in my head and a wild flash of bright light that dazed me and left me sittin up looking for a reasonable explanation. it all lasted for a short moment and i went straight to sleep afterwards. again i must stress my relief that many others are encountering this weird shit

  28. Posted June 12, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    This happens quite often but always when I’m in a deep sleep. Freaks me out bad for a minute and then when my heart stops pounding, I go easily go back to dream land.

    Some history.

    There are times when I don’t sleep for days, just not tired. My mind doesn’t race and I am not suffering any type of stress.

    Several years ago, I would sleep for weeks at a time without waking up to eat or go to the bathroom. There just wasn’t a need to do so.

    I have a 6 mm right side ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma. (Tumor that lives within the confines of my skull; Aspartame/neotame induced.)

    I do not take any drugs prescribed or illegal.

    I am prone to seizures.

    I suffer migraines.

    I am not depressed.

    Do any of us have anything in common?

    • Ca
      Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      I just saw the Doc Martin episode that lead me to this site. I am very relieved to learn that I haven’t lost my mind. I have been woken up by super loud bangs or hearing my name screamed out since I was a child under 10 yrs. I am a 52 yr old woman, history of seizures starting in my 30′s, migraines since a teenager, bouts of depression on & off thru the yrs, hypertension since 20, asthma. The only people I ever rarely mentioned this to were my sisters growing up. They too experienced it. I’ve had severe chronic insomnia since a teenager. Never found a medicine to help with that. Would go 2-3 days no sleep & then get 1 night. & just about to sleep or just fell asleep & crash! Jumping up, racing heartbeat, sometimes sweating & terrified, sometimes couldn’t move for a while. I would like to see the connection between us all. It is way too under reported. I have an appointment with my m.d. soon & will be sure to discuss this. We all should-it’s real & we’re not crazy! I even have asked people I’ve been with or if one of my daughters was with me, I would look at them to see if they would wake! Something has to be a common factor. There’s too many of us!

    • Jacqui
      Posted October 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Hi. I began to suffer from ‘exploding head’ after neurosurgery to relieve temporal lobe epilepsy. The Neurologist told me that it was a condition related to epilepsy. It’s always sounded like someone hammering my door down, just as I’m falling asleep – I suppose it’s natural for the mind to try and make sense of what it’s hearing and so that’s what I used to think it was. It happened less and less as time goes on. Reading the above posts, it doesn’t seem to be so confined to epilepsy after all.

  29. Posted June 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I have had this exploding head syndrome thing. It started about 2 weeks ago. Mine is either just as I’m about to drop off, or sometimes before I do drop off. It’s like a loud buzzing sound for me, like someone switched on an electric razor for 2 seconds. No flashing lights though. Then it stops, and my heart races like mad. I thought I’d google it and was amazed that it is actually a condition!! Makes me feel better actually. I do worry that it is going to happen every night and can’t go to sleep for ages waiting for it to happen I guess. I’ve had it at least 3-4 times a week. I’ve started putting cotton wool in my ears which does help quite a bit…

    • scruffy
      Posted July 26, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      funny that you started putting cotton in your ears! i think you might have to put it in your brain — it’s literally an “in your head” thing.

      yours is buzzing. mine is a door slamming as loud as possible. yay. : /

  30. My arse
    Posted July 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Im 13 but a bit of a philosopher i only realy get it when iv been thiking about sci fi (space opera) mine sounds like a giant sharply clapping
    ing its hands mm from my head then an adrenalin rush its realy freaky im not alone thou…woot

  31. Reid
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Like most of the people replying to this, I’ve also experienced “exploding head syndrome”. The oddest part of it is, I’m a 14 year old male. EHS usually occurs in females and those over the age of 50. My first experience with EHS was in a dream I had a year ago. I was at my school walking down the halls when suddenly the speakers turned on and let out this loud, screeching sound. It was awful. In the dream I fell to my knees and put my hands over my ears, then woke up within a few seconds. The second time and most recent time was a few weeks ago when I was fully awake (I thought). I have this big, leather sectional in my living room and it sounded as if someone took their hand and slammed it against the couch as hard as they could. It gave me quite the adrenaline rush. You could imagine how startling this must have been in the middle of the night when all was quiet. I also didn’t know it was all in my head, in fact I asked my father if he had heard the loud noise in the morning. He looked at me as if I had a third eye and a tentacle growing out of my arse, hehe. Anyway, I just heard about this condition and didn’t even know there was a name for it, much less that so many people suffer from it.

  32. john pirkis
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I am 76 years old and have just had my first 4 episodes of EHS since end of June. One episode was triggered by a sort of “waking dream” where my hand went to an electric plug. Following the investigation into the causes of leg ulcers and a subsequent vein bypass operation I am now on morphine; MST pills and Oramorph occasionally when the dressings are painful. I have indulged in cannabis in the past however according to another website, with 160 plus pages!, EHS has nothing to do with this. Following the beginning of the treatment I sleep in one of those lovely reclining chairs, usually during the day. My sleep pattern is usually about 80 minutes till my bladder wakes me as I enter REM sleep and the first dream. the explosions have so far occured between these sleep periods.

  33. Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This happened to me just as I was waking up this morning, with roughly five or six noises occuring in a row. As I tried to drift back to sleep, it happened again and I decided to stay awake and search it online, which led me here. The sound I experience is similiar to an electrical arching/buzzing mixed with the sound of a car passing you on a road. A “whoosh” kind of sound. I’ve been suffering a great deal of stress related to anxieties (about my health, coincidentally) so I imagine it’s related to that. I knew that I wasn’t the only one suffering this, but I wasn’t expecting to find this many people who know what I’m going through.

  34. robyn Hill
    Posted July 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I have this and when the explosion goes off, it is quite frightening as it is the absolute loudest internal exploding sound ever imaginable. I really do hate it, but fortunately, I am not terribly concerned about it. I believe it is related to anti-depressants, I do take paxil. I also wonder if it could be a result of over pixelization from computer screens, tv screens etc… I believe this perhaps is similar to how epilepsy is related to strobe lights. I also believe there is an inner ear correlation. Interesting stuff though, I think sleep management, pixel management…:), and maybe even having a banana (pottasium benefit) may help. hmmmmm….

    • lissa
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:46 am | Permalink

      I started am just like all of the other posts, started this several weeks ago, couldn’t explain it because people would think I’m nuts. I’m a social worker, so you say that I probably am nuts. HA! the more I read up on his crazy head-explosion the more I truly believe it is stress related in some, and maybe brain overload in others. SOmeone mentioned Paxil and I am onthat but am weening off, so didn’t know if that is what it was.

    • Mary
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      wow …everything you said was exactly what I was thinking and I had the EHS last night…and woke up this morning craving a banana…and ate one…that is so weird that you would say that….I felt a little better after eating the banana but am still shaky….when I had the EH event I became paralyzed after for a period of time…I was too paralyzed to even know how much time passed…and when my son woke me up this morning I could hardly speak to him…I think it is something bad like a tumor or adrenal prob…I am not sure…but I am scared

  35. robyn Hill
    Posted July 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    would love to hear additional comments so please e-mail me with notifications. :)

  36. scruffy
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    This happens a lot to me and happens only right when I am about to/just falling asleep. I’ll wake suddenly to what would sound like someone slamming the loudest door right next to me.

    It’s lovely, I tell you. And then it will happen a few more times in a row…and then I fall asleep.

    Woo.

  37. scruffy
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    and it should be noted…i take an maoi. so it would not remotely surprise me if there was a link b/w anti-depressants and exploding head syndrome (as noted above by robyn).

  38. Posted July 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m 63. I only started experiencing this phenomenon about five years ago. I would wonder why my SO, dogs, and our kitty were peacefully asleep during this horible noise.

    In my case, it sounded like someone either bashing in doors or turning over very heavy pieces of furniture.

    I was so glad when someone on one of the Comcast forums wrote in about this and provided links.

    I hadn’t had an episode in almost a year until Tuesday night.

    At least I know what it is and there are no intruders.

    Susan

  39. Ali
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m a 15 yr old female, and I’ve had episodes for about 2-3 years. Whenever it happens to me, I get a very loud bzzt instead of the bang that most people hear. It always happens whenever I’m almost asleep, and occurs about 6-7 times a year… It’s nice to have a name for what was happening!

  40. Abigail
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I used to stay at my grandmother’s house after school when I was a kid; I would always fall asleep until my mom could pick me up after work and take me home (we had a very weird schedule like that). I don’t know why but every time I was about to fall asleep I would hear people screaming, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. They seemed so angry and it scared the living hell out of me seeing as how I was only six years old! I would only hear the voices and they were always screaming, I never heard buzzing or crashing like some of the other comments said.

    Anyway, the episodes stopped after about a year and I’ve never experienced them since. It was funny because I thought the voices were people yelling at me for past things that I had done wrong, but I’m glad that there’s a name for what I went through, albeit a rather odd name. And I would love to hear if someone out there heard voices like me.

  41. lissa
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    I do feel better after reading what everyone has said because there doesn’t seem to be any danger to it. I’m a very busy person all day long with working full-time, going to school, and am a mother to three daughters, one which has severe special needs. I am writing this off as stress related and hope it goes away soon. At night when I’m trying to fall asleep I start thinking about if “ITS” going to happen, then it happens and the next 10 minutes are full of different body jerks that don’t hurt and don’t last but a second, but enough to wake my dog up that sleeps with me. Next to the “head blast”, the next worst thing is when my entire abdomen jerks in like someone just punched my stomach in but it didn’t hurt. Just bothersome. Followed by that I watch my body and may get another explosion in my head or a jerk in my leg, foot, arm, or side. By the time I start counting how many jerks I have, I have fallen asleep. Eight is the most I can remember.

  42. LX
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I get this occasionally. Mine is a sharp static/electric buzz, kinda like someone turned on a razor or coffee grinder for a split second. Sometimes it sounds like it’s in my inner ear. Sometimes I could swear it came from the corner ceiling. It always happens as I’m dosing off, and is not related to dreaming. More like a hypnogogic jerk reaction (I get those too-mostly feels like I tripped on a step, and I jerk awake).

    I never get the adrenaline rush or fear. It’s kinda funny, and has made me laugh a few times.

    I do have a history of insomnia, delayed sleep phase syndrome, rare migraines, and some hearing damage as a musician.

    • Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Yours is the same as mine! I never get the loud bang, just the buzzing/razor being turned on for a split second thing, sometimes sounds like someone is pulling on an elastic band. It is so strange. Last night I had it about 8 times before I got to sleep, I tried turning onto my other side to sleep, but didnt make a difference, its also happens when I lie on my back. At the minute I’m lucky if I get one night off. I’m getting used to it, but it is still quite worrying and alarming when it happens. I do take Nytol more or less every night. I think it is worse when you are over-tired, as I was last night.. just wish it would go away for ever, and wish there was something that could stop it, because I don’t like it. Reading all these posts though, it is reassuring to know I am not alone..

  43. Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow, great that I am not alone! This has been happening to me for quite a long time. I mentioned it to a neurologist and a few doctors but they just looked at me and gave me no clue as to any cause. I have experienced loud bangs, pops, hear music as if the tune keeps repeating, snaps, leg and arm jerks, flashes of light! The whole gamut, sometimes they hurt sometimes not. I thought that maybe it was caused by dying neurons or something like that. I do not get scared but I do not enjoy it either and I have learned to just let them happen and then I gradually fall asleep. I have learned that it occurs frequently when I do not get the sleep I need so when I am overtired and I feel it I know I am in for some clanging and banging! Probably something to do with messing up your circadian rhythm or something. I am usually fine if I get required sleep but not always. Just as long as we do not wake up in the morning and look in the mirror to see half a head, I think we’ll all be fine.

  44. michael acevedo
    Posted August 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to a friend, I now have a possible answer to what I’ve experienced off and on for most of my life.Iam a 40 year old man with high blood presure (very well controlled with medication),and psoriatic arthritus.I have been off this medication for almost 2 years because I hated the side effects.The noises that wake me up are,clicks,claps,knocks,beeps,dings,and unfortunatly for me,most commonly terrifying screams.I Usually have experiences 3 to 4 times a month. Good to now there are others out there!

