5 Things to Know About Exploding Head Syndrome

Imagine curling up in bed, just about to doze off when…BANG—you hear a loud noise that startles you awake again, feeling frightened and distressed. This is a common occurrence for those with exploding head syndrome (EHS), who imagine loud noises just before falling asleep or when they wake up during the night.

Those with the condition have described these noises in various ways, including a loud bang, a clash of symbols, or a bomb exploding. Despite the alarming nature of these attacks, however, EHS is not associated with pain. Find out more about this relatively common condition with the following five facts.

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1. How Common Is It?

A type of parasomnia, exploding head syndrome is estimated to affect approximately 10 percent of the population. Females, in particular, are more at risk of the condition. EHS tends to present itself later in life, with the average age of onset being 50 years old.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the number of attacks varies from person to person. Although they happen rarely, it’s possible for them to happen multiple times in one night. In some cases, people may experience attacks several nights in a row, before a several week break.

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