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. make money fast

    Earn 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. 90 Second Set Up – Beta Tested Proven 24-7 AUTOPILOT Income – The Ultimate Work Safe At Home System More details: https://bit.ly/2YfQFcC


    December 26, 2020 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. zortilo nrel

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have consider your stuff prior to and you're just extremely fantastic. I actually like what you've obtained here, certainly like what you're stating and the way in which you say it. You're making it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to learn much more from you. That is actually a great web site.


    December 28, 2020 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Steffen

    Hey! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog such as yours require a massive amount work?
    I'm brand new to blogging but I do write in my diary on a daily basis.
    I'd like to start a blog so I can easily share my
    personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips
    for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

    Review my blog; best notebook planner 2020

    December 29, 2020 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. froleprotrem

    But wanna input on few general things, The website design and style is perfect, the content material is rattling great. "To establish oneself in the world, one has to do all one can to appear established." by Francois de La Rochefoucauld.


    January 1, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. frolep rotrem

    What i do not realize is if truth be told how you are no longer actually a lot more well-liked than you may be right now. You're very intelligent. You already know thus significantly in terms of this subject, produced me for my part believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women are not interested unless it is something to do with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. At all times deal with it up!


    January 5, 2021 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 슬롯 게임

    Best view i have ever seen !


    January 10, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Shalanda

    Hi there! Someone inside my Myspace group shared this website with us so I
    arrived at look it over. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking
    and will also be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and great design and style.

    Here is my website; credit card holder insert

    January 11, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Stacie Trickel

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.


    January 11, 2021 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. filofax clipbook a5

    Having look at this I think it is rather informative.
    I appreciate you seeking the time and effort to set this short
    article together. I remember when i again find myself personally spending a significant
    amount of time both reading and commenting.

    But just what exactly, it was actually still worth the cost!

    Here is my blog; filofax clipbook a5

    January 15, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tyrell Logosso

    I have a website I will be updating a few times a week with original animations and short films along with concept art for the animations and other kinds of media. How can I copyright everything on my site so that the copyright info I have on the bottom of every page "All original content (C) 2008 (My Name)" actually means something? Will my logo, site name, all content be copyrighted?.


    January 16, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Terry Strand

    I have been surfing on-line more than three hours lately, yet I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is pretty worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the internet will likely be much more useful than ever before. "I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work and my God." by Hellen Keller.


    January 18, 2021 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Tomasa Gheza


    January 28, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. notebook and pen

    There's definately a great deal to learn about this issue.
    I like all of the points you've made.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site notebook and pen

    February 2, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. tree removal surprise az

    Beaver Tree Services, 2545 N 29th Pl, Phoenix, AZ 85008; (602) 671-0226


    February 4, 2021 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. malatya escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...


    February 4, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Christene Kyger

    Earn $1000/Day With Our Passive Income System – Best Autopilot income system 2021


    February 6, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. https://europa-road.eu/hu/traktor-szallitas.php

    Thank you, I've just been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I've discovered so far. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?


    February 9, 2021 at 04:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. comprar sarten carmela

    Fantastic web site. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks for your effort!


    February 11, 2021 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. zipper pocket

    We stumbled over here by way of a different website address and thought I
    should check things out. I like things i see so now i am
    just following you. Anticipate thinking about
    your web page repeatedly.

    Feel free to surf to my web page zipper pocket

    February 11, 2021 at 04:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Best Paid Proxies

    Also I believe that mesothelioma is a uncommon form of cancer that is normally found in individuals previously familiar with asbestos. Cancerous cells form from the mesothelium, which is a shielding lining which covers many of the body's organs. These cells normally form while in the lining of your lungs, stomach, or the sac which actually encircles one's heart. Thanks for discussing your ideas.


    February 20, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. https://topphimhot.net

    Best view i have ever seen !


    February 23, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ClarkTauts

    8yhk5 ay9le 2kf6

    March 1, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ring binder zipper

    Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of the website.
    It's simple, yet effective. Plenty of times it's quite difficult
    to have that "perfect balance" between superb usability and look and feel.
    I have to admit you've done a amazing job using this type of.
    Also, the blog loads extremely quick to me on Safari.

    Outstanding Blog!

    Feel free to surf to my web-site; ring binder zipper

    March 2, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. exercise fitness planner stickers

    Awesome blog! Have you got any tips for aspiring writers?
    I'm hoping to start my own, personal website soon but I'm a bit lost on everything.
    Can you suggest starting with a free of charge platform like WordPress
    or choose a paid option? There are plenty of choices out there that I'm completely confused ..
    Any tips? Thanks a lot!

    Have a look at my blog post :: exercise fitness planner stickers

    March 3, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Melissa Calver


    March 4, 2021 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Zane Elerick

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! "For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." by Virginia Woolf.


    March 6, 2021 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. zipper pocket insert for chic sparrow sidekick

    I couldn't resist commenting. Well written!

    Also visit my web-site – zipper pocket insert for chic sparrow sidekick

    March 8, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Layla Denman

    Some really excellent information, Gladiolus I noticed this. "Reprove thy friend privately commend him publicly." by Solon.


    March 25, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Fernande Albritton

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and come with almost all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this .


    March 25, 2021 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. https://www.songmanhits.com

    I have never seen this view !


    March 28, 2021 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Greta Delnoce

    You have made some good points there. I checked on the web for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    March 31, 2021 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. alprostadil intraurethral (muse) therapy

    how much alprostadil pellets cost https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil generic prices

    April 5, 2021 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. why vardenafil dosage over 65

    warnings for vardenafil maximum dose https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil prices

    April 5, 2021 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. tadalis sx

    order tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalis sx

    April 6, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. cheap rx sildenafil

    sildenafil online buy india https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ generic sildenafil in usa

    April 8, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tadalafil 60 mg for sale

    tadalafil gel https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil max dose

    April 11, 2021 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. injectable ed drugs

    alprostadil penile suppository https://alprostadildrugs.com/ how do i use alprostadil urethral suppository

    April 14, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. canadian pills online

    canadian pills online https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian customs pills vitamins

    April 15, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. sildenafil otc nz

    generic sildenafil uk https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 50mg price pharmacy

    April 20, 2021 at 01:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. cialis at canadian pharmacy

    do you need prescription for canadian prescription of cialis in usa https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis through canadian pharmacies

    April 21, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. how do you take vardenafil 20 mg?

    vardenafil nortwest pharmacy https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil nortwest pharmacy

    April 21, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Forklift Maintenance California


    April 23, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. property for sale wallace id

    Very good post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    April 23, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Slide Out California

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!


    April 23, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv fiberglass repair panels


    April 24, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. erectile dysfunction drug

    discount erectile medication https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile review

    April 26, 2021 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. avanafil

    avana 50 mg avanafil 50

    April 27, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. house for sale rathdrum


    April 27, 2021 at 21:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Latonia Skrobacki

    One of the things you need to determine when choosing what is the best monocular design is how much you plan to use it. While the cost of a monocular will typically go down as you get further into the hobby, sometimes you will still be willing to pay the high price to get a good model.


    April 28, 2021 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. buy chloroquine phosphate

    chloroquinine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ what is chloroquine used for

    April 30, 2021 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to used furniture near me


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.