home
RSS
Get Some Sleep: Bang in your head waking you? It has a name
Many people have dealt with waking up with a sudden start, called a hypnic jerk. A similar condition adds loud noise to a wakeup.
August 16th, 2011
01:05 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Bang in your head waking you? It has a name

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs regularly on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

Most of us have drifted off to sleep, only to awaken with a sudden start. This is a benign occurrence known as a hypnic jerk.

There is a similar condition in which people awaken suddenly because they hear a loud noise in their head. They usually describe it as a loud bang or an explosion. In fact, this phenomenon is called exploding head syndrome.

Like hypnic jerks (or sleep starts), this is a completely benign condition. A hypnic jerk can accompany the clash of cymbals that people hear. Even though benign, it can be very disturbing to experience, and people often think that they are having a stroke.

It is certainly wise to seek medical attention the first time this occurs, especially if it is associated with a headache, because headaches are not a common feature of this disorder. In fact, to make the diagnosis, there should not be a significant pain component. Patients do sometimes report a flash of light occurring simultaneously with the loud bang.

If the headache is severe and persists, then indeed hemorrhagic stroke is a possibility and emergency services should be sought.

When patients bring this to a doctor’s attention, it is usually because it occurs frequently. Patients become concerned that even if the bomb in their head was not a stroke in the past, perhaps it is a symptom foretelling a stroke. There is no evidence that this is the case, even when the awakenings happen frequently.

It could be a sleep-related migraine (even without pain), and simple partial seizures can present with sensory symptoms. However, the symptom would usually not occur only at sleep onset or when awakening, as is the case with exploding head syndrome.

This can present at any age but is most common in people older than 50. Women report it more than men, but as is often the case, it may be that they are more likely than men to seek medical attention.

If many episodes occur in a night or if they are clustered in a time period of days or weeks, then patients can have disrupted sleep and insomnia. Usually, exploding head syndrome has a spontaneous remission. I know of no cases in the literature where this continued relentlessly, although there are reports of cyclical reoccurrence.

As with many medical problems, people report a worsening of attacks when they have an increase in stress or a decrease in sleep. There is a report that a medication used for seizures and migraines, topiramate, was useful in controlling this unpleasant symptom. Again, the first time this happens, it is important to receive a thorough medical evaluation just to be sure that other disorders are ruled out.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.

Follow CNNHealth on Twitter

Post by:
Filed under: Sleep

soundoff (746 Responses)
  1. blind repair orange county

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the best sites on the web. I will recommend this blog!

    http://immanensdelivery.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.org

    June 11, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. robin near me

    red

    June 11, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Awning Los Angeles

    Very good post. I am dealing with a few of these issues as well..

    http://www.lifeact.jp/mt/mt4i.cgi?id=1&cat=1&mode=redirect&no=1&ref_eid=1698&url=http://ocrv.biz/

    June 11, 2021 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Leisure Travel Van Repair Shop

    http://ww17.wdc02.iviplanet.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=customcampervans.com/

    June 11, 2021 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Diesel Sprinter Repair Near Me

    http://danielmayo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvfleetservices.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Pop Up Camper Repair Shops

    http://maps.google.gy/url?q=https://campervanrepairshop.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. horse trailer paint

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

    http://venomoffroad.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.pro

    June 12, 2021 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. furniture refinishers orange county ca

    I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you postÖ

    http://www.burn3.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.rocks

    June 12, 2021 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Paint Shop Near Me

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve been to this blog before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly delighted I came across it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

    http://www.the40daychallenge.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.pro/

    June 12, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Winnebago Van Repair

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for providing these details.

    http://transitions-businessportal.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=commercialrepairshop.com

    June 12, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Van Repair

    http://demographicsnowrussia.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.campervanrepairshop.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Willian Yacavone

    As a Newbie, I am constantly browsing online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you

    http://www.cardboardpackaging.tk/

    June 12, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. hair salon near me

    Everything is very open with a really clear description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    http://wallacegallery.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bonus-books.com

    June 12, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. health food store near me

    http://www.cclub.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.bestlocalnearme.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. hyundai dealer near me

    http://mwandrias.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bonus-books.com