  45. Shelly e
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    I have had EHS for five years. I am 53. I have a bit different symptoms. I very seldom hear a loud noise, or any noise for that matter, but what happens to me is that as I am drifting off to sleep I experience a sharp pain in my head. Almost like an electrical shock. This continues to happen over and over until I’m so out of it I finally fall to sleep, this may not be until sometimes 2:30 -3:00 a.m. If I wake myself up the pain is gone. I sometimes will have a headache because of the pain. It has really ruined the quality of my life. I don’t take any drugs except Lyrica for it. I have just seen another dr. and he has prescribed Sonata. I hope this helps, but hate to be on sleep meds from now on. Has anyone noticed any link to food allergies with this? I’m trying to figure our what is the underlying cause of this. My MRI’s are always good.

  46. ann
    Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I just had my first explosion this morning and wondered if it was a brain anneurism. Thanks to this site im relieved. I have been under a lot of stress but in great health otherwise. So I am not a sound sleeper and wondered if exedrin pm or a sleep aid would help. Concerned about the comment of an aspartame brain tumor as I chew a lot of sugar free gum. Any relation there?

  47. Matty M
    Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    WoooooW i have experienced a loud bang a few times also, just before sleep. Just searched it on google not expecting anything. Don’t usualy like too search medical problems on internet as it usualy makes you more worried than before you started. After reading comments it does sound like it can be brought on threw stress or bad sleep? Doesn’t sound too bad a condition!

  48. Jean W
    Posted September 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I just read an article about Exploding Head Syndrome at CNN.com. It’s nice to know it has a name and I’m not the only person who has it. Mine sound exactly like a loud explosion in my head. I always thought it was related to my sinuses, probably because it only happens when I’m laying down prior to sleep. I realize now I haven’t had the explosions in awhile. But I have very recently noticed flashes of light, very bright light, just before dropping off to sleep. I gather this is probably related to Exploding Head Syndrome.

  49. Posted September 19, 2011 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Well, lucky me…I got another “episode” while taking a nap. I’ve had these happen before but usually mine are a little different as well, as I don’t have the typical “gunshot” sound. I get a lot of the electrical buzzing and it seems like I’ll feel the sensation as well as hearing it.

    Then I always have some horrible dream, this afternoon’s being that I was dying and trying to get to the hospital but everyone thought I was faking it…of course all the feelings with my “death” I’m sure I felt to one degree or another in my real body…as when I woke up…I did indeed have stomach pain and I had been drooling a little, etc., so I’m sure there’s some connection. Then I have confusion upon awakening which makes me think I’m having a stroke or seizure. I get up and I’m not “right” in my head for a while.

    In fact, I was so “not right” in my head today that I called 911 and had them come over. In the time waiting for the ambulance I got a little less disoriented when having a bit of juice to drink. My right hand was shaking insanely and then the adrenaline kicked in. I also felt like my breathing was not right from the get-go. They came over and said my blood sugar was low and that sipping my drink might have gotten me back to a more “normal” state.

    They left as I didn’t want to be carted to the hospital only to be discharged a few hours later saying I had some panic attack. This is not a panic attack and whatever goes on in my pre-sleep to dream state head is all too real. Now I have a left-sided headache/migraine to go with it – but I’ve been having one for ages. I have an MRI on Wednesday and I’m hoping they find nothing bad in there…but these things are indeed scary and make you NOT want to go back to sleep to experience them again.

    I also tend to get these things when I don’t take an Ambien to sleep (like taking a nap)…with the Ambien I am oblivious to them happening IF they happen at all. I’ve been taking Ambien for years (every nite) – but it also seems like I have had these strange happenings for years as well…once in a while with the added scary confusion.

    I was admitted to the hospital back in 2008 for a suspected TIA…which the neurologist stated could have been a TIA or possibly a seizure from the Ativan I had taken earlier in the day (altho it was 1/4 of a pill). I’m suspecting it was the same thing as I had today as it wore off in about the same time period (roughly 30-45 minutes).

    I am 50.

    (Sorry for the length – wanted to go into detail in case anyone had anything remotely like me.)

    • Jean W
      Posted September 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Your physical symptoms are worrying, particularly the possible low blood sugar. I wondered if you’ve had a complete physical recently, you could have a condition that needs to be treated.

      When I have possible exploding head symptoms, I don’t have any symptoms except sound or light, and sometimes rapid heartbeat if it really startles me.

      I’m 51 and female.

    • Mary
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      I had the disorienting feeling all day ..since it happened to me last night….I have been off balance and dropping everything I try to pick up….very clumsy feeling…..also had a head ache when I got up this AM….

  50. Posted September 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I have had more tests and bloodwork than anyone I know. I’ve had more CT scans than my radiologist doctor friend knows of…and I’ve gone to more “ologists” than I care to mention. One bumps me to the next saying it’s not their specialty.

    So, to answer your question…yes…I’ve had full workups (and then some) – many of them per year.

    They always seem to find nothing. Nothing is good – nothing against nothing…but it would be nice if they found a tiny something which is treatable and not deadly. I’d like to be “normal” again.

    My blood sugar levels have always been normal and I’ve probably had about four tests this year from different specialists and different labs.

    Maybe it’s all attributed to my sleep apnea…or migraine – as I have one now.

    Just was hoping others had my symptoms as well. There are safety in numbers…especially when those numbers are alive and able to make posts. :)

    • Jean W
      Posted September 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      I wish you luck finding others with your symptoms; it is nice to know you’re not alone. As for your your checkups, you’ve described very well why I’ve given up on doctors. They seem to be very good at taking a person apart and putting them back together once the person has reached the stage of having very obvious symptoms, but diagnostics leave a lot to be desired.

  51. Paul
    Posted September 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I have had this for a few years only spasmodically but the worst bang happened last night.I have had loud bangs in the past but this was like a bomb going off in my left ear. Come to think of it , it always happens on my left side. It shook me up so much I went on Google to find what it is I have been experiencing and get help for the first time and now realise there are numerous other people suffering as well. I feel if I am starting to fight off sleep which is not natural for me. I will endevour to sleep on my left and back to see if this helps.
    Yesterday was the first time I mentioed it to my wife as it didnt seem too important but it does now.Lets hope theres some light at the end of the tunnel, any suggestios appreciated but preferably not medication.

    • Jean W
      Posted September 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Paul, I hate phones and go for days without talking on the phone. I associate my symptoms with stuffy sinuses from year round allergies.

  52. Paul
    Posted September 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I have had this for a few years only spasmodically but the worst bang happened last night.I have had loud bangs in the past but this was like a bomb going off in my left ear. Come to think of it , it always happens on my left side. It shook me up so much I went on Google to find what it is I have been experiencing and get help for the first time and now realise there are numerous other people suffering as well. I feel if I am starting to fight off sleep which is not natural for me. I will endevour to sleep on my right and back to see if this helps.
    Yesterday was the first time I mentioed it to my wife as it didnt seem too important but it does now.Lets hope theres some light at the end of the tunnel, any suggestions appreciated but preferably not medication. Could it be mobil phones as I always use my left ear when talking

  53. Laura
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I have had ehs for years. It has been more pronounced when coming off or going on a new antidepressant. The worst episodes in my life were approx 10 years ago when I was coming off of the antidepressant paxil. It does seem to happen more frequently in between the sleep and awake states, but I have had it happen when fully awake and engaged in some activity. I’ve rationalized it by thinking it as follows and please note that I am no scientist: the brain shifts waves and states much like a car. When the wave “jumps” to a different state instead of going the usual route, it causes ehs. Much like grinding the gears of a car. I also think there must be something chemical, perhaps an enzyme, that contributes to this. Has anyone else noticed that ehs also accompanies night terrors (which is sleep paralysis)?

  54. Laura
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and the only things I’ve ever noticed that helped are: abstaining from too many substances (ha ha), exercising, meditating and just generally being mindful. Almost like I am thinking about how I am thinking. Which can become a mobius strip of nauseating anxiety if you are not too careful. The key is quieting the mind: it seems to lubricate the brain waves into doing what they should be doing.

  55. Posted September 28, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    All I know is that I’m looking forward to a long EHS free period, because at the minute I get it practically every night, even more so when I am over tired., but I’ve read that you can go for long periods without it happening and I just hope this is true! Just glad I am not alone. I used to love going to bed, now I just think “here we go again’ every night and wait for it to start.. very frustrating.. and I am one of those people who needs 8 hours sleep, especially as I’m a busy mum of 4 children. I am 39, do have quite a bit of stress, and do get tired. I have had sleep apnoea in the past though that only happened maybe twice a year. I also have had migraine auras too. I smoke, use a mobile phone, suffer from insomnia from time to time too. It could be a number of things like this that causes it, or as I’ve read maybe a problem with the inner ear. I had never heard of it before, but am glad to read its quite common,even if it is a right pain in the you know what!

  56. Karen
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I have been suffering these episodes for over a year now ….. I saw a neurologist today who diagnosed the condition, so here I am reading up about it. I’m amazed there is a name for this condition and that others out there are experiencing the same symptoms. It’s great now I know and better too that the problem isn’t more sinister! My episodes are caused by a high stress level and full and busy days / life with little sleep (at times). I’m off to read more about the condition …… maybe some young medical graduate could consider doing a study on EHS

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      If it is caused by high stress levels and full/busy days and lack of sleep at times then I’m not surprised in the least that I have it!! Strangely enough I haven’t had it for the past 2 nights (nice).. even though I’ve had very little sleep for 4 nights due to a cold and bad chest, which amazes me because my head feels so congested , as do my ears.. it has been a relief though to have 2 nights off!!

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Do you mind me asking how old you are Karen, and what sounds do you hear? Mine is a buzzing sound, lasting for only a second, sometimes loud and sometimes quieter.. some nights I get it about 6-8 times before I get to sleep.

      • Karen
        Posted October 1, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Hi Jo, I’m 49 years old and have been experiencing EHS for about a year now. Initially it happened about once every 10 days and now seems to happen 4/5 times a week but usually only once a night when falling asleep. It felt like an electrical current or hot water rushing through my head in a tube / channel but now comes as a wave of pressure engulfing the left side of my head. It is more a sensation than a loud sound but the sound could be likened to a buzz as the wave moves. It feels like my head expands and at the peak it feels like a switch is going to end my life in one flicker – like a blowout! It lasts for a few seconds only. I don’t see any lights. Didn’t happen last night …phew!

    • Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      I haven’t had an episode for 3 nights now either! Its great to have days off!! Won’t hold my breath though, I’m sure it will return! I also get it at least 5-6 times a week too, but it only lasts 1 second and it goes again.. like someone turning on an electric razor for a split second, sometimes its very loud and other times its fairly quiet. Very strange indeed..

  57. Shelly
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I haven’t heard of it being an inner ear thing. Where did you learn of this?

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Hi Shelley. I read it somewhere on one of these fact sheets on google (think it may have been wikipedia?) It just said that some think it may be caused by a result of a sudden movement of a middle ear component or blocked eustachian tube?? It is quite disturbing, but having read that it is not thought to be anything serious, makes me feel better., although I do find it frustrating because I need my sleep and find it hard to drop off at the best of times, but since this started about 4-5 months ago, it makes it even harder to drop off as I find I’m lying there waiting for the noise to happen every night.

  58. Ian
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Got this a month ago in Ibiza after a week of many late nights and not much sleep. So glad to know what it is now! An explosion in my head is exactly how I described it to people, it was like an EMP bomb in my brain. Amazing that that sort of sound can come from within us somewhere.

    • Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I can’t believe how many other people have this condition too and I’ve never ever heard about it! But it is a relief to know its not serious, though it is annoying, and doesn’t help with insomnia! Never heard a bomb going off noise, but I guess it could change to that 1 day.. really think there is a connection between stress, busy lifestyles and tiredness..

  59. jeanie
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I have had this happen to me before…maybe about 3 or 4 times, but not recently. I can totally believe it could be like another poster described, caused by a result of a sudden movement of a middle ear component or blocked eustachian tube!! The only time it happened to me was during allergy season! It began happening to my 14 yr old daughter recently too and she has bad allergy problems as well as a history of ear problems, including surgery for a cholesteatoma. I firmly believe it is ear related! Anyone else notice that it happens mainly around that time for them?

