Exploding Head Syndrome – Harmless But Disturbing

exploding head syndrome

Do you ever hear a sudden loud noise just as you’re falling asleep or waking up, maybe accompanied by a flash of light?

But then when you check your house or ask someone else, you find no possible source of the noise?

If so, it could be that you’ve experienced exploding head syndrome (EHS). The good news is that although it can be quite scary, it’s not believed to be physically harmful.

This sleep disturbance was first documented in 1920 by the scientist Armstrong-Jones, who described it as a ‘snapping of the brain’.

Compared to some other sleep disorders, there hasn’t been so much funding for research into EHS in the years since then. But scientists are slowly starting to understand it better.

How common is exploding head syndrome and who experiences it?

In 2014, researchers in Germany reviewed multiple cases and previous research, with some interesting findings:

  • They found that the average age of onset was 54.
  • More women reported having EHS than men.
  • The average frequency of attacks was between once a day and once a week.
  • The most common symptoms were noise, fear and sudden sensations of light.

Research shows that many young people experience it

In contrast to the research in Germany, researchers at Washington State University in 2015 discovered that many young people also experience EHS. And they didn’t find that women had it more often than men either.

Some of the main points arising from their research include:

  • 18% of the 211 undergraduates they interviewed had experienced it in their lifetime.
  • 16.60% had experienced it more than once.
  • They didn’t find that women had it more often.
  • It was found in 36.89% of people who had a diagnosis of isolated sleep paralysis.
  • 2.8% had clinically significant levels of distress or reduced ability to function.

2019 research finds even higher prevalence rates

In 2019, a team of researchers again looked at how common EHS is, finding much higher prevalence rates than the previous two pieces of research:

  • Out of 199 female undergraduates, 37.19% had experienced it in their lifetime. 6.54% had it at least once a month.
  • Out of 1683 male and female adult participants in a separate study, they found a lifetime prevalence of 29.59%. And 3.89% had monthly episodes.

The team also found associations with other sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, sleep paralysis and nightmares.

2020 research sheds more light

In 2020, a fascinating study into EHS was conducted in a collaboration between the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and psychologists in the United States and the United Kingdom.

In a survey of 6686 adults, 3286 reported that they had experienced EHS during their lives. 2954 said they had never had EHS.

Interestingly, 446 additional people reported having it, but were excluded due to the likelihood it was a different medical condition or because they reported significant pain during their episodes, which is not typically a diagnostic symptom of EHS.

Of the people who said they did have EHS, 5% said they had it several times a week. 35% had it several times a year, and 40% several times in their lifetime.

And in line with the German study, they also found that women were marginally more likely to have it than men.

It doesn’t cause physical harm

The name exploding head syndrome itself sounds very dramatic, provoking all kinds of violent images in the mind when wondering what the consequences of an episode might be!

The reality is that EHS is seen by organizations such as the American Sleep Association as benign and not associated with pain. However, it can cause a great deal of fear, anxiety and confusion, along with physical symptoms like increased heart rate.

Exploding head syndrome symptoms

There are several possible symptoms commonly reported. They can occur either when falling asleep or waking up:

1. Hearing a sudden and loud noise that isn’t real

The main symptom of EHS is hearing or feeling a loud and sudden sound. It can feel like it’s coming from inside your head, somewhere in your house, or even outside.

The type of sound varies between people, and might include:

  • The sound of an exploding bomb
  • The sound of a gunshot
  • A loud clash of cymbals
  • The sound of a door slamming
  • A rushing sound
  • People screaming or shouting
  • An electrical buzzing sound
  • Any other loud sound which can’t be described exactly

2. Seeing a flash of light

EHS is sometimes accompanied by a sensation of a flashing light. Like the noise though, there’s no actual light source causing it.

flash of light

3. Fear and distress

Most people don’t usually report feeling pain with EHS. They may describe it as painful initially, but then reveal it’s just extremely loud.

