Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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Exploding Head Syndrome – Symptoms & Risk Factors


You may have Exploding Head Syndrome if you:
  • Imagine a sudden loud noise or explosion in your head just before falling asleep or just after waking up in the night
  • If these sounds are normally free of any sense of pain
  • If these events wake you suddenly with a sense of fright
It is also important to know if there is something else that is causing the imagined sound. Instead of being exploding head syndrome, it may be a result of one of the following:
  • Another sleep disorder
  • A medical condition
  • Medication use
  • A mental health disorder
  • Substance abuse

Risk Factors

It is not known how many people have exploding head syndrome. It may be more common in women than in men. It can begin at all ages. It has even been reported as early as less than 10 years of age. The average age when it first appears is 58 years.
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