    June 12, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pawn shop near me

    http://tstz.com/link.php?url=http://nearmyspot.com

    June 12, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. fedex office near me

    http://tangohot.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestshopnearme.com

    June 12, 2021 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. sprint store near me

    Excellent article. I absolutely appreciate this website. Thanks!

    http://coverletterformats.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.nearmyspot.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. dollar tree near me

    Very nice write-up. I certainly love this website. Thanks!

    http://center.quilt.idv.tw/uchome/link.php?url=http://bestservicenearme.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. car inspection near me

    I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you postÖ

    http://greenstcap.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=reviewnearme.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. electrician near me

    I was able to find good advice from your blog articles.

    http://quickblood.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.bestservicenearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. eyebrow threading near me

    http://www.rxsystems.co.uk/redirect.php?u=https://bonus-books.com

    June 13, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. cabin rentals near me

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this subject here on your site.

    http://www.openuse.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bjsnearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. kitchen supplies near me

    http://ww17.talkanytimeforless.sharesolavei.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.quotenearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. flea markets near me

    Greetings, I do believe your blog might be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, excellent site!

    http://bestlawyersinrhodeisland.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.bestshopnearme.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv rental near me

    That is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate informationÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

    http://seamicro.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=wholesalenearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. land for sale near me

    Aw, this was a really good post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and don't manage to get anything done.

    http://coupons4change.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.theholistichows.com

    June 13, 2021 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. mattress stores near me

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thanks for providing these details.

    http://nationalproductions.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.gopepenergy.com

    June 13, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. staples near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is also really good.

    https://raincoast.com/?URL=https://sprinterrepairnearme.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. popeyes near me

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reauthorization/reauexit.cfm?link=http://www.online-website-marketing.com

    June 14, 2021 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. massage near me

    http://www.boosterblog.com/vote-815901-624021.html?adresse=admirallakeandpond.com

    June 14, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. voting near me

    https://telecom.uu.ru/?a%5B%5D=<a+href=http://ocrvmotorsports.com

    June 14, 2021 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. arbys near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the site is very good.

    http://boosterblog.com/vote-815901-624021.html?adresse=www.incomewolf.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. halloween stores near me

    After going over a few of the articles on your web site, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know your opinion.

    http://ww17.freeshoutbox.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=postfallshealth.com

    June 14, 2021 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. kia dealer near me

    https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/disclaimer.jsp?ciURL=ocrvcenter.info/

    June 14, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. movie theater near me

    You're so cool! I do not suppose I've truly read through something like that before. So wonderful to find another person with some unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that's needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

    https://espqa.memorialhermann.org/url?q=https://online-website-marketing.com

    June 14, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. breakfast places near me

    http://edesk.jp/atp/Redirect.do?url=www.forkliftserviceshop.com

    June 14, 2021 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. ace hardware near me

    Wonderful article! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    http://ww17.freeshoutbox.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.orangecountyphotographerblog.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. golden corral near me

    http://www.client.paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=wildwestlifttrucks.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. pediatrician near me

    https://cia.org.ar/BAK/bannerTarget.php?url=https://callfeeder.com

    June 14, 2021 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. pep boys near me

    https://www.irwebcast.com/cgi-local/report/redirect.cgi?url=www.seopostfalls.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. cricket wireless near me

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Cheers!

    https://www.sendfwd.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://bethjameson.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. barbers near me

    http://livedocs.my-retail-store.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.cleanuponlinereputation.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    https://bonus-books.com/rv-repair-shop-rv-paint-shop/

    June 14, 2021 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repairs Near Me

    You are so awesome! I don't suppose I've read anything like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

    https://www.bellinghoven-online.de/index.php?url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/box-truck-repair-near-me/

    June 14, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    http://www.host2.mandel.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/service-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Nearest RV Repair

    https://foro.infojardin.com/proxy.php?link=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-plumbing-repair-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Around Me

    http://pennergame.de/redirect/?site=ocrvcenter.com/class-6-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    http://week.co.jp/skion/cljump.php?clid=129&url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-blinds-repair-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    https://maps.google.co.th/url?q=https://gridhosted.co.uk

    June 15, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.