However, the sudden noise and other symptoms can be very disturbing. So it’s not uncommon to wake up feeling scared or upset by what just happened.

In the BBC collaboration study in 2020, for example, 44.4% of participants reported feeling significant fear during episodes. Interestingly, a smaller number of 25% reported clinically significant distress.

4. Elevated heart rate and breathing

Brian Sharpless Ph.D., who has published several papers on EHS, described in his 2018 research the most common symptoms as:

  • Tachycardia
  • Fear
  • Muscle twitches
  • Respiration difficulty

Interestingly, he also found that visual phenomenon were reported by 27% of people with EHS – a figure he described as “more common than expected”.

5. Accompanying sleep paralysis

As the research at Washington State University found, EHS is sometimes accompanied by sleep paralysis.

Sleep paralysis itself can also be very frightening, so it’s unsurprising that a combination of the two sleep disturbances can cause distress.

6. Worse sleep?

The 2020 study also found interesting effects on people’s sleep in general.

They found people with EHS typically took longer to fall asleep, had shorter sleep duration and worse sleep efficiency.

However, they do note that the differences were not clinically meaningful. I’ve added it here under the symptoms as I think it was interesting that it came up in the study, but it’s not listed as a symptom in sleep disorder guidelines.

Reader EHS poll

I ran a poll of readers for three months to see how often they felt they experienced EHS.

Out of 7,752 readers who voted, a combined total of 53.5% said they experience it at least once a month. 41.9% said they experience it very rarely.

These numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt though, as I only polled readers of this article. So rather than a random sample, it’s people who were probably inspired by their experiences to look it up online.

chart showing the results of a poll about how often readers experience exploding head syndrome

Causes of exploding head syndrome

The causes of exploding head syndrome still aren’t properly understood. But several theories have been proposed:

  • A neurological condition, such as minor seizures in the temporal lobe.
  • A sudden movement in inner ear parts, such as the tympanum (the eardrum), or the tensor tympani (the muscle involved in reducing sound – e.g. the sound of chewing food).
  • Related to fear, stress or anxiety.
  • Calcium signaling impairment.

In 2010, the researchers Thorpy and Plazzi suggsted that EHS might be a form of hypnic jerks, saying:

The EHS is a benign, usually self-limited, condition that is likely a sensory variant of the hypnic jerk. No testing or medications are necessary when the history is typical. Education and reassurance are the cornerstones of therapy. If the symptoms occur multiple times a night and cause insomnia, a hypnotic may be useful.

Going back to the 2020 BBC study again, they asked the participants what they believed caused their EHS. Here are the main causes reported and the percentage of people that endorsed them:

  • Something in the brain – 60.6%
  • Stress – 34.7%
  • Medication side effects – 7.2%
  • Something supernatural – 2.8%
  • Electronic equipment – 2.3%


The treatment options for EHS are limited due to the fact that it’s seen as physically harmless, and still not fully understood.

Knowing that it has a name, that you’re not alone in experiencing it, and that it’s not dangerous might be reassuring enough for many people.

However, you might like to consider the following options if you remain concerned:

1. Talk to your primary care provider

Speak to your doctor or physician if you’re concerned by your symptoms and they are causing you distress or loss of sleep.

They might check for other causes, such as headache disorders or seizures. But they can also help reassure you that it’s harmless.

2. Medication

There’s isn’t a cure as such. But one medication which has been used with some success is clomipramine.

3. Reduce stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can increase the frequency and intensity of some sleep disorders. If you’re under a lot of stress and/or suffer from anxiety at night, it’s a good idea to find ways to tackle it. This could include exercise, walking, yoga, tai-chi, meditation, mindfulness or simple breathing exercises in bed.

4. Practice good sleep habits

Sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and many lifestyle choices can increase the likelihood of disturbed sleep. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule, and practice good sleep hygiene.

5. Try not to worry about your sleep

It’s important not to become anxious about falling asleep. Try not to worry that you’ll experience another episode or that something bad will happen to you.