    • Posted October 4, 2011 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Hi, it was me that said it was caused as a result of a sudden movement of a middle ear component, I don’t really believe this either, but it was something I read on the wikipedia site about EHS. Mine started a few months ago, and I get hayfever but now the season is over I’m still getting it every night more or less. I did get 3 nights off recently when I had a bad head cold, which didn’t make sense, I would have thought it would have been worse as my ears felt blocked etc.. I really dont know what causes it, i just put it down to stressful, busy life and sleep problems..

  60. alun jones
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I have been having this loud bang, (sounds like a sonic boom ) ever since i was a child ( I used to think at first it was the “CRACK OF DAWN ” because that is when it always happend, once or twice a month mayby. I am now late 50s and rarley experience it.This is the first time I have looked into it , nice to know Iam not the only one,although I havent seen a credible explanation for it yet.

  61. Alexis
    Posted October 22, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I to have ‘exploding head syndrome’ – I am a 38year old female. I always thought that these noises stemmed from my PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). During my ‘explosions’ I actually see a white door slamming and feel the movement of air against my face, it is also accompanied by a bright flash of light and the loudest noise. It is beginning to effect my well being as I virtually need to force myself to go to bed as I dread these episodes; some nights I will stay up well past midnight in a bid to avoid them.
    I do suffer from stress/anxiety and fatigue – I take Valiumm for my anxiety but apart from this I do not take any other medications…..
    I do get very disturbed by these sudden awakenings which generally occur just as I am dozing off to sleep – due to my ptsd I have a heightened sensitivity to loud noises resulting in me trembling for quite sometime after them.
    It is so good to know that I am not alone in my experience – I very much appreciate your input my ‘fellow head exploders’ :O)

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I have to say your head explosions sound quite scary Alexis.. It’s hardly surprising you dread going to bed. Not good as you already suffer from stress and anxiety. Although mine aren’t as bad as yours, mine sound like buzzing or like someone is pinging an elastic band loudly in my ear.., I do get them almost every night. I guess after 4 months I’m getting used to them, but it doesn’t make me look forward to going to bed either, you lie there waiting for them to start. Some nights I get one or two, others I get up to 6 maybe more. That is annoying. I hope in time your episodes go away, as I’m hoping mine is just a phase..

    • Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      thank you i felt very relieved to find someone else that was a fellow head exploder until today i thought i was going do laly tap again quite scary but now i do feel reasured that this appears quite common i will sleep better knowing this and hopefully not be awoken buy a loud bang in the night bang on farout keith

    • Freddy
      Posted December 24, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

      Alexis, I went twice to Iraq and recently to Kuwait. I’m having problems to sleep, I hear explosions, people calling my name, dreaming that I’m back on war, seeing people, regular I sleep for 3 to 4 hours everyday but I’m getting tired of this. I have not being diagnostic with PTSD or psych problems (never went to the psychologist) please help me figure this out…

  62. Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    thank you alexis, i felt very relieved to find someone else that was a fellow head exploder, until today i thought i was going do lally tap again,quite scary but now i do feel reasured that this appears quite common, i will sleep better knowing this and hopefully not be awoken buy a loud bang in the night ,; bang on; farout keith

  63. Posted October 29, 2011 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    it is reassuring to know that it is so common, I had never heard of it until it happened to me and researched it on google! Not pleasant, but I’ve learnt to live with it, and just enjoy the nights off from it!

  64. mkt
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I have had this sensation for several years. I’m now 49. I’ve heard my name being called very loudly in the past. Voices, which I thought were messages being left on my answering machine, and most common, the LOUD BANGING as if someone is pounding on the door. Last night was really bad. I got up and checked, thinking someone was here. It’s such a loud knocking noise, I couldn’t understand why the dog didn’t bark. Checked everything and all was well. Yesterday was a very stressful day with an unresolved family issue that has been going on for 10 years. I had a feeling I wouldn’t sleep well! I honestly didn’t know others experienced this. I have only told my husband in the past. I also suffer from ear aches and ringing. Maybe that’s the connection?

    • Posted November 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      I think there is definately a connection between this and the ears! I often get night time tinnitus, not that loud but the noise of a hoover on or a boiler droning quietly, annoying though! Mine is mostly a buzzing sound lasting 1 second only, almost like someone switched on an electric razor for a brief second. Can be loud though, and makes getting to sleep harder, because Im lying there wondering if I will get it again, and often I do, has been known to happen about 6 times in one night. I also find it happens more if I am stressed or over-tired. I guess its a mystery, but I truly believe its more to do with the inner ears and stress levels.

    • Will
      Posted June 24, 2012 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      Mkt I think this is the most accurate description to what I myself experience pretty much everything you said I’ve thought/experienced the same things

  65. Mark Allen
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I experience this so often it’s crazy. Sometimes it sounds like a cartoon lightening zap, other times its almost like a gunshot in my brain and I can feel it. Then I panic because I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I’m honestly not sure when I started experiencing it. But it is almost most definitely when I’m in between being awake and asleep and it’s more intense when I use sedating medications like nyquil, vicodin/percoset/tramadol and the like. Sometimes it just scares the piss out of me.

  66. Becca
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Unlike almost every poster I only experience this when I’m awake? And I don’t mean lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. I mean *awake*- driving my car, doing the dishes, walking in a store. Only once when I was 16 did I experience it waking up. I swore at the time I heard a sonic boom. It didn’t happen again for nearly 20 years. Now I hear, ususally two to five times a week, a loud metallic bang- as if I’m standing in the middle of an empty gymnasium and the all the doors slam shut. There’s a quick not quite vibration that comes over me and then it’s business as usual. But I also get the sudden loud electronic tone that lasts for about 5 seconds as if I’ve just tuned in to a radio freq, and sometimes if I’m working in a quiet area I can also hear voices…as if there’s a tv or radio in another room on low volume. Veerrry creepy…
    No mental illness, but I do have a rare migraine condition- I don’t manifest headache. The migraine is persistent, daily, and chronic. I also have rotational vertigo that is also chronic (me and the room *never* stop spinning) all three, or maybe all three are really one, started at the same time. There has to be an actual physiological cause…its too coincidental.

    • Mischa
      Posted November 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      This is weird. You perfectly described my life. It’s been going on a year now. No neurological or inner ear reasons, all tests have been normal, yet clearly something is going on! I know exactly how you feel!

  67. Phyllis
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    I have the explosions in my head also. My doctor never heard of such a thing, wanted a sleep study done, which I haven’t done. I have to wonder about all kinds of causes. I had a brain concussion many years ago, which must not be a factor in them as so many are having them. Mine now come with different sounds rather than an explosion when I first noticed them. Hope we all can find answers to stop them.

  68. Lou
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m 46 and have been experiencing EHS since I was a child (8-10 years). I hear a distant whirring sound that grows closer and louder until it is deafening. I get a sense of vertigo and fear, spinning wildly and waiting for my head to explode. Then I awake, but it often continues as soon as I close my eyes. This my repeat three or more times, until eventually it stops and I fall asleep. Occasionally, I awake from it with paralysis, terror and a sense that something or someone evil is in the room. It’s terrifying. This all seems to happen a few times every other month or so.

    • Will
      Posted June 24, 2012 at 4:30 am | Permalink

      This is very similar to what I get too. The way you described the distant whirring getting closer and waking up feeling like something is in the room. It’s v scary!

  69. Jessie
    Posted January 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I am 65yrs of age, i too experience EHS,not often but always at night when laying in bed, im sure in my case it is associated with inner ear problems, i tend to have a lot of ear infections, and more often than not when i lay down the room spins for a few seconds., the loud banging noise jolts me but apart from that i have no other symptoms, i have never been to the doctors with this problem and i think it is quite common

  70. Peter
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    I have been experiencing this now for the pasttwo months,or so… I was so relieved to find many others with similar symptoms. I tried to explain this to my wife and to my doctor. I’,m sure I sounded like a nut. It’s hard to describe. In my case, it was like a burst of energy with percieved vibrations and a bright flash. Not so much like a bomb going off. I thnk that they would occur for about 1 second or less. This only happens at night and while laying on my back just before falling asleep. I thought initially that I was having some kind of minor seizure or something. There is never any pain, but it sured scared the hell out of me the first couple of times. I was affraid to tell anyone. An odd thing… When this occurs (1 or 2 times a week) the first one always startles me,However,I can usually sense when the next ones will happen about 5 seconds before the do.
    Oh yeah, another thing is that I get way too little sleep. 4 to 5 hours a night. Maybe that has something to do with it.

    • steve
      Posted January 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Your episodes sounds like mine when I am awake. It’s more of a distortion of reality. If you think about it, it is kind of intriguing to know that somewhere in your brain there is something greater than everyday life going on in there. I find it exciting, as an intellectual, to be apart of something neurologically unique.

  71. steve
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I have had exploding head my whole life. I have it during the day sometimes, my reality seems to shrink, and surrounding sounds get extremely loud for about a second then go back to normal like nothing even happened. Sounds can range from a simple SMACK! of a ruler on a table to a gunshot type sound before I fall asleep. I always thought it was normal for you hear stuff before REM. It definitely is more persistent if I had not slept in a day or so haha. Exploding head doesn’t bother me, I’m use to it, and it’s kinda cool. I never get headaches, I’m healthy, and active. Lucid dreaming is easy for me. I have “terrors”, or sleep paralysis, but it isn’t particularly scary in any way. I’m a nocturnal, and have insomnia as well. I guess sleep has a lot to do with EHS.

  72. Tisha aged 52 of South Africa
    Posted January 30, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear I’m not alone. Last night after about half an hour of falling asleep. I suddenly awake with a horrific start as a huge noise like a bomb blast was heard by me. My heart was racing and I was totally confused for a couple of seconds as to what was that noise. I looked about the room and saw my daughter still on the computer , then realised that she hadn’t heard a thing and that it was all in my head. I felt fine. No dizzy spells, no headache all was fine with me, and I just drifted off back to sleep. Weird.

  73. Posted February 21, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if this is what I experienced but something similar just happened. I haven’t gotten much sleep this week. I slept this morning.

    I was asleep from 1:16am to 2:50am when this happened. Flashing lights above me, like a dozen search helicopters, and a noise like 30 tea kettles whistling all above my head. In my dark room.

    I had to fight out of it. Turned on the television and music. Now I’m here.

  74. annie
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I just saw an old episode of Doc Martin which mentioned EHS which brings me here. I’m 60 and live by myself so it’s most disconcerting to hear loud noises in the middle of the night! Mine tend to be explosive type sounds but I’ve also heard my name being called. I’ve had weird sleep ocurrences most of my life and recently found myself standing next to my bed yelling at my Mom who’s been dead for 9 years (but not in my dreams).

    All of it I’ve always attributed to being an imaginative, sensitive, creative type person so I’ve never sought treatment of any kind. When I was a kid, I could tuck in with my little grandma who was like my own personal pillow.

    My sleep interruptions seem to be worse in times of stress and pressure. I also experience brief outbursts of shaking as I’m falling asleep and that wakes me up. Sometimes, this is made worse if I ingest alot of caffiene that day.

    The upside is that I dream in color alot as I’ve gotten older. It’s wonderful. So many people have horrible health problems and my sleep problems are not that bad so I’m grateful.

  75. bees
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Though I have had 3 – 4 ehs experiences per year for a couple of years I only found out what this was today.
    The first time it happened (at night sleeping) I thought our house had exploded and that I was only seconds from dying from falling debris. By the time I turned to my husband (I wanted us to die holding each other) I realized that our house was still surrounding us as usual and nothing physical had happened. These episodes continued in much the same way until about a month ago when I experienced one while awake. I was sitting at my computer when I had an odd feeling of something about to happen. I then felt buzzing/electricity outlining my body followed by the catastrophic explosion. Immediately after that everything was back to normal. It was only after episode that that I mentioned all this to my doctor. He had never heard of anything like this but he said he would do some research; he did, and that is how I heard of it today when his office called me to let me know of ehs..
    One thing about my experiences is that I never thought of it as happening inside my head. It always felt as though it was something I was hearing that was going on. Think of the difference between ‘hearing a bolt of lightning striking close by’ and ‘thinking of hearing about a bolt of lightning hitting close by’. To my conceptualization these are two completely different things.
    I am 69 and take very low doses of Zoloft. I have had sleeping problems but they are minimal now. I snore but rarely to the extent that I wake my husband. I do sleep on my left side. This does not frighten me any more and I am happy to know that others have this syndrome and that is it not considered to be any particular problem.

