THE NOLTE asked in HealthOther - Health · 8 years ago

Has anyone here suffered with "Exploding Head Syndrome" due to sleep deprivation? How did you cope?

My contacts will assume I'm trolling here, but I'm dead serious and this is an actual parasomnia.

For the last couple of months, I have not been able to get a refreshing and uninterrupted night's sleep, and if I get in 5 hours, that's a damn good night. Usually it's due to just waking up several times a night, but more and more, this massive sleep deprivation has messed with my head and I'm very often waking up to loud bangs, crashes, knocking, etc. Of course, this unwanted nocturnal event is always frightening at first, until I get reoriented with my surroundings.

I KNOW this is a symptom of severe brain fatigue, but here's the clincher : I just cannot get enough rest to alleviate it, even when I desperately try to sleep in on the weekends. I'm exhausted all day, but once I get into bed, I'm completely wired, then when I finally do drift off, it's consistently disrupted.

I'm not under any more stress than usual, I don't drink caffeine past 4:00, I don't take my decongestants after 3:00, and I DO NOT want to take prescription sleeping pills.

I know everyone's going to suggest Sleep Apnea, but I don't think that's it. This is a neural dysfunction caused by getting a lousy 2-4 hours of sleep every night, as that's all my body will allow. Hell, I've even started sleepwalking again-that hasn't happened since I was a kid.

So am I going crazy or have others suffered with this? More importantly, how did you overcome it? Not surprisingly, it's really started to affect my waking life, and I walk around like a brain-dead zombie.


David: You're damn right and it scares me, especially because I have a long commute.

19 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    I'm a chronic insomniac and yes I have precisely the same reactions as you described. I had no notion it was an actual medical condition as I have never asked the doctor about it. They always want to medicate the hell out of you and that's just not an option for me. I hate prescription Meds...I don't trust them.

    I find that a good session of yoga before bed, turning off all electronic media for at least an hour before trying to sleep and reading and/or a long warm aromatherapy bath (Lavender is a great relaxant, as is rose oil) are about the only things that give me any relief at all.

    I also try the jet lag cure of sleeping when you're tired and waking when you wake if I get home from work and feel knackered I will lie down then. A 60-90 minute power nap when I am really feeling exhausted seems to give me a lot of relief - so even if I have my usual 3-4 hour nightly sleep, the next day my head is far clearer and during that 3-4 hour sleep I am not tormented by the vivid, disturbing dreams that plague me when I don't have the earlier nap.

    I also found that sleeping with the dog when I had one seemed to bring me a lot more peaceful rest time. Just the feeling of that warm little bdy snuggled and relaxed beside me was a great comfort. I don't know why or if you have a pet other than your parrot (which would not be quite the same I but maybe getting one is an option.

    I have recently taken to demanding share care of the dog from my ex husband, and I noted immediately that my sleep was more peaceful when she was once again beside me in the bed.

    (((The Nolte)))

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Insomnia Solution
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  • 8 years ago

    I survive happily these days on 6 hrs a day in three two hour "little sleeps" throughout the day. Two hours seems to complete a full sleep cycle for me.

    I have to do it this way to accommodate my pain and the length of time it takes for a mega dose of pot to wear off.

    Before my accident I called a normal night 6 uninterrupted hours from 10PM-4AM.

    I was working physical labor but would stop caffeine at noon and no booze after 8.

    I think if you force some exercise into your busy schedule the sleep will sort itself out.

    I also think you can improve the quality of your sleep by appreciating the little bit you do get more.

    Remember - It could be worse.

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  • 8 years ago

    Oh jeez. Thank you for reminding me of my first year of college. I had exploding head syndrome every night. I also had night terrors right before waking up in the early morning. I did a lot of research on it and it seemed to get worse by the day.

    I told my parents and my dad didn't seem convinced and said that it was mostly in my mind and that I should stop thinking about it. I got really upset at his reaction but I tried it. I tried to believe that it was in my head and that researching/reading about it was just making it worse. Surprisingly it worked. They stopped. Not instantly, but pretty quickly. I have had a few episodes in the past 6 years, but not as bad or a frequent as that year.

    I honestly think it was because I hated my life in the dorms at college. Maybe there is something that you are secretly stressed out about that your brain wants you to change.

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  • 8 years ago

    Holy crap!! It's real!! I thought I was nuts!! It always sounds like a loud "bang"!!

    Well, personally, I've been sleep deprived from the whole menopause crap. My brain wants to be on overdrive 24/7 lately. Most days I feel like......well, you know that burnt stuff at the bottom of the pan when you fry a hamburger too long? Yeah - that's what I feel like.

    I have found something, however, to help when I'm really desperate:


    But - the reasonable answer is: see your doctor.

    Good luck to you!!! ((((Nolte))))

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  • 8 years ago

    My wife deals with insomnia often. Sometimes she takes a benadryl for sleep. It helps, but she can't use them for more than a night or two in a row without it causing more problems. She has taken prescription Lunesta before which works wonders, but she has concerns about being on it long term and our health insurance coverage for it sucks. I know you don't want meds, but maybe doing it short term would work, just to get back on track?

    She also does some meditations just before bed. That seems to help. Exercise might help too. It definitely helps me out; I exercise enough and I am so tired I sleep like a dead man.

    Cutting back alcohol can help. More than 1-2 drinks before bed can interfere with sleep.

    Good luck with it. It's a sucky situation to be in.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    usually it depends on how i approach sleeping.

    for instance, if i just doze off, ill sleep very lightly for a small amount of time.

    if i just lay in bed cause its late, itll take me 5 hours to fall asleep and i will wake up early the next day.

    so you need to prepare for sleep 2 hours in advance. take a shower, put lotion or whatever on your skin, do some yoga while drinking warm milk. then, don't go to bed UNTIL YOU FEEL SLEEPY.

    lol i just realized your a guy so this may be awkward.

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  • /\
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I've suffered from insomnia my whole life,

    but I've never heard of exploding head syndrome.

    How bizarre.

    I sometimes jolt awake in bed after which

    it takes forever to get back to sleep,

    but I've never heard anything when that happens.

    Or if it does, I don't realize or remember it.

    Anyway, the only two things that really

    help me to sleep are sex and weed.

    (Alone or together and not necessarily in that order)

    Nothing else works for me,

    and I've tried everything I could get my hands on..

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  • john
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Google "sleep hygiene" and compare your habits to the reccommended ones. I know it sounds simple, however it can get you into a patturn.

    Also, start taking a new type of melotonin. It is timed released and can help you maintain deep sleep longer. I buy mine a WalGreen's

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    There is a herbal remedy called Kalms containing Hops and Valerian I once used it as a de-stress pill it did as it said on the box and also promotes healthy sleep or drink some beer that'll help ;)

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