That might be easier said than done, but some positive self-suggestion at night can be helpful.

Prevention strategies reported by people with EHS

One final look at the results of the 2020 study reveals some interesting possible techniques to cope with EHS.

The study participants were asked what prevention strategies work for them, and how effective they thought they were.

Here are the top methods that people say helped them:

  • Using or refraining from substances, such as drinking alcohol before bed or taking sleep aids like Ambien. It’s not clear in the published study whether more people had success taking or stopping taking substances. It looks to me like drinking alcohol has a positive effect on reducing EHS, but I can’t be sure from the way the data was published!
  • Don’t lie on your back.
  • Got to bed earlier and get enough sleep.
  • Practice mindfulness techniques/relaxation exercises.
  • Get up for a bit if it happens.
  • Try to wake yourself up during an episode.

Your thoughts

Have you experienced EHS? What symptoms did you have, and how did it make you feel?

Feel free to share your story and thoughts in the comments below.

1,898 thoughts on “Exploding Head Syndrome – Harmless But Disturbing”

  1. A few years ago I was just drifting off while watching TV and jumped out of my skin when I heard what I can only explain as a very loud crackle like an electrical explosion. I was alone and check the rooms around me even though I knew it was in my head but had to check. Thank goodness for google, it provided much reassurance.
    Last night and after a stressful couple of days I was drifting off in bed with the TV on and heard 3 loud bangs like someone hitting a saucepan with a metal soon. I convinced myself it must have been on the TV until it happened again shortly afterwards it’s then that I thought I wonder if it’s exploding head syndrome so advised my brother earlier today incase anything happens to me so it was a relief to read this eve that others hear banging pans too. I have never been diagnosed with titinus but believe I have had it off and on since childhood, I’ve a feint hissing going on as I type this. I’ve never discussed it with a doctor.

  2. Last night at 3am I awoke to what I thought was a gunshot in my home. I awoke saying “Oh my God”! My husband awoke and just looked at me because everything was ok. I was terrified because I thought someone was in our home and fired a gun. After a several seconds. I realized nothing had happened. Our dogs were not barking. The house was fine. My heart was pounding and I was breathing fast. My husband held me and told me everything was ok. I have had in the past where I awoke to someone yelling my name very loud. But, I never gave it much thought. The gun shot prompted me to Google, hence finding this article. I plan to talk to my Dr about this. I do suffer from insomnia and I am 43.

  3. The first time it happened a few years ago, I thought my pot rack in the kitchen had fallen. Naturally, I got up and checked the house and found nothing out of place. This happened on a few other occasions. Then it stopped. But I had severe pain in my head, throbbing nonstop. I had not experienced it in a few years until last week when I heard a different loud noise sounding as if coming from my bathroom. I knew there was nothing in there to cause the noise and knew it was that old head noise visiting me once again. I’m relieved to know that I am not the only one to experience it but it is difficult to believe that there is not some underlying problem. I hope research will be done to try to find more information about the cause.

  4. I’m 75 and two nights ago at 4:30 am I heard a really, really loud bang inside my head. It jolted me awake immediately. I though I was hit on the head with a sledge hammer or maybe a high powered gun exploding my head. My first thoughts were “what the hell”. I was completely awake instantly. My vision was clear and my heart rate seemed normal. This scared the crape out of me and I though I must have had a stroke or something similar. I thought maybe I was dead or would be soon. This happened several times 2-3 years ago but was accompied with a electrical snap prior to the bang. Just found out about EHS today.

  5. Woke up at 3:35am from a very loud noise that seem to have originated directly above or inside my head that sounded like a deep strong buzzing sound , like that of a giant bee. I immediately woke up and was frightened because ai first thought an insect was near my head. But the sound was far too loud for that. Afterwards I could still hear crackling sounds in my brain as if something is moving or as if bones are cracking. I know that I was in the dreaming state as I was annoyed that I was jolted out of it despite that I could not remember what the dream was about. But I know it wasn’t a nightmare, but rather something uneventful really. I know that I had a similar thing before once but it wasn’t as loud as this time.?