  76. Bernet
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I just experienced one, it only happens to me when I’m about to sleep. Like what it feels like just a fewshort seconds. Sometimes its a loud noise like something near by had exploded. Most of the time though its this very bright white light and the explosion sound. I’m female 28 years old.

  77. Lois
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Like all of you – I am very relieved to learn this condition is experienced by others. When I have an EHS it always seems I am just starting to nod off and then – wham – a loud zap followed by a flash of light – and I wake right up – and of course my heart is pounding because it scares me.
    I am not depressed – and I am not suffering from too much stress. I take diovan – a high blood pressure medication – daily. The only other thing I thought could be causing it is my allergies and the allergy medications I take?? (Not one in particular – I try different ones all the time).
    I am female – 57 yrs old and I have had these episodes – probably for the last 4 or 5 years.

  78. Kay Williams
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ve been experiencing Exploding Head Syndrome for nearly 4 months now. I’m 21 and have no health problems. I’d wake up at around 4-5am (but has happened as late as 7am) and about 15 mins afterward I’d experience a strange noise. It feels like a mass of vibrations inside my head. If my eyes are shut then sometimes my vision will be affected, and if they are open I will hallucinate – I usually see strange lights floating about the room. While this is going on I’m more often than not paralysed. I can’t even open my mouth to scream and sometimes feel smothered. I honestly thought that I was going mad. I’ve experienced this on my side, on my back, and face down and sometimes more than once each night

  79. Patrie
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    This happened to me today. Just as I was falling asleep. There was a very load bang and bright lights befind my eyes. It scared me so I went to the ED. The DR there did a CAT scan. He said it looked clean. He then said I had Vertigo? I never said I was dizzy. I have had vertiga before abd this was no it.

    I’m glad to read there are other people who -have had this happen.

  80. Ragnar
    Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Im 31 yr old from Iceland. I have had this since I remember my self. My attacks are more then just explotions. The strange thing is (or I belive so) that before I go to REM sleep, I know it I am at that stage. I can sometimes control my dreams very well. Also it is like my head is shacking (or my eyes). Sometimes I get the explotions but more common for me is that my heads start to shake (even it is not shaking actually). Strange…

    • Will
      Posted June 24, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

      I get the shaking too like my brain is pulsing really violently and making a noise like a helicopter that’s getting ready to take off

  81. Michala
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I am 23 and a psychology student. My lecturer made me realise that I have been experiencing this today!

    I don’t remember how long I’ve had it I can remember a few experiences which have left me shaken!

    The most recent happened about 2 weeks ago, I had a loud crash as if two cars had collided and I saw lightening strike the pile-on outside my house! I was convinced it actually happened but my boyfriend said he hadn’t heard anything!

    Until today I’ve been convinced that it happened! But after hearing it being described it clicked and I realised that it’s occurred before, however without any visions.

    I too was sleeping on my side then (don’t know if that has anything to do with it). I’ve also suffered with Veritgo in the past which has messed up my internal ears I think I sometimes suffer with very minor tinnitus!

    It’s quite funny that I wouldn’t have realised I experience this if it wasn’t for my lecture. When you wake up you just forget about it, I bet there are so many more people who have it but don’t realise it too!

  82. Judi
    Posted May 6, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I have just had my first experience of head explosion, I am a 58 year old female.

    In my dream the explosion was a lightening strike, I woke up with a racing heart and thought I had had a stroke!

    Reassuring to read so many people have experienced this.

    I did wake up earlier in the night with a headache and have had migraines in the past.

  83. Maridyth
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    A couple days ago I walked through my dining room and heard a loud explosion. No one else seemed to hear it. About an hour later I heard a noise while walking in the exact same spot, this time it sounded like pans crashing against each other. My husband didnt hear anything, he was about 10 ft away. I saw dark spots the rest of the day. My thoughts went to schitsophrenia. I finally told my husband and he mentioned inner ear problems. I googled the problem and found this exploding head syndrome. I read through many comments and found we all have many of the same symptoms. My history..esp as a child (according to my mother) age 16 migraines. With aura…age 35 outer body experiences ..during sleep being able to fly and see my body.. those stopped..age 43 head explosions while sleeping..until 2 days ago i was convinced it was all just part of a dream state..now it bas happened twice while fully awake walking by the same area of the house.

  84. Brendan
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    According to documentation I’ve read more than 80% of people affected by this syndrome primarily experience manifestations of it while falling asleep, while a small but significant minority tend to experience it while awakening. It appears these proportions are reflected by the postings in this forum. I’m in the minority affected upon waking, although it’s been more than a year since I’ve experienced it and my symptoms tended to be mild. I was initially concerned it might be epilespy. Consultations with a neurologist ruled that out but failed to produce a diagnosis, so I researched it and ultimately self-diagnosed. I’ve not yet returned to the neurologist to share the proper diagnosis but will do so at some point– I am quite certain of it because my symptoms match perfectly with a small subset of documented cases. At its height, I experienced an electrical buzzing sound that faded in and out. Another member of this forum who experienced something similiar aptly compared the timing of this sound to that of a passing car. It was also accompanied by a vibrational pulse in my head that varied proportionately in intensity with the sound. Later I would wake up and experience one or two vibrational pulses in my head over a thirty second period with no accompanying sound. Caffeine consumption, sleep deprivation, and stress appeared to be contributing factors. One thing I would like to emphasize that is very important– A few other contributors to this forum have related stories where they actually experienced these symptoms in a state where they were wide awake. From what I have read, this is almost certainly not exploding head syndrome, and it is very likely these are auras which are symptoms of mild epilepsy. If you are experiencing something like this in a waking state get medical attention IMMEDIATELY– Mild epilepsy can often be completely controlled with medication, but the prognosis can worsen if medical treatment is delayed. On the other hand, those suffering from exploding head syndrome have nothing to worry about, it is regarded by the experts as entirely benign.

  85. Samuel
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Hmm. Wow there are a lot of comments here.
    I also have been ‘suffering’ from Exploding Head Syndrome, often as accompaniment to Sleep Paralysis along side (much more rarely) hallucinations. I have all of the Sleep Paralysis symptoms listed on the Wiki. I started being affected only by EHS during naps when I was about 19 but shortly after started getting these during nighttime sleep. A year or two after I had my first SP and hallucination. The three at the same time can be pretty potent. I get them fairly regularly and am 25 now. There’s no way to know if they’ll happen all at once, like EHS, SP and Hallucination simultaneously. Sometimes it’s just one or the other and rarely all 3. Like most here say, this will happen maybe every day for a couple of days or a week and then go away for a month then happen every other day for a month then go away for a while again. It’s very inconsistent.
    What I find interesting about EHS in particular is that there are so many types. Sometimes it can sound like distant factory machines banging away and getting louder and louder until it’s painfully loud. Other times it can sound like a firework shooting off then exploding abruptly. Other times it can be like buzz that lasts until I am fully away and move myself to a different sleeping position and other times it could just be a short sharp laser buzz.
    Also I hope it’s helpful to note that I’ve noticed a correlation between sleeping on my back and these occurrences. Thought EHS can still sometimes get to me when I’m on my stomach or sides, the hallucinations and SP seem to be thwarted. Unfortunately I’m a natural back sleeper so I still usually end up on my back somehow must nights =P
    I also at first didn’t tell anyone about my “crazy” episodes. Finally when I did, I was very surprised to find a few of my close friends, room mate included, also have these experiences. Open up about it and you can have some very informative conversations with friends.

  86. Jenny
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve been experiencing this phenomenon several times a month for about a year now. It happens as I’m falling asleep; a loud thundering explosion that wakes me up and is obviously coming from inside my head. For a while I thought I had major brain damage caused by drug use in my youth. However, since there was no pain, no other symptoms of loss of brain function, and I was able to sleep afterward, it quickly became just another weird thing about me. I never told anyone about it, and I haven’t even thought about it for months, even though it happens regularly. I was browsing online news articles about insomnia (of which I am also a chronic sufferer) and I came across a link that said “Exploding Head Syndrome”. I thought it would be a funny story or something. I was completely surprised to find out that what’s been happening to me has a name, and that other people have it too. And browsing the comments here, I am comforted in knowing that I’m not alone, and that I do not have brain damage :)

    • Jenny
      Posted June 14, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I am a 31 year old female. I do not take any medications, but I have mild depression and, at times, high levels of stress and anxiety. My insomnia has been coming and going for about 11 years. The EHS about one year. Come to think of it, my brother died a year and a half ago; I wonder if that triggered the EHS? The drug use I mentioned was ecstasy, between the ages of 22 and 28. And I did a LOT of it.

      I’ve never experienced flashing lights or any physical sensations with the noises I hear. The explosions don’t startle me anymore; they barely wake me actually. I wake just enough to think, “Sigh… there’s that bomb again”.

  87. springbok101
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday morning while sleeping (and dreaming) I was startled by a loud buzzing noise inside my head, almost as if someone had switched on an electrical current inside my head. It lasted for about 2 seconds and it scared the s**t out of me. I felt no pain or side-effects from this noise, but my heart was pounding quite fast afterward. I’ve never had this happen to me and thought I was going crazy. I recently started smoking again after an 11 year absence and I thought I also might be having a stroke. I’m a 33 year-old male.

    I Googled for answers and couldn’t believe that what happened to me actually has a medical term. I should have this checked out, since the internet is not a substitute for my doctor, but after reading all the comments above, I’m pretty sure I have exploding head syndrome. (a ridiculous name, by the way!).

    • Annie
      Posted June 22, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

      Perhaps your body was reacting to your taking up smoking again? I’m not in medicine at all, just interested in science.
      It’s off topic but after being away from cigarettes for so long, don’t start up with them. I quit after 35 years with the things. If I can, anyone can. Chew nicotine gum (ebay sells it cheap) and get some good therapy if you’ve hit a rough spot in your life. Signed, your own personal mother hen, Annie

  88. BuzzGirl
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been experiencing EHS for the past year and only discovered it was a legitimate syndrome after conducting an internet search yesterday. My EHS “attacks” are of two kinds…a sound like arcing electricity (the closest thing I can think of) and a sudden adreneline rush in my head, both without any pain or other physical manifestation. Needless to say, they scared me witless and over the course of the past year, I have dreaded hunkering down to sleep for fear that I was having a stroke (I have cardio/vascular problems and am a candidate for both strokes and heart attacks). The EHS episodes always occur just as I’m starting to feel totally relaxed and slipping into sleep mode. On reflection, I now realize they started when neighbours in the the apartment above me starting crashing around from about midnight and continuing throughout the early morning hours. My normal sleep patterns were destroyed and I was always anxious upon going to bed, anticipating yet another near sleepless night. I am in a seniors’ complex and reported the people above me and for the past three months, thankfully, there has been little to no noise from them in the wee hours but I still feel slightly anxious upon going to bed, wondering if I was going to have an EHS episode. What I find particularly interesting is that last night, for the first time in a year, I climbed in bed and fell asleep immediately, with no pre-sleep anxiety and no EHS! Perhaps the lessening of stress through knowledge of this condition will make it go the “bleep” away! One can hope, yes?

  89. Rudi
    Posted June 23, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    For anyone suffering a severe case of insomnia or exploding head syndrome, just smoke a bit of weed before you go to bed, and you’ll have an AMAZING uninterrupted sleep. Don’t take this crap that the brain-washing pharmecutical companies give you, most of the time they just come with really bad side effects. Use the natural plant given to us to cure problems like these. I speak from my own, and many, many, many others’ personal experience, peace to you all.

    • cohen9800
      Posted July 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Now that never occurred to me. Thank you for your insight. I am at the point of doing ANYTHING to rid my sleep of this torment. I have had up to 50 head explosions in a night, just falling asleep. They begin again in the morning and then I run from the bed. A nightmare scenario. Thanks again. Peace to you too.

