Sleep scientists from Washington State University are calling attention to a rare and little-understood sleep disorder with a particularly frightening name. Exploding head syndrome sounds a lot worse than it is. Though the experience is certainly unpleasant for those who are experiencing it, at least it is not quite as bad as the visual image that the condition evokes. Exploding head syndrome is characterized by experiencing extremely loud and sudden noises during the onset of sleep.
It is not known how many people actually experience this sleep disorder, as there is not a great deal of research on the topic. The study gathered and reviewed all of the existing literature on the topic in order to raise awareness of the phenomenon. Their research yielded a clearer picture of exactly what those who suffer from the condition experience. Symptoms include very loud and disruptive noises being heard. Patients have described the sounds as being similar to the sound of firecrackers going off, slamming doors, explosions, and even gunshots. They may experience the sounds in either one ear or both ear and the sounds are sometimes accompanied by bright flashes of light. Continue reading