  6. While attempting to slow down my car for a car in front of me at the stop sign, I sensed a loud sound and a glow of ball of light. I thought my car was burning. The loud sound felt like an exploding bomb and was accompanied by a jerk feeling of shock. It felt scary, but my car was intact and I was still able to continue on my trip. What could this be?

  7. I keep waking up to the sound of someone banging on my front door..like two or three very strong loud knocks almost like a banging..I live in a tiny house I’ve built an my bed is right by the door. I open the door the moment it yanks me out of a deep sleep but there’s never anyone there..This has happened to me about 9 times now in the past two months. Its very unnerving. .any where from 5am to 8 am sometimes 3 am..

  8. I keep being woken by beams of light and the sound of clashing metal I just googled it and found this thank god im not on own. I have sleep paralysis and have lucid dreams a lot too arg

  9. I have been woken up twice in less than a month by a loud scream in my ear. I don’t get the palpitations or the panic attacks that others do but it is definitely disconcerting. Both times it has happened in the morning but not as I’m waking up. I’m in deep sleep so that’s different from what others describe. I’m 42 and this is the first time I have experienced anything like this.

  10. I woke up to what I thought was the sound of a bag popping in my head. Freaked me out. It’s been a couple hours later and I still can’t atop thinking about it. I do suffer from anxiety which doesn’t help this feeling. And I am not the best sleeper to begin with but that popping sound is scary.

  11. This has now happen to me 3 times now. I hear an extremely loud noise it literally makes me jump out of bed with my heart racing and running in the direction of the sound. This time it sounded like a loud helicopter that was about to crash into something outside but the helicopter was extremely close like right next to me. Wake up in a panick and nothing is there. One out of the 3 times this has happened I woke up to a sound of a loud bomb then moments later a shelf in the house came down. It was like I heard the noice before it happened.

    1. Thank you for this article. I was half asleep and exhausted at 4 am and trying to fall back asleep. When, all of a sudden, I hear a distinct sound of a crowd of people shouting; almost as if waiting for a performer at a concert to begin entertaining. Such as a WHOO-ing sound, except it was stretched. I wasn’t freaked out as I immediately got up, out of bed and went to investigate. The noise sounded like it came from a few feet in front of my bed. My sister and I have separate rooms but my door leads straight into hers. I thought my sister’s laptop was on as she slept but then, I saw her computer was closed. Then I saw my laptop next to me but saw it was not charged. Then, I searched and found this article. Strange but I have been extremely stressed and have anxiety. Plus, my sleeping habits have been irregular since I was a teenager. Realize again that I really need to set a proper sleeping pattern for myself.

  12. For me it’s like a really long buzz or a current. It keeps going and it’s all I can hear but even though it happens just as I’m starting to sleep it goes on even when I’ve woken up. It also makes me see like a blue or white light. It paralyzes me until the humming dies down then my vision is swimming with color for the next minute or two.

  13. When falling asleep I hear ringing various other noises and get vivid pictures or things happening really random things my heart rate goes and eyes feel like there rolling back in to my head whilst trying to come round, it’s stopping me falling asleep and has only just started happening every night this past week

  14. I experience this regularly, usually the sound of a loud bang or a door slam. Last night was THE most horrifying experience to date. I heard a woman laughing very ominously accompanied by a whooshing (like being pressed up against a fan or engine or something).
    It was very disconcerting, accompanied by sleep paralysis and my heart racing. I had the intense feeling that I was perhaps losing my mind, and tried to say something to my husband, but couldn’t get out any words… I have been immensely stressed out at work, and have noted that this usually happens more often when im exhausted and/or stressed out.