  90. Kimberley
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I was just awaken after a 6hour sleep by the sound of a really loud truck engine that rared up and seemed to have crashed into a brick wall. I went into the room next to me to see if Mt cousins heard it too but they were asleep, I live on a farm and there are no vehicles that drive out here also my house is down a dirt road. I have had similar awakenings by the sound of a loud bang but never anything to this extreme.

  91. Ginny
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I had this about 3 nights ago.
    I was on the phone with my boyfriend & right when i fell asleep, a loud noise woke me up. I couldn’t move at all & when i tried calling through the phone for help, i couldn’t vocalize anything. It was also getting harder to breathe. I remember hearing a lot of voices speaking at once, cymbals, & something like waves crashing or an earthquake. Then the noises quickly subsided & i could move, speak, & breathe normally again. My heart was beating so fast & i was wondering what was going on. It was pretty scary, but i managed to go back to sleep after my sister checked up on me.

  92. thorntonk
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I may have had one or two times that I’ve remembered hearing a loud crash in my lifetime as I go to sleep. But here recently I seem to have gotten the flashing lights. They’d be bright and I would wake up thinking someone’s taking a picture of me while I’m sleeping. Most of the time I sleep fine, but I do have the occasional restless nights where I can’t get to sleep or stay asleep. It’s just a bit startling when it happens, but I usually fall right to sleep after it.

  93. alex
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I’m a 14 year old male and used to have this EHS when i was about 7-9 years old usually waking up from it being in a dream but today i woke up and after about 2 minutes it started happening i was fully awake i started walking slowly and it calmed down then all the sudden got really loud and started freaking out i layed down on my couch and it went away then i went back to sleep. But this is the worst its ever been and its the first time its happened when i was awake please leave comments or email for any responses to my post.

  94. BuzzGirl
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Following up on my 22 June 2012 post, I have not had any further episodes…perhaps mere knowledge of this phenomonen has acted as the cure. Time will tell on that one! I did see my doctor today and mentioned it to her and she gave me the same queer look that everyone else did when I described what I was experiencing. When she stopped laughing, I assured her that “Exploding Head Syndrome” was a real condition and encouraged her to do a search and we can discuss it at my next visit. Interestingly, during a recent discussion with my son, he advised that he too experiences the same thing, only his is manifested as a very loud banging sound, like a pipe hitting an empty oil barrel right next to his head.

    • Will
      Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Very similar to what I also experience! Can be a number of different banging sounds!

  95. David
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    This just happened to me. I’m a 17 year old male. I just went down for a power nap, planned on snoozin’ off for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes deep sleep sets in, that’s why I only slept for 30, just enough to feel refreshed. Anyways, as I was falling asleep, thoughts going through my mind, gradually blocking out outside noises and entering sleep, there was feeling that my head was building up pressure, similar to how a volcano erupts. Well the pressure started rising, and I started thinking “my heads going to explode, I’m going to die now, this is kind of scary, not for me, but for the people that would discover my dead body”. So before it exploded I just forced myself to wake up. It was crazy, reading through all the comments on here gives me some comfort that I probably wouldn’t have died. I’m actually not so much afraid of it, but curious now, I want to experience the explosion that you all are talking about, and maybe even that white light. Does anybody know what episode of House that was, like episode number and all? Also, could I view that Doc Martin episode on this somewhere online?

  96. Erin
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    I am 37 years old and have been experiencing this Exploding head syndrome for about the past 2 years or so. It started when I got pregnant and never stopped. Although it comes and goes, I do find that stress tends to bring it out more. However, it’s still so random I have no real explanation for the cause.

    Last night it happened 3 times. I was so exhausted when my alarm went off that I am just hoping I can sleep tonight with no interruptions. Sometimes my sounds manifest as someone banging very loudly as on a door. Last night they were literal explosions. I wake with heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, and I have to check on kids to make sure they are ok. I sit in bed for awhile after that making sure it was just in my head and not something else. Drift back off to sleep only to have another explosion 30 minutes later. I am glad there is a name for this, that I am not the only one out there, because this would have made me feel insane.

  97. Jamie
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Wow. I had no idea that so many have also experienced this very strange experience. For me it is like a camera going off again and again. Bright flashes that lights up the inside of my head accompanied by the sound like , fwoop sound like you would expect one of those old fashion cameras to sound like. I also experience night paralysis where I lay there and some figure in a black cloak ( I can never see their face) comes and sits on the bed next to me. My eyes are open I can’t move, all I can do is scream in my head to try and wake myself up. Pretty scary stuff. Only good part is I have experienced many lucid dreams where I am in total control. It is totally 100% amazing. I can taste, feel and smell. Just like being awake.

  98. Christine
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    I have had the loud noises in my head when I’m in-between sleep and contionsness for many years. As soon as I drop off to sleep I hear a loud BANG! Or I will hear a loud electric sound or someone calling my name or screaming, or a lot of noise, or people talking, things like that. This Christmas I decided to try out my recorder on my phone and I was shocked to hear all those sounds but I couldn’t hear any of it in the quiet room where I recorded it! I was trying to tape an EVP if it was even possible. It is really scary to listen to because I didn’t know what those sounds were and I didn’t know why I couldn’t hear them while taping. So weird! Could it be spirits making the sounds?!

  99. Maureen Ryan
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    My Sister suffers from EHS & I have witnessed her ‘episodes’ a few time, it’s very scary!!! She has symptoms that I don’t see anywhere and I just wondered if anyone had suffered these too!
    She has the heart racing, explosions etc! but also her body feels stone cold and her last episode was really bad, her legs and arms were jerking uncontrollably!
    Would just like to give her some reassurance!

  100. Elle
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Count me in too! I suffered with it as a child when I was around 4 and I experienced it sporadically during my childhood. Again about a year ago I experienced it except it was AFTER a dream whereas the occasions during my childhood were as I was falling asleep. Not so uncommon after all!! I think that each time it has happened I have been under a great deal of stress. I have also suffered with minor ear problems since I was a kid, I wouldn’t be surprised if stress and ear problems were factors in causing the phenomenon.

  101. Lorraine
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I have only just come across this site and there was I thinking I was the only person with this horrible night time experience.
    For me I think it first occured when I was about ten years old (I’m now 55) and perhaps get them between once every two months up to several times a week.
    It always happens just at that moment before I go to sleep. I’m always comfortable and not conciously thinking about stress situations and yet it still happens.
    I can only describe it as an instantanious zap/burst/explosion in my head, lasting probably a fraction of a second and each and every time it scares the life out of me.
    I’ve decided to make little notes in my diary. Things like what I’ve eaten and drank or whether I’ve had a stressful day, just to see if there is a connection.
    Does anyone have any tips of ways to lessen these awful episodes?
    Thank you. Lorraine.

    • BuzzGirl
      Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Lorraine, I find that I only get my EHS episodes when I am lying on my back, which I think might signal my episodes as originating from the inner ear as suggested by some experts. I now sleep on my side or on my stomach and I’ve had no episodes when I do that. The couple of times I’ve forgotten and started falling asleep on my back, sure enough, I’ve had the very loud electrical arcing sound occurring. Thankfully, I am no longer scared out of my wits, merely startled…knowledge is power, yes? Hope this method works for you should you try it. Let me know and good luck!

      • Lorraine
        Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        Hello Buzz Girl and thank you so much for your comments. I actually NEVER sleep on my back as this is almost always a guarantee that it will happen. I also gave up yoga and meditation for the very same reasons – getting into that deep relaxed state when lying on my back would always trigger it.
        I wanted to mention about last night. Yesterday I had probably the most stressful day for perhaps a year – running around like a headless chicken and having to deal with many urgent legal matters all within a few hours. This left me totally drained, although I managed to get everything done. I had the most awful headache and took a couple of paracetamol to no effect. Forty minutes later I went to bed and had the most almighty zap just as I was drifting off to sleep. It shook me rigid, as always. But the strangest thing of all was that the banging headache instantly disappeared! How odd! Thank you again for your comments.

  102. Mike
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I HAVE HAD THIS CONDITION AT LEAST THREE TIMES A WEEK FOR MOST OF MY LIFE. I AM NOW FORTY SIX AND IT SILL FREAKS ME OUT EVERYTIME IT HAPPENS, BUT I AM GLAD I HAVE FELLOW SUFFERERS OUT THERE WHO UNDERSTAND.AT LEAST I AM NOT CRAZY AFTER ALL.

  103. stu maxwell
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I have started to suffer this just as I am drifting of to sleep the noise is like someone pulling the triger of a gun in my head at first I thought it was a real nose out side but every time it happens my wife hears nothing it only startals me nothing else should I be worried?

  104. x3d
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Since my 20s, I started noticing a strange effect at the very moment of falling asleep. It happens after the period of ‘drifting out’, i.e. when I’m no longer consciously following my thoughts and no longer aware of my surroundings, but I’m still not sleeping yet.
    At that specific moment, any random sound from the environment seems to be suddenly over-amplified, which effectively kicks me out of the drowsing state.
    Imagine you listen to very quiet library background noise (not even whispers), when suddenly an otherwise weak sound like turning a page or putting a pen on the table is HUGELY louder (like a jet engine only meters away). This only takes a fraction of a second, and it always happens with momentary noises, but never with constant noises like crickets/fans/small running appliances.
    Clearly this is not an ‘exploding head’ thing, but the effect is not far from it. It’s quite frequent and very upsetting, as I miss my sleep start sometimes several times in a row.
    No associated headache, but it seems to occur more often when I’m overtired, under-slept, stressed out, etc.
    I believe it’s a benign [though irritating] malfunction of the process where the brain disconnects from certain sensory systems, or starts applying a filter to them. Just like when you put a finger in your ear to muffle it all out, but the friction of the finger to the ear is very loud, for only an instant.

  105. Julie Ann
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I have been having all the above symtoms since April 2011. My doctor sent me to Salford royal hospital in July, who confirms that i have EHS. He says that there nothing can be done about it,had head scan etc,all is normal. But its very hard to handle when it happens almost nightly,between 1 and 3 times,so im not sleeping well,when my heart is thumping,and takes ages to settle,then to have an attack again. Im starting to dread going to bed.

  106. Carol Ayala
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Omg… I Thought I was the only one…I really thought I was going crazy..

  107. veronica
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I have suffered with exploding head syndrome ever since I can remember. As a young child it terrified me when it happened. My parents just told me I was having bad dreams and to go back to bed. As I got older I just didn’t tell anyone for fear they would think I was crazy. It was while watching a show called Doc Martin that I found out there is such a condition and I’m not the only person who suffers with this. Mine always sounds more like a loud crack of electricity, which leads me to wonder if it is the brain firing off impulses. There doesn’t seem to be much research done on this condition.

  108. Julie Ann
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    The consultant at the hospital told me its a fairly rare syndrome of unknown aetiology and that there is no known specific treatment. At moment my doctor is trying different things with me,to try and make me relax and sleepy at bedtime. All i can imagine is that not enough people have come forward in case they think the doctor thinks they are mad,as i too kept it to myself for months,until i had finally had enough of the banging noice in my head and keeping me awake for hours.

    • White Rhino
      Posted September 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      This has worked well for me and you may also find it very beneficial. I read every night for 10-20 min before I go to sleep. Here’s the trick. It has to be a book I’ve read before. Maybe even several times. Its always a book i really enjoy. This way I enjoy the book and don’t need to keep reading to find out what happens because I already know. This also cured my insomnia. Give it a try I know it worked for me.

  109. Carol Ayala
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Had another one last nite….Now im getting worried.Don’t want to go to sleep at nite anymore, cause it only happens at nite..

  110. Richie
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I had same experience when I was in my twenties( now close to 50 )… Head zipping noise followed by an immediate boom or explosion in my head !! Honestly , because of excess pot smoking was my reasoning at the time. ….. I don’t smoke pot now , but often wondered if they were related. Thanks for the post !

  111. White Rhino
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I really think the Pineal Gland is the cause of EHS. The pineal gland or epiphysis synthesizes and secretes melatonin.The Pineal Gland is a small pine cone shaped gland located in the middle of the brain. Melatonin, it turns out is responsible for a variety of sleep disorders. What leads me to think that it’s the Pineal gland is the fact that this gland has rod and cone receptors much like the eye. It’s been called the third eye by some cultures. People who have EHS know first hand that the large flash of light they see inside their head is just like seeing a large flash with their own eyes. It’s not an imagined thing. A device that has components of the eye could replicate actual images. Also if you do any research on the drug DMT you’ll find that it creates similar effects. It just so happens the the Pineal Gland makes DMT. Much like EHS syndrome DMT and the Pineal Gland remain largely a mystery in the scientific world as there is limited information on both.
    EHS is a mystery and in my case it’s been harmless. Sometimes it has been annoying when trying to fall asleep but that’s it.

