I have exploding head syndrome

Originally published at: I have exploding head syndrome | Boing Boing


Same here. I sometimes “hear” a loud bang with a flash of light, but usually it takes the form of someone saying my name urgently right in my ear.


Not half as bad as volcano head.

Oh, so that’s what I have! That’s weirdly reassuring to know. I often wondered about wtf are those experiences I’d been having since childhood. It’s usually just a weird sound that’s kind of like a rush of something, or a soft crash.


I had something similar for years; like a charge building up my spine to explode in my head. Noiseless, in my case. It felt very threatening, but only left panic in it’s wake.
It could happen anytime, daytime or when dozing off.
Now that I’m past 60 it has mostly disappeared.


Oh damn, you must’ve got one of them combustible heads. I read an article all about them.


Something something scanners.gif.


I suffered a severe head injury a couple years ago. Afterwards I would “hear” an attention-demanding sound, like my doorbell or cell phone ringing - one ring only - as I was starting to fall asleep. It would happen only once per night, several nights per week.
I had only very rarely experienced such things before.
I eventually figured out how to tell the difference between a real ring and one of those hallucinations; “OK, my brain tells me that my doorbell rang, but my short-term memory does not remember actually hearing it, so ignore it… time for sleep.” Also, while the sounds were accurate, the volume levels of the false sounds were usually a bit off, not quite loud enough to be real.
For many months I would also “see” a bright white flash triggered by a sudden sound, also while drifting off to sleep with my eyes closed.
Both of these phenomena seem to be tapering off, at long last.


I had that for a few weeks recently. Really weird- and scary till I figured out what it was. Looked out the window thinking it might be a car crash the first time - WTF?


I wrote this to a friend in 2006, not sure if it’s related:

“…try this and tell me if you experience the same thing. When you are lying down to go to sleep, put in some ear plugs. When I use ear plugs I can hear that high-pitched tone that you usually hear only in a really quiet room. Focus on that tone. I find that it’s really made up of many different tones. The highest is pretty constant, but there are lower ones in there too. As I focus on these lower ones they become more present, and as I get closer to falling asleep, they start to go kind of woooooWOOOOooooo - suddenly louder as I fall a bit asleep, then softer again, over and over wooooWOOOOOwoooooWOOOO. I’m not sure, but I think I’m hearing a sound that relates somehow to brainwaves. I can’t hear this all the time, sometimes I try and just fall asleep before I hear anything. You gotta be in the halfway state.”

The first time I heard this tone when falling asleep was after staying up all night and going to bed when really, really tired. I fell asleep so fast and hard, this tone described above came on so loud and suddenly it jolted me awake. Anyone else hear this tone which gets louder when falling alseep?


Yes, I do. Not consistently, but relatively regularly.
And, aside from the tone, more recently (last few years) I experience the “wooWOOwoo” sensation physically almost like the sense of being on a boat in the waves.
It’s closed now, but some of us recently were talking about dream phenomena in general (it started about lucid dreams but branched out). You might find it interesting.


Came here for that, prefer this

1 Like

I have loud fart syndrome, LFS for short. Don’t laugh, I’m in good company, years of exhaustive diligent research proves this. Oh, beer hard boiled eggs & pretzels for breakfast here I come!




When one falls asleep briefly in a crowded area (eg, a noisy bus, train, plane), as you wake up, you immediately seem to go from “silence” to the noise of the current situation. Its like reverse-exploding head syndrome.


I wonder if the “syndrome” has some correlation with the quality of one’s sleep and/or the sleeper’s “soundscape” (ex: noisy neighbors; nearby street traffic; living under airport landing approach; etc.). For instance, a light sleeper’s brain might process the sound of a car down the block hitting a pothole as a loud bang.


Despite the name, the sufferer’s head does not actually explode.

That’s what they want you to th


My head’s exploding rig


I think I have this very occasionally. I’ve always dismissed it as a leftover from the days where falling asleep was a very risky activity with all kinds of bears and tigers ready to pounce, like the brain is saying “OMG!!! Are you sure you REALLY want to fall asleep right now???”