  15. I’ve experienced this at age 15 now im 26 and ive had a total of maybe 6 to 7 episodes. Before 5:47am currently, iv2 had about 4. And it’s when I try to go to sleep I feel stuck numb can’t talk nor breathe. Before these I had one when I had just dozed off and my fan was on high, sound got louder and louder and I’d try moving my toes and they got tingly?… I than turned my fan off laid back down and that’s when the 4 episodes began when I’d try to doze off. It scares me more and more when it happens. It’s now 5:58am and I haven’t gone to bed at all. My heart is steadily racing. Sometimetimes I feel like I’m pressed to my mattress but there was one time I felt like I was floating up mind u I was Semi awake but everything was blurred til 4 to 5 seconds and I snapped back and was very startled. Wiahbi had answers. This so called “sleep paralysis”sucks
    Along with the exploding head syndrome.
    It’s depressing very DEPRESSING

      1. Does anyone in this forum also get migraines? I’m trying to determine if these episodes are related to more specific brain activity. I get migraines and also have experienced this scary and strange phenomenon when under stressful times but only more recently in last couple of months.

        1. Yes I am clinically diagnosed with severe migraines and this has been happening to me for a little while now. I hope it is more related to that rather than something more creepy

  16. I’m 75 years old and rarely have these attacks, but they definitely have been occurring for about five years. They began and always occur when I am in bed falling asleep. The first time that happened was about five years ago. It felt like a loud bang that sounded like a bomb had gone off, or that a huge battle gun had been shot, or that the police had busted through my front door, and finally, that we actually might have been in a war in the streets. It was shocking and extremely upsetting. I’m a severe insomniac who has been lacking sleep all of my life (since I was a young teen), and I am always fatigued to the point where I have fallen asleep standing up, or in the middle of a meal with food in my mouth, and even when I am sitting and talking to someone in person. My sleep disorders are restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. I have been prescribed with both a face mask and with a mouth gear, but neither has stopped me from becoming breathless — or stoppage of breathing. The explosion is difficult to accept because it is so rare and hard to believe. At first, I thought that I was insane, next I thought that I was going to die, but now I realize that the explosion is in my head only and is harmless. So tonight when my body was twisted and I was jarred awake, I thought for a couple of seconds that I had another heart attack and was going to die, or that one of the aneurysms in my brain had erupted and I was going to die. But about a minute later, I knew that I had had another EHS episode. This time, my heartbeat remained calm because I told myself repeatedly that my exploding head syndrome was safe and harmless. After about 10 or 15 minutes, the symptoms vanished and I was fine. Once you conquer your fear of EHS, the explosions will never frighten you again. By Judith in Detroit

  17. I only recently learned what this was, didn’t know it had a name. Mine is always the same, like a gunshot, only one upon waking and it occurs only occasionally – mostly when napping upright. But it is startling, although I don’t feel any fear or trauma from it.

  18. So far I’ve woken up two different times to sounds no one else heard. First was the tsunami siren in my town. Tonight it was a loud electrical beep, every time I shut my eyes…until I called out my boyfriend’s name asking if he heard it,there was a louder long beep then nothing. Both times my heart was racing!

  19. I’m leaving this because I just woke up, kind of terrified, from what sounded like a combination of exploding glass, a scream, and an alarm being sounded at my head. I’m not sure what it was but it was scary waking that way. It’s the second time in a month I woke up that way. I checked on my daughter and she seemed to be briefly disturbed in her sleep as well but did not wake……. Ugh, it’s got to be my nerves. I do recall am anxiety provoked nightmare before waking (a dream where I was looking for something, searching, in a dimly lit area, and a dream about work).

  20. i get sudden jumpscares when trying to fall asleep. But sometimes, i get a superloud thing where it sounds like there is a helicopter in my room when im watching videos in bed.

