Exploding head syndrome - not quite as scary as it sounds

Imagine lying in bed fast asleep when you are awakened suddenly by a loud noise. You get up and look around, believing something major has just happened. After a quick scan of your surroundings and one look at your partner who is fast asleep, you begin to wonder if you really did hear a noise or was it all in your head.

Researchers have confirmed that these loud noises that jar us out of sleep and land us on our feet are real and doctors are now calling it exploding head syndrome (EHS).

What are the symptoms of EHS?

The American Sleep Association defines EHS as a disorder characterised by the perception of loud noises (e.g. a bomb explosion, gunshot or cymbal crash) when going to sleep or awakening.

Some people also report seeing flashes of light, feel hot, experience chest pains and palpitations, or feel an electrical sensation rising from the lower torso to the head. Contrary to the name, ENS is not associated with pain. However the noise attacks can elicit a great deal of fear, confusion and distress in sufferers.


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