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Exploding Head Syndrome More Common Than Thought. Wait! What!?

April 28, 2015


Exploding Head Syndrome More Common Than Thought. Wait! What!?

Exploding head syndrome? You mean that thing that happens when you try to understand the logic of a politician right? Or when you explain to your child for the billionth time they can’t have another ice-cream? Actually Exploding head is neither of those things and there is a good chance that it has happened to you already!

Exploding Head Syndrome is a psychological condition that causes you to be suddenly awoken by an imaginary loud noise, sometimes so loud that it feels as though there was an explosion in your head – hence the name. Recently researcher conducted by Washington State University discovered that almost one in five students have experiences this phenomenon – significantly more than previously thought.

The researchers have suggested that they believe that the sudden loud sounds are caused by a misfiring of the auditory neurons as you fall asleep. They use the analogy of a computer shutting down: instead of going to sleep all at once, the computer needs to shut down each component or package of software in turn. The brain, they suggest, might be working in a similar fashion with the motor, auditory and visual neurons all turning off or going to sleep in stages. The imaginary loud sound that some people hear as they are falling asleep could be the auditory neurons misfiring, and instead of slowing down the stream of impulses, they fire a sudden burst, making you ‘hear’ an explosion.

Needless to say that while there are no serious medical effects caused by this phenomenon, there are a whole load of psychological effects. Aside from the stress and paranoia associated with imaging a sudden loud explosion in your home and futilely trying to find its source, some people may start to question their sanity. Not surprising if you suddenly hear loud noises in an otherwise peaceful home. In fact this condition is so relatively unknown and misunderstood that most people who experience it do not talk to their families or loved ones about it.

Researchers have also discovered that those people who suffer from Exploding Head Syndrome may have a higher chance of also suffering from sleep paralysis which is when a person cannot move or speak when they wake up. The effects are temporary but the effects can be exceptionally terrifying.

The researchers have suggested that these two maladies have been internalised by many sufferers as unnatural events that through the ages they could have tried to explain away by superstitions such as witchcraft, alien abductions or even government conspiracies.

Aside from the stress justifiably associated with this phenomenon, there are no major medical effects. For frequent sufferers however researchers have found medical treatments that have been found to reduce the volume of the sounds. Although, researchers have often found that sufferers are simply relieved to know what it is that is affecting them.

Have you ever experience Exploding Head Syndrome? Has it affected your life at all? Please share you experiences with us!


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