    1. I get in the middle of the night: explosion, doorbell ringing or a family member calling my name. Only happens about four times a year. I awake alarmed, and usually leap out of bed and go looking round the house, thoroughly unsettled. I am a heavy sleeper usually, and manage to get back to sleep. I tend to get stressed about family problems. I found this re-assuring website looking up for a friend who heard her son calling her in the night. She suffers from anxiety.

  21. Over the last few weeks I have been woken up early in the morning by what sounds like knocking on my door ? This sound is not heard by anyone else so I know it isn’t there but it’s scary as hell.

    1. Yes! I have knocking on my door too! It’s gotten louder and louder, but this morning though, it was accompanied by a demonic roar…

  22. I’m a 16 year old girl. I was falling asleep and I had a dream I saw my grandpa he passed away like 7 years ago when I was smaller and he looked stronger and healthier in the dream and he was around my family laughing but It was only a 5 second glimpse of him then it went black and I heard screams of two women yelling no and stop for a couple seconds like they were in danger or something and then at the end of the screaming there was big thump like someone fell down the stairs or something exploded idk. And I remembered right after the black out I was having a physical panic attack and I woke up n couldn’t breathe and was scared. Is this a vision? Because I can’t lose anymore people in my life?

    1. Hi Jay
      Although it sounds scary, I don’t personally think it was a vision of losing people. It sounds like a bad dream to me, and perhaps something that would be good to talk to your family about so you can express how it made you feel.

  23. I’m typing this after I just woke up from what sounded like a fire alarm going off in my head. This has been going on for a few months now and I still get unsettled by it. Sometimes the sound will be disoriented screaming(which is the spookiest one for me) or a group of people whispering kind of like a ritual. I’ve also noticed that once I hear the noises I can no longer move my body.

    1. I’ve literally had this exact thing happen to me about 30 mins ago. I live in a college dorm, and I woke up and SWORE the fire alarm was going off, and so I got up and I was about to start evacuating when I realized that literally no one else had heard it. Even my roommate looked at me like I was crazy.

    2. Omg!!! Wtf is in our heads?? I was literally awake trying to sleep. In the first occurrence, I thought I was hearing screams and the 2nd occurrence happened as I was falling asleep. I saw a blurry vision, felt paralyzed and kept hearing loud hammering bangs. I started praying it away!! I have a lot of stress and anxiety and this started after my car accident which was very traumatic for me. I moved my kid and myself away from the room into my sister’s and looked it up. This is crazy.

  24. Wow this had been happening to me for a while now, it got really weird last night though…sounded like a loud buzz then a stove clicking to turn on then a zap of like electric followed by me feeling paralyzed and gasping for air….I dont like it. I only got 3 hours of sleep now…im scared to go back to sleep.

  25. I have been suddenly awakened from sound sleep by different sounds, very loud and clear – sometimes a bell. Sometimes a deep whistle. Once it was a very deep male voice right in my ear accompanied by a breeze across my face like someone blowing breath on me. Years ago I was awakened 2 nights in a row by what sounded like a huge door slamming shut. I woke my husband but he did not hear the sound. The 3rd night we had just gone to bed and as soon as we turned out the light something slammed the dresser in our room really hard. We were both awake when it happened and it scared us pretty good.

  26. I’ve just recently started experiencing this. I feel like I’m in some sort of purgatory between sleep and awake. I hear people yelling at me, sometimes my name. It starts off quiet but quickly gets closer like a crowd running at me. I feel a strange jerk near the bottom of the back of my head and I violently wake up like I had a nightmare and become very anxious and nauseous. Sometimes I go back to sleep and it just happens again.

  27. I have never told a soul about my head explosions! This has been happening to me since I was a young child. It’s sounds like a cannon going off in my head & then i see a gray cloud. It lasts only a moment or two & usually it’s during the day-not associated with sleeping.