    • Richie
      Posted October 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      It really would be great if there were a way to gather info from some , if not all , of us to it together some type of pattern or association ….while reading some of of the comments listed , I have noticed a connection of a person of two , but nothing substantial. But I have to admitt , I seem to be the only resonance so far with the poss pot connection… Lol !… I haven’t been bothered by them in at least 20 years , about the time the pot smoking stopped … Interesting !… Have a great day…

      • Carol Ayala
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        I to smoked pot when i was younger, and now im 41…. I really don’t think that has anything to do with it….But then again, not even Docters have a clue what this really is….I really wish i had some answers.

  112. Sandy
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I too have this annoying EHS, I first had this 8 years ago. went to the Dr. `thinking I was crazy, he sent me for an MRI, it came back OK, also saw a neuroligist, he plainly told me he didn,t know what was and maybe i had a bad dream, yeh right, this lasted for about 4 months and then totaly disapeared. Now it is back with a vengence,I have been having one to four episodes a night,just before I fall asleep.I might be already in the first stage of sleep, It is the usual flash of light,and loud bang in my head ,jolts me awake ,sometimes I miss a night or two,This latest series of these have been going on about 3 months now, I keep hoping they will disapear like the last time. I am 66 years old and female.

    • Glenn
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

      I too have the same problem. Scares the heck out of me. People say i am nuts when i tell them.

    • Glenn
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      I am 43 and i cant stand this explosion anymore. Yes it happens mostly in the first stage of my sleep too, but it did happen when i was in a dead sleep.

  113. Glenn
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I am a 43 yr old man. For the last few months i have been hearing a loud explosion along with a bright light just a i start to fall asleep. Along with the explosions comes a violent jerking motion of my whole body. This happens once a week and its bothering me. I have trouble sleeping cause my mind races. I have taken sleeping tablets but they too don’t work fast enough and i don’t like being medicated. I think this will be with me forever. When it happens its such a jolt it sends my heart racing and i am afraid that i will have a heart attach or a stroke. I don’t like falling asleep anymore.

    • Jacqui
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi Glenn

      If you are having violent jerking accompanying these episodes, then I strongly urge you to visit your Doctor, telling him/her exactly what you’ve written here. With best wishes for a good outcome – Jacqui

      • Glenn
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        Thank you for your concern. I have made an appointment with my Neurologist for the first week of November. I will update everyone with my results. Best wishes to all

  114. Glenn
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    I have had this for the last 3 months. Thought i heard a gun shot but when it kept on happening i got worried. It starts when i fall asleep and then a loud explosion followed by a white light and a intense violent jerk. I sends my heart racing. I am afraid of having a heart attach cause of this explosion i keep having. I know this is not going away so i will deal with it. I am loosing sleep and i am afraid to even fall asleep now.

  115. B Chaplin
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    I’ve only had this explosion 3 times in the last year or so.
    It occurs during my sleep, like an explosion inside my head, it is very loud and it wakes me and I feel shaky, as if I’ve had a nightmare, but it doesn’t last and I can get back to sleep
    I am 62 years old, I am not suffering from any stress or anxiety, my only medicabtion is avorstatin for colestrial and thyroxine. I would so like to know why this happens

  116. bobby little
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    This just happened to me for the first time, i immediately hopped on google to see if it was a common thing. I’m 22, I’ve head 2 traumatic brain injurys and severe migraines. Mine wasn’t quite an exsplosion though, it was just an extremely loud pop sound, then it seemed almost like a flash as I woke up, and my ears rang for a few seconds. I wasnt even entirely asleep, my eyes were only closed for maybe 5 seconds and I know the noise came from me.pretty freaky, definitely startleling.

    • bobby little
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      I attempted to go back to sleep after the posting above, but it was very difficult because the tiniest noise would wake me and once again my heart was racing and freaked out, almost like I was scared, but I wasn’t. It was more like having mini nightmares about normal sounds, but before I even fell asleep.

  117. Nin
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    I’ve had a mild form of this a few times in the past when falling asleep. But this morning I was dozing off not wanting to get up, and I had a loud gong sound go off in my head that completely woke me up. I’m glad to read that it happens to others and is not dangerous! My ear has been stuffed up lately, so maybe it’s an inner-ear thing for me. At least I can stop worrying about it now! Thanks for the posts!

  118. Nick
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    It is not an uncommon precursor to lucid dreaming and out of body experiences. Next time any of you experience this phenomena stay calm and see where it takes you.

  119. linda atchley
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Omg this started to happen to me months ago after starting a different antidepressant. It has only happened about 4 times at the most. Usually when Im falling off to sleep. I hear a big metal bang noise in my mind and a flash of white light at the same time. My head and body jolts at the same time like an involuntary reaction. It kind of feels like an electrical jolt. The top of my head gets the sensation like I hit the top of my head really hard on something but without the pain. Thanks for all the post!

  120. Andrew S.
    Posted November 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I have this symptom. It doesn’t occur on a regular basis and is very similar to case #1. It sounds like electrons colliding in my head. It is not painful but is very startling and jolts me awake. I occasionally have a twitching in my left bicep that is accompanied by this “sound”. How do I explain this to a doctor to get them to really look into it and not tell me to just come back if it happens again?

  121. Topher
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad to know this has happened to other people. I thought I was going crazy! I have only experienced this once, but it was terrifying. I felt like I was almost awake, and then I heard loud static and a very loud evil sounding voice say “You’re f***ed!”. I never told anybody because I thought everyone would think I was crazy…

  122. ric
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    So glad to know that I am not suffering brain strokes or seizures had no idea what was happening to me until I read this last night. I was totally exhausted and woke up fro. The worst one of these I have ever had felt like lightning struck inside my head. I was so worried I finally searched Internet and found this. I told my wife and now she thinks I am a hypochondriac and doesn’t understand but at least I finally do.

  123. James
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    I experienced this quite a bit at uni – was not a drinker or recreational drug user and slept well. When I had them they followed by an intense fear and a feeling and sometimes perception of body dislocation and quick seratonen rush and long peaceful sleep. Also noticed there was loads of static in the room to the point where the sheets would sparkle from the static – very dry room

  124. Corey Philpot
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    If you want to control it, meditate into sleep. Then, you can become consciously aware in your dream state, and it becomes a lucid dream. Once there, meditate. Then the lucid dream will even fade. Here you might get fractals and/or hyper-real imagery. The frequency will rise extremely loud, and the flashes will start to occur. When I do this, the ringing is so extremely loud it feels like my ear drums should be busting but they don’t. Don’t be afraid, and you can learn that you can actually control them, and control the “shocks,” of energy that pulse from the top of your head (crown chakra) out to your feet, even when you become that energy. From there, the next step is OBE. Don’t be afraid though, nothing can or will ever harm you for this, just don’t rush it. Don’t be afraid of it when it occurs. You can control it when it happens, and your perception up to that point is everything. Realize what’s happening when it starts, and you’ll feel it turn into an actually beautiful sensation.

    If you want to understand what’s going on, you’ll really have to think outside of the box on this one. You won’t find it in a book, and a doctor will try to help, but will only tell you what a book has told him or another authority figure has. You’re all fine, just learn how to control it, and it will become a whole new experience for you.

    Hope this helps, love to you all.

  125. nomi
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    so glad I found out that other people get this. My mom had me quite worried. Anyone have anymore tips?? She’s had about 30 of them. 52 years old. And last night she had one accompanied by a green flash.

  126. joan
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    I have had this happen at least three times. First I thought the loud squeals were animals under my house. The second time, a very loud bang, as coming from the attic. These happened during deep sleep and wakened me. It never ocurred to me that they were not real events. A few weeks ago I “heard” a loud crash or bang near my right side while stepping from one room into another, this in the daytime. I could fine nothing wrong, broken, etc. I did not consider that they were not “real” until I saw a Doc Martin rerun and found this webb site. I’m 76 and had much stress over the years. But usually can control it and live a balanced life. How surprising that it is relatively common and has a name.

  127. Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    I just experienced this for the first time early this morning @ 3:30am! I woke up out of a dead sleep and watched the rerun of the ball drop in NYC and then as I was falling back to sleep….my body felt extremely heavy and then KAPOW!, heard what sounded like a gun explosion next to my head. I also felt the concussion inside my head too and the sensation of wind against my face. I laid there on my back with my eyes open trying to discern whether it was a real explosion or inside my head and realized very quickly (no one woke up and even the dog didn’t bark!) that I had heard the explosion inside my head. So strange! I currently have allergies and did blow my nose kind of hard before I went to bet, so I’m wondering if that triggered it a few hours later? Not sure. I’m not worried about it. I actually think it was a pretty cool experience!

    • dan
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

      omg! i said something about feeling the pressure wave from the blast to my doctor and she said EHS is an imaginary type thingy…glad to know there are others…

  128. Jenny
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been experiencing EHS for about a year and a half now. Sometimes it sounds like a gunshot, most times it sounds like a large bomb exploding. I’ve already commented above about it, but this morning something terrifying happened: I experienced sleep paralysis for the first time.

    I had been awake in bed for several hours, unable to fall back asleep. My phone rang and I picked it up. But when I looked at my hand my phone was invisible! I realize now that I must have been dreaming, but it was so real. I could feel the phone in my hand, turn it in my hand, but it simply wasn’t there. I freaked out and tried to get up to find my sister. That’s when I realized I couldn’t move. At this point both of my arms were back under my blanket, and my phone was next to my head, visible again. I could feel my arms rubbing on my blanket, but only slightly. I couldn’t roll over or sit up. My breathing was fine but my heart rate was through the roof and I was panicking. I starting screaming for help, and I was so confused as to why no one was coming with all the noise I was making. It lasted for about a minute. When I was able to move I ran to my sister and asked if I was screaming and she said no, the house had been super quiet all morning.

    This is definitely one of the scariest things that’s ever happened to me! I thought that I was dying! I hope that it never happens again! On the plus side though, it was followed by a series of lucid dreams, after each of which I would wake fully, then fall back asleep and into another dream. I’ve never had a lucid dream before, and this morning I had about 20 of them! It was pretty cool LOL.

  129. GreenPiece
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    i have a serious problem. the moment i sleep someone bangs on my cieling or wall or bangs there door. at first it wasnt completely obvious, though now it is. the people in the flat below me let me know it was them. last night they told me there is a spider in my head? – yes its TRUE im not UNwell! two years ago a nurse shot something in my ear, i was there when it happened? wtf? since this time they speak to me every night and day (as we speak), tell me i need to kill myself unless it will not stop, they will not stop. tryed to electricute me the other day. it was funny but this is not.

    i call them “the waffles”. they have a habit of telling me what is going to happen before it happens, follow me from my flat in to my city centre etc. in my head they repeat the same thing over & over & then allow me to finish & get anoyed if i dont give them the answer they want. they leave the building as while im getting showered to leave the house etc. it couldnt be more obvious. im desensytised to this process as the moons have passed. dont sleep they wont let me. they say im the first person theyve tryed tryed this on & soon i will be dead. wtf? HELP.

