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 (747 Responses)
  1. RV Repair

    Your style is very unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this blog.


    June 15, 2021 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

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


    June 15, 2021 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Emory

    what is a cbd party


    June 15, 2021 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I'm going to highly recommend this site!


    June 15, 2021 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.


    June 15, 2021 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Stick with it!


    June 15, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair Around Me


    June 15, 2021 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 15, 2021 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair Nearby

    I was extremely pleased to discover this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things in your website.


    June 15, 2021 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 15, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repairs Near Me

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 16, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Nearby RV Repair

    I absolutely love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my own blog and would like to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    June 16, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Repair Around Me


    June 16, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repair Mission Viejo


    June 16, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sprinter Repair Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. used furniture near me

    May I simply just say what a relief to discover a person that truly understands what they're discussing over the internet. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people should look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you surely possess the gift.


    June 16, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. guns for sale near me


    June 16, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 16, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Around Me

    Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 17, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair


    June 17, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Shop

    You've made some decent points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 17, 2021 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. https://shiatsu-web.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    June 17, 2021 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. window tinting near me

    Very nice blog post. I definitely love this website. Thanks!


    June 17, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. massage places near me


    June 17, 2021 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. red robin near me


    June 17, 2021 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. phone repair near me


    June 17, 2021 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. chiropractic near me


    June 17, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. used car dealerships near me

    Great post! We are linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 17, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. bass pro shop near me

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to publish more about this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don't discuss these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!

    http://radio.cancaonova.com/iframe-loader/?t=Dating Single: No Longer a Mystery – Rádio&ra=&url=https://reviewnearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. citibank near me


    June 17, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. campers for sale near me


    June 17, 2021 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. hardee's near me


    June 17, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. mattress near me


    June 17, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. grocery stores near me


    June 17, 2021 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. asian massage near me

    Right here is the perfect website for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 18, 2021 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. jewelers near me


    June 18, 2021 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. horseback riding near me


    June 18, 2021 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. nissan dealer near me

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this web site.


    June 18, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. dry cleaners near me

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you ought to write more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not discuss these topics. To the next! All the best!!


    June 18, 2021 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. houses for rent near me


    June 18, 2021 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. how can i become a cbd distributor

    Good Afternoon everyone ! can anyone suggest where I can purchase Peanut Butter CBD Pet Tincture 750mg By Select?


    June 18, 2021 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair California


    June 18, 2021 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 18, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    Great post. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..


    June 18, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Nearest RV Repair


    June 18, 2021 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Camper Repair Near Me

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for providing this info.


    June 18, 2021 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Shop


    June 18, 2021 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    bookmarked!!, I really like your blog!


    June 18, 2021 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to rv for sale in orange county


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.

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.