Among many types of Parasomnias, one of the most rarely found type is Exploding Head Syndrome. Because of its rarity, the documented literature about the nature and symptoms of this sleep disorder is limited. People who have experienced this syndrome have reported to have been hearing unusual loud sounds such as explosions or banging in their head. As a visualization of this syndrome, the loud sounds are accompanied by flashes of light.
Exploding Head Syndrome usually occurs just before a person falls asleep or gets into deep sleep. It may also occur right after a person wakes up. These episodes may not hit a person regularly but they may disturb a subject several times during a night. Astonishingly, there is no feeling of pain during and after such an attack but a person may be left with a feeling of fear and anxiety.
Exploding Head Syndrome is often be misread as other headache problems but its diagnosis and treatment is instrumental to eliminate any chances of development of any other sleeping disorder as a side effect of this syndrome.
Causes of Exploding Head Syndrome
As discussed previously, not much is known as to what causes the occurrence of an Exploding Head Syndrome episode. Researchers have been mystified by this syndrome and they term it as a type of Parasomnia in one of its rarest forms.
After various cases studies, therapists and sleep experts concluded that one of the common causes of this syndrome is stress and depression. Lack of sleep is also said to be one cause of Exploding Head Syndrome. These causes generally arise due to heavy work load or emotional and psychiatric problems.
Symptoms of Exploding Head Syndrome
Exploding Head Syndrome is more likely to occur in women than men. People aged above 45 years are normally subjected to this disorder. However, this syndrome has been reported in children as young as 10 years of age.
Symptoms of Exploding Head Syndrome are pretty obvious. However, sometimes people take it for a normal routine head ache. Some of the symptoms are listed below:
- Hearing of loud noises in the head without any feeling of pain
- Stress and fearfulness
It is important to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis as the above mentioned symptoms could also result due to medications, unhealthy mental condition or any other sleep disorder.
Treatment for Explosive Head Syndrome
It is most recommended that the subject should seek a sleep therapist if he or she is faced with Exploding Head Syndrome. Normally, doctors search for answers to the following questions.
- What types of noises are heard?
- When did the subject start hearing these sounds?
- What is the average duration of such an attack?
- Is there any family history associated with this syndrome
- Presence of any other sleeping disorder?
Doctors also opt for sleep test if needed. However, these tests are only conducted in severe conditions where patient’s brain activity is closely monitored.
Depending on these tests and information doctors prescribe several medications. Some of them are listed below:
- Mind relaxing exercises such as Yoga, reading and walking can greatly help.
- Recommended sleep of six to eight hours.
- Avoiding alcohol before sleep.
- Medications such as Clomipramine and Nifedipineare also recommended in by doctors in some cases.
Exploding Head Syndrome is a sleeping disorder where an individual hears unusual sounds and noises with occasional splashes of light without any feeling of pain. The disease is curable if proper medication and consultancy is observed.