  130. lesleywhippey
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I have had this since i had a breakdown almost 30 years ago. I explained to my doc that it happened especially when i’m stressed, hungover, watching flashing lights on t.v. when i’m hungry, feeling guilty, infact, almost the same elements as that of an epileptic before a fit.
    I too have had cat scans tests for epilepsy but nothing showed up. Eventually i was having them so frequently, almost 20 times a night that my doctor had to take measures. After years of trial an error with different anti-depressants i can honestly give you a cure but you won’t like it: Valium. Taking Diazepam has stopped mine COMPLETELY at last.
    Stress is the vital word here people.
    Hope it helps you all.
    Kind regards
    Lesley

  131. Pearl
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Wow, just found this site and you are all so close to what I and my sis have been going through only we found that it appears there is someone hacking into our heads at night at the same time. We have had things stolen from us and can’t seem to stop it. We get loud noises in our ears and headaches all the time then drop off to sleep. Around the same time each night we get the loud noises in our ears. Hers is humming and mine is like a high frequency and then we are out. No warning just sleep and don’t wake until the morning; and, the house has been gone through. We call each other everyday to see what is vandalized or in my case taken. Nothing we have done has stopped this. The attic seems to be the common factor but we never find anyone there. We first noticed little things like the flowers in the yard broken, a key or two missing from the house, maybe a pair of pants that you couldn’t find some food items gone. Then a bill you needed to pay was missing and then it advanced from there. All our ID was taken but brought back and they go through the same things nightly, every night and evey night we fall asleep and can’t wake. We believe it is sleep hacking to acheive whatever it is they are looking for but haven’t a clue. Police don’t help because they take small items they can carry out of the house and there is never any sign of them breaking in. They are extremely clean so you will never know someone is in your home! Just the loud sound like a book slammed on the floor, high pitched sound, throbing head and ringing ears. It appears, they follow you from house to house like a ghost only I never heard of a ghost stealing your ID. I have an alarm system, screws in my windows, stick under the door knob, nothing stops them. Very weird!

  132. Debi
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I just had this happen to me last night. It sounded like a bomb exploding in my head and ears. I experienced a feeling of detachment also, but that is not unusual for me because I have woken up before feeling my heat racing and felt like I was having a heart attack while feeling like “I” wasn’t here, if that makes any sense. However, what got me reading about this was last night’s experience of the explosion sound in my head which I have never experienced while just falling asleep. I have had strange things happen while I was asleep which felt like a dreams (muffled voices, beyond the feeling of freezing temps around me,etc…)or thought I was dreaming. I don’t know, but glad to know I am not alone and hopefully not crazy.

  133. Jon Enoch
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    When i was a little kid growing up in England in the 50′s, it was common to have you ears “boxed” as a form of punishment. It was a very painful experience caused by your mother (usually) clapping your ears with the palm of her open hands. Anyway, this feels just like the head explosions I get about once or twice a month as i am just falling asleep. I always wake up instantly uttering Swear words loudly and waking my wife. I wonder if any of the other folks out there ever had their ears boxed when they were young? Perhaps this could be a delayed form of damage??

  134. Pauline
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Although it happens less frequently now,I have been experiencing this loud bang inside my head on and off for quite a few years. Initially I was very worried that I might have a tumour in my head, epilepsy or onset of a stroke. I mentioned this to my GP and I was told there’s no such medical condition and that its all in my mind! I feel much better now knowing that I am not insane and I am not alone!!

    • lesleywhippey
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      EHS has been connected to benign seizures as has fainting that’s why Diazepam works (see my post above)I was experiencing them at least 20 times a night, it felt much like someone was coming into my bedroom and hitting my head with a hammer. Doctors do recognize this condition in most area’s of Britain now but it is still called “Syndrome” because they don’t know how to prove it, i have even offered to go into a sleep clinic and come off the Diazepam for a couple of days so that they could study it but i’m outside the catchment area of any sleep clinic.
      That being said, i have told you all the “Cure”
      God bless

  135. Pauline
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Lesley, do you mean you are on Valium daily? What’s the dosage? We need a GPs scrip to get Valium here in Australia, don’t think my GP would be willing to write me one ! And oh, I think my condition is most likely triggered by stress

  136. lmiller
    Posted February 24, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    I also had this for a few years,it started in my sleep as shotgun sounds literally jolting me off the bed a few times. Then on a couple occasions it happened when i was awake,knocking me to the floor,my husband thought i was having seizures.
    A few months later my daughter told me she had taken my mother to the ER because she was also having these!! They told her it was an old age thing and not to worry..anyway over time mine changed from shotgun sounds to my name being yelled VERY loud,large gong sounds,but as the sounds have changed they have also subsided and I now rarely have one.

  137. AlisonT
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I’ve just come across this site, after googling ‘loud explosion in head’ – and like so many others, I’m relieved to find I’m not alone! I usually get it when I am awake – and up and about, and as it appears to be linked with stress, and the stress in our family is long term, I am now just waiting for the next glass balloon to burst!

  138. Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Just like everyone else I don’t sleep at all well. Don’t get me wrong I sleep just not through the night. I toss and turn all night long and have forever. Anyway I woke up with an explosion in my head. My yes my eyes shot open and I was like wth. There was no pain or anything and I feel fine. I would just like to understand it. There was also a decompression feeling. I would like to hear more please!

  139. Karen G
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I am a 74 year old female who started experiencing EHS after a horrific bout of vertigo 4 months ago. My vertigo was successfully treated but I now have EHS and although it is conforting that I am in such good company and it is a benign condition it takes all my will to get myself in bed at night because I know what is coming. Hisses, loud noises, etc. sometimes 14 or more separate noises one at a time as I drift off to sleep. I have been taking a Tylenol pm or equivalent for several months to get to sleep, I am a lifelong migrainer also and feel this is also a part of the problem. I am hoping it will fade away.

    • Jamie
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Don’t be afraid of this thing. I’ve always seen it as something cool an unique. I’ve been having them since I was in my teens and now I’m a 42 year old man who has never seen real illness. I only get a cold once every 10 years, if that . Whatever it is its nothing to be scared of. I believe that if most of the people here compared themselves to others they would find that much more than EHS than made them diffrent. I also have bouts of sleep paralysis ( which is a 1000 times worse ) and lucid dreams. None of these things scare me. Take a deep breath and enjoy your life. EHS is nothing to fear. Nothing is wrong with you.

  140. Mimi
    Posted August 4, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I’m in my early 40s and I’ve had EHS for a few years. I get the buzz that ends with a snap. A bit like effects used in games and movies when electrical wires/cables are cut or lights are about to go out. And it’s almost always when I wake up, very often after a vivid dream and also often during naps.

    I’ve had sleep paralysis since I was in my teens. And I still have that randomly. Mostly when I’m stressed or exhausted. The sound I have in my head during paralysis is of the same kid, but a lot louder. Almost as if I have an electrical saw inside my head or that an electrical tool is used on my head. I can not move or make sounds, but I am awake. This used to be terrifying, but I am now able to think clearly and snap out if it by relaxing and breathing slowly. If I go right back to sleep the attacks often come back instantly.

    I am not on medication, I don’t have health issues or drink alcohol often. I do however have problems with my sleep pattern or sleep in general. I am not nervous or depressed or have any kind of mental or physical illness/issue.

    And I just found out that this has a name. Which helps a lot :)

  141. Barbara Shell
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I also have just experienced this only it was slightly different. Just when I was going off to sleep lights out the explosion came . The whole bed lit up and so I jumped out of bed thinking it was the electric blanket. I pulled it off the bed (it was cold) and remade the bed. Then I realised that the blanket was not even on. It was the scariest thing and I didnt like to tell anyone because I thought that they would think I was going mad. It was my birthday 13th my lucky number and I had just told my husband how much I missed him (he died 17 months ago.) At one stage I thought it was his way of saying happy birthday but after reading this forum I realise that it happens to lots of people. I have a pacemaker and take heart medication. Barb

  142. Sunny
    Posted August 21, 2013 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Today i experienced and electrical vibration buzz go through my right ear into my head. I was sleeping during the day probably about 3-4 hours. It either woke me up or i just woke up. I tried to ignore it becaude the other nighto house sitting my friends house alone i eexprienced something quite strangr i cant explain well enough, almost like i have no control over my body. Today i experienced something similar after the electrical vibration buzzing sound, maybe dleep para

  143. Sunny
    Posted August 21, 2013 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Continued
    - sleep paralysis, as i read in someone elses comment. I cant move and im awake but sometimes i cant even open my eyes. I have ear problems that the doctors cant figure out, my right ear feels congested all the time and it hurts sometimes,i hear a high pitch noise sometimes as well, the other night when i was house sitting i meant to

    mw

    Mention i was sleeping in a room with electrical things.plugged in and today i may have had my phone by my head. Sorry this message is not well written, im writing from my cell phone

  144. Dan
    Posted August 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    i have a new theory on the “explosions…i have recently quit drinkin tap water and all things with flouride. That being said, my pineal gland is decalcifying by virtue of swearing off flourine. The frequency has increased considerably…just a thought

  145. dean
    Posted August 30, 2013 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Hi all.

    Interesting to know the name is “Exploding Head syndrome”.

    I have had this happen to me quite a few times throughout my 43 years. It is not regular nor frequent enough to be disruptive. It usually happens when I am extremely tired and drift off to sleep.

    The sounds are many and varied. Tonight, it was a very loud, fast rustling sound. I got pissed off because it was interrupting much needed and wanted sleep, so I decided to look it up :-)

    The one incident that stands out happened a few years ago. I could have SWORN that somebody slapped me on the back of my head. That woke me up real quick. All other times were audio/perceived audio only.

  146. Jessica
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It is 4:30 A.M right now.I was just going back to sleep after waking up for no particular reason. I have been woken up by a loud kind of rushing noise in my head. It seemed as if I couldn’t wake up. It just got progressively louder and eventually I snapped awake. Everything went quiet. The only other thing I felt was that something or someone was rushing towards me. That is probably what helped me wake up. I am only 16 years old, but the symptoms sound somewhat similar to what I experienced.

  147. Derrick
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    The EHS is an interesting phenomenon that I experienced on and off for many years since I was 20. I heard a loud bang, saw a flash of light, and my head jerked forward as if someone had slapped the back of my head (as Dean reports above.) The first time that it happened, I was so convinced that someone had crept into the room to hit me that I got out of bed to search. To no avail, of course. Over the years I became inured and learned to ignore it. There have never been any side effects.

    During the last few years however (I am 84) the symptoms have changed quite considerably so that now I hear my doorbell ringing. Note that it is not ANY old doorbell but MINE ; the sound is precise. I go downstairs but there is no-one there and the street is empty. This leads me to believe that the symptoms are due not to some malfunction of the ear, the hypothalamus or whatever, but is psychological in nature.
    Again, one learns to adjust. If I am in bed when the doorbell rings, I ignore it.

  148. Angie
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I am so pleased to find this forum! I too have experienced loud noises that awaken me. My body tingles like I have received an electric jolt. Last night I heard an old telephone ringing and actually got up to see who was calling. There was nothing on the caller ID. I believed I was dreaming and went back to see only to be awakened an hour later by the same sound. I went to a family birthday party today and when speaking to a family member about last night’s events she told me she had the same experience! Weird, right? She and I have horrible allergies and we were recovering from a bout of vertigo. I suppose I have always had EHS. As a child I had the same symptoms many people describe here. I would hear someone call me or a gunshot that was so very loud that I would jump from my bed absolutely sure some horrible person was
    shooting a gun in my home. I am a 50 year old female with a Lupus diagnosis and on meds for this disease. Thank you all for easing mind.

  149. Derrick
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    OK – bangs on the head, gunshots, doorbells, voices, drums, rushing sounds – nothing real but emanating only from within our own heads.
    I want to put before you all a controversial theory that many religious experiences widely published and discussed (and which have had the most profound ramifications for human history)were nothing more nor less than the same thing.

    In a superstitious age – and in the absence of any external evidence – a voice calling one’s name, a bright light and a smack on the back of the head may readily be confused for the intervention of God or some other supernatural being. Accounts from Samuel, Moses, Paul and other instantly come to mind. “Big” it up, recount it to others and you may steer the course of history.

    • Annie
      Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Except Paul and Moses didn’t awaken to find it was only a noise in their mind. Paul was struck blind and had a prolonged conversation with Jesus. Moses too had an extended conversations with the Almighty and also received those irrefutable laws from Him. Read the Bible and you’ll find those situations are quite different from what’s described in the article.

      • Derrick
        Posted October 2, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Oh, in a long life I have read the Bible several times and from front to back. Clearly, you believe that everything in it is the unvarnished truth, whereas I am not so gullible.

  150. dan freer
    Posted November 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    i get this if i try to sleep on my back, usually in the form of a short but loud electronic noise, last night i had it again and it sounded like a spring being sprung, never get it lying on my side which i dont understand

  151. Mischa
    Posted November 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Last night was the second night my head exploded, but it happened three times. The first time was about a month ago. I was completely asleep and “dreamed” my house blew up. The sound was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I have heard a sonic boom. There was a bright light and no pain and my instant thought was, “this must be what it’s like to die because there’s no way I lived through that.” I sat up, confused and disoriented to find the house intact. My husband wasn’t moving. My next thought was somehow I lived through it but he wasn’t moving, so he must be dead. He couldn’t figure out why I was waking him up and I couldn’t figure out how he hadn’t heard what I heard. He’s a heavy sleeper, but geeze! I got up and wasn’t able to walk straight, I was dizzy and unstable feeling. I wandered around the house in awe that it really was standing. I checked on my kids. My heart slowed down a little and I caught my breath. Eventually I got back to sleep. I googled the next morning, but didn’t think much more about it. I was completely asleep when it happened, so wasn’t sure what to think.

    Yesterday afternoon, a neighbor shot a shotgun, and it was very similar to the sound in my head, but not nearly as loud. I had a few moments of panic. I suddenly wondered if I was now going to be afraid of fireworks, or loud noises. I dismissed the train if thought and figured I’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know if the sound triggered it happening again or not.

    I went to bed last night a little earlier than normal, about 11:30. At 3:32 am I woke up from another sound sleep and a second explosion in my head. My first thought this time was, “the first one must have been a warning, now I’m really dead.” Except I wasn’t. I wasn’t as disoriented as the first time it happened, but it was exactly the same. Bright white flash and mind numbingly loud explosion of a bomb, but bigger somehow. I had been fully asleep. It happened again a few hours later, and then a third time around 7 am. The sensations were the same all three times.

    For years I have heard someone call my name as I’m drifting off to sleep, or heard a noise like something falling which I usually just blame on the cats. I wonder now if these are related.

    I have a history of back pain from torn discs and take pain meds through a daily pain patch. I have daily chronic migraines and dizziness caused by the migraines which started a year ago. All neurological and inner ear tests have been normal (CT, MRI, inner ear, etc.) in the last six months so that rules those out for me. No prior recreational drug use of any kind, non smoker, non drinker.

    I’m sorry to hear so many other people experience this as well. It hasn’t been fun and it’s not something I look forward to continuing. I’m intrigued by the pineal gland suggestion however. I’ve had a lot of things happen lately and that might match up. Something I’ll keep in mind at least. Blessings to all!

  152. Marc
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I experienced this for (I think) the second time in my life. Both times it occurred at the conclusion of a confusing dream. The first time was more than fifteen years ago and I just dismissed it as part of the dream. about two hours ago I was awakened by the loudest, most unnerving explosion a person could possibly imagine! I was about to reach for the firearm by the bed, fully believing someone had tossed a “flash-bang” in through the door and was about to enter the room, then I noticed the wife and the two dogs were sound asleep and unaffected by what had jolted me awake in a most rude manner.

    It had me pondering what it might mean, but now that I see it appears to be a known, and not entirely uncommon occurrence, I’m ready to return and finish with my beauty rest. Strangely, I think I’m actually looking forward to experiencing this again.

  153. Christina
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I have been having this happen to me since I was 15 years old. I am now 51. Not every night and sometimes years will go by and nothing and then they start up again..
    For me it starts of as short bursts of like TV static while I am still awake. I always know when it will happen. Then when I fall asleep I usually have a dream and while dreaming this noise explodes in my head and the dream stops. It is strange because I know what is happening, it’s like my mind is awake but my body is still asleep, I cannot move. The noise is so loud and uncomfortable I have to muster up all the energy I have to try and make a noise either to wake myself up or my husband shakes me awake. When I wake I am still having the short bursts of static go off in my head. If I do not fully wake I just fall back into the same thing again. It is very frightening. When I was I teenager I had my head wired and doctors tried to record these events but they never found anything. So I’m just used to it now but I am noticing now that I am getting this static during the day just buzzing in short bursts in my head.
    Anyone have a similar experience to me?

    • winonaw
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes.. this sounds almost exactly like me. Except i dont get short bursts. For me it starts like a circular saw or something far away and it gets closer and closer until the sound is really loud. It is not part of a dream and I feel awake, but not being able to move or make a sound.

      For me it never helps to use engery to try to wake up. If I panic it wont go away at all. But if I tell myself that this is just a dream and force myself to breath slowly and calmly I just wake up and the sound goes away.

      It has been a while since I have had these attacks now. These days I have normal dreams and when I wake up i often have the short, static bursts in my head. Maybe 5-10 times before they just fade away. Happens more often after a vivid dream or a nap than the dreams I don’t remember when I wake up.

  154. Posted November 26, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I am so pleased that people can discuss this as I had this happen to me 3 months ago. I was going off to sleep and the whole bed seemed to explode lights everwhere. I thought it was the electric blanket so stripped the bed threw it in the bath then realised it wasnt even swithched on. It was really frightening. After remaking the bed I went off to sleep. People I told thought I was mad so I looked up the internet and was so happy that others were just as supposedly as mad as me. Thanks to the internet I didnt even mention it to my doctor.

    • dan freer
      Posted December 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      i don`t know if this helps anyone but ive discovered that i only get it when i sleep on my back, lying on my side ive never experienced it

  155. Jon
    Posted December 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I had this problem for 3 years. It always started within 15 min of laying down to sleep. It was very upsetting since the loud noise would make my ears ring and jerk me out of sleep. Since I stopped eating wheat 1 year ago, I have not had any problems….it has completely vanished.

  156. Bernard
    Posted December 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been having this problem for two or three years, once in awhile, no more than one occurrence per night. No bright lights, just a noise sort of like when you rub the side of a balloon. Very loud, lasting a fraction of a second, I jump and my heart starts racing. Never told anyone about it. Then last night it happened three times in the space of half an hour. So, I went to my computer and tried Googling it, and, lo and behold, found all this! Who knew?

  157. Posted January 3, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I am 17 years old and this has been happening to me for several months now a few times a month and it happens right when im drifting off to sleep I’ll hear a really loud noise and after my head will hurt or ring for a few seconds. Sometimes I can feel it before it starts so I try to move to wake up but then I just end up trying to fall asleep again and it happens.

  158. delta
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I can assure some of you that experience it when falling asleep that it is a result of thinking to much when the brain is tired. I can fell it coming maybe 5 seconds before it happens. at this stage i make sure to clear my mind of any thoughts cos if i don’t some asshole throws a hand grenade at my face and i suffer the loudest explosion known to man. I live in belfast and i have been within 30 metres of a large bomb which killed people and it wasnt as loud as the bang that goes off in my cranium.

  159. Mindy
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I was just woken to sound of bare feet scooting across my hard wood laminate floor. I turned on light as it scared me to death. There was nothing there. I went to check my kids and they were sound asleep! I’ve been awoken from noises before but not described as exploding! Just random noises. Not sure this is related but now I’m freaked out to even go to sleep!

  160. Holly
    Posted February 6, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I thought I was going crazy. I’m so glad to have found this message board! Mine happened twice in the morning a few days ago. I thought a nuclear bomb went off the first time. I saw white light and seriously thought, this is it. They bombed us and my life is over. Then, my eyes opened and all was fine. I brought it up to 2 doctors and neither had heard of it. I just had an MRI a few months ago and my brain is fine. Was falling but ends up due to pinched nerve in my back. Anyway, that was so scary and I’m thankful that I’m not alone here. 💕

    • Mischa
      Posted February 14, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Well, I disproved the “it doesn’t happen on my right side” theory a few nights ago. At least for myself personally.

      I was sleeping on my right side and woke up to an obnoxiously loud explosion at 3:22 am. I woke up yelling “F***!” and then “That was so f***ing loud!” It ticked me off. I had a terrible migraine already and that certainly didn’t help. I immediately started crying because it just hurt my head so much more.

      It continued to happen the rest of the night regardless of the position I was sleeping in.

  161. samwise
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    i have experienced similar symptoms, except for the fact that yes as im dosing off an explosion occurs yet these explosions are often accompanied by electric shoc down both sides of my body. it cant be ms normally your brain picks a side depending if the source of the shock lay in the left side or right side of the brain. any feedback would be appreciated

  162. Posted February 17, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    im 9 years old and i have this exploding head syndrome thing i have started breathing more heavily I’ve started to lose my appetite and I have started laughing more i was wondering if there is a treatment

  163. daxton
    Posted February 19, 2014 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    I, too, have experienced the head noises, like a gunshot a couple of times when sleeping in the past. Then, today, while in my garage, clearing snow/ice from under my garage door, I was quite startled by what I perceived to be a gunshot or an explosion. I looked around and step outside, didn’t see any problem, so felt it was a head explosion. This morning, I did have a tearing like sensation in my left ear, not a noise though. When this occurred I felt some brief dizziness. I was sitting down at the time, so just leaned forward until the dizziness past, then was okay. Now, this evening, my left ear feels like it wants to ache, so have instilled ear drops. Mind you, most of the reported exploding head noises are at night when sleeping or about to wake up….this occurred with me when FULLY AWAKE….it was one of the loudest noises I have every heard…..interesting!

  164. Twiggy
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Soooo grateful for all your comments. Yey, it’s nothing serious! and I am not loosing the plot!
    I had just fallen asleep on Fri night after an emotional couple of days, when an almighty explosion went off in my head and my chest physically lifted off the bed, all in a split second.
    Apart from being so frightened that I froze under my duvet until my heart calmed, I drifted peacefully off to sleep.
    Age 36, no medication, have an awesome diet, active outdoorsy person, work 50 hr weeks, Mum, healthy family life, 2 glasses of wine each day with dinner, no binge drinking or any drugs.

  165. Jenny
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    I’ve been experiencing EHS for a few years now. Sometimes it sounds like a gunshot, sometimes like a nuclear bomb, and sometimes kind of like a long whistle followed by the sound of fireworks going off. Three weeks ago I gave birth to twins and I did not experience EHS once during the entire pregnancy, which is odd because the pregnancy was pretty stressful and my “explosions” usually happen when I’m very stressed out. Since the birth I’ve had three EHS episodes, but I’ve been pretty stress-free lately. Before I got pregnant my EHS episodes only happened once every month or two. The sounds don’t really bother me anymore, but I am kind of sad that they are back; I was hoping I was rid of them for good.

  166. Blair S Ashworth
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    The first was at the age of 8 or 9. I was falling asleep when I ‘felt’ a bright flash inside my head, very much like a powerful lighthouse right outside my bedroom window. I had the remaining three experiences spaced out over the following 40 years.

    I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 37 (I don’t believe there is any connection!).

  167. Chris J. Garris
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I felt this for the first time last night. I wasn’t fully asleep just in the first stages of falling asleep. I had took a melatonin pill because I had to get up early and wanted to fall asleep quickly. At first I heard a light roaring noise compared to a ceiling fan motor. This roaring sound was accompanied by what appeared to be a mumbling noise that seemed to be internal. At times the mumbling noise would become a brief scream sound. Then it felt as if dynamite went off in both ears. It made me raise up as the exploding sound shook my core. This happened a couple times and the entire episode lasted no longer than 5 minutes. Once I stood up and then repositioned myself I was fast asleep. It wasn’t a scary episode just creepy but then again I was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago, so I’m use to weird things happening.

    • Dan
      Posted April 12, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink

      wow…it lasted 5 minutes? that’s crazy long! mine last only for a brief second. First the explosion and believe it or not, sometimes a shockwave. Other times i’ll hear a loud snap as if a bullet were whizzing by (i know this first hand). Interesting that yours lasts much longer than the average bears—peace

  168. ling
    Posted April 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Omg I’m so glad other people have this same issue. This happened to me last night. For the past week I’ve been dealing with mono and taking antibiotics. Yesterday was the first time I had some relief till night time. At first I thought it was because my TV went off. Which normally wakes me up since it helps me to sleep.

    However, it occurred about 2.3x last night. I’m concerned since I have a headache associated with mines. Mostly in the right temple but it’s both sides. My head feels really tight. I do live in a very humid area and the weather changes are drastic.

    I will make plans to see a neurologist. Also I’m 24 and female. Perhaps a herbal tea before bed to relax will make it better. Hope last night the 1 and only time


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