  28. I have had this since childhood. The sound is either a door being slammed or magazines slapping a table. I only hear when I’ve just woken up and haven’t gotten out of bed. The sound repeats, with no apparent pattern, for about a minute. I used to get annoyed thinking someone in the house was making the noise, but now that I live alone I realized it’s not real. Now, I lie still and count how many times I hear the noise. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  29. I think I’ve been experiencing this for most of my life, maybe a couple times a month? It’s hard to say exactly how long it’s been happening because for me the experience is so benign that it doesn’t really stand out in my mind. I hear a loud noise, I’m startled awake, I recognize that it’s just in my head, and I immediately fall back asleep. Usually, it’s a very intense, difficult to describe rushing sound inside my head. I have also occasionally heard what sounds like someone suddenly and loudly saying my name in my ear. On rare occasions, I have heard a loud bang like something very heavy has fallen on the floor, but in the morning there is no evidence that anything has fallen, so I’m guessing that’s also EHS.
    For me this feels like a variation on a run-of-the-mill hypnic jerk. I’ve always thought it was basically the same thing as startling awake after dreaming that I’m falling. It never really occurred to me that this isn’t something that everybody experiences until I came across an article about EHS. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t experience something truly terrifying.

  30. At last I realize I am not going mad. I have had left temporal lobe epilepsy since brain tumor excision 22yrs ago but only this year have the night noises begun. My noises vary from screaming in my ear to falling metallic objects down the wall beside me or a voice in the room which quietly says a few words that mean nothing, that’s not frightening but the other noises sound ‘angry and aggressive’ they affect my fibrillating heart and my anxiety soars. I reach for Valium not good but how can I calm down and sleep?

  31. This usually happens to me as I’m falling asleep. It starts off as a kind of electrical screaming noise that gets louder and louder until I think my eardrums are going to burst. With it comes a massive feeling of anxiety and I feel like there is something in the room with me. I can’t open my eyes and I can’t move or speak until the sound dies down. My heart beats all over the place and it’s terrifying. Now I know what it is I can cope with it a bit better, but for a while I thought I was going crazy!

  32. Last night I woke up out of a dead sleep to a screeching sound, like a car does before it screeches, but it was a creepy kind of sound. Not sure I ever heard a crash sound. It was 2:00AM on the dot. I checked my honey; out cold, still breathing. Slowly I crawled out of bed and looked out onto my back porch, crossed into the dining room making my way around the kitched and living room; nothing out of the norm. I went out front, outside and there were creeking sounds of the houses settling but that was it. So I went back inside and checked the local news for any crashes and found nothing. It was an eerie feeling/sound. Freaked me out!

  33. i heard this loud noise that was almost like a blender or coffee grinder, but it was as loud as a lawnmower. scared the hell out of me, and i’m just hoping it doesn’t happen again

  34. Last night, after I went to sleep, I thought my mom was yelling for me. I quietly opened my door (to see if she actually did) and found she was asleep. This experience frightened me because I honestly thought there was some sort of paranormal activity… Lol. I am 14 and have had similar situations happen to me in the past. Even though I am apart of the minority, I feel some relief knowing other people experience this too. When I was younger, about six or seven, I lost a tooth and woke up believing there was a light going to my pillow. I have never had an explanation to this until now.

  35. Judith Harrington

    I woke up this morning, hearing a load pop or a bang, leaving me a headache for the majority of the day. This never happened to me before, and I was a little upset. But the pain eventually left.

  36. This happened to me this morning…it sounded like a stack of magazines slapping down on a hard wood floor. Jolted me awake. I could have sworn something fell. Immediately googled and found this info — nice to know I’m not nuts.

  37. I am so comforted to know that I was the only person experiencing this. In fact I think it will help even knowing this. When it first happened for me it was this morning at 3 am, it is currently 5 am. And it literally sounds like a smoke alarm for me but the tone is a little lower. I honestly thought that it was the smoke alarm so I got up and actually took it out then went back to sleep. THEN IT HAPPENED AGAIN. At this point, I had a panic attack and got very scared bc I knew it wasn’t the smoke alarm. So then I looked it up and this is what I found. Now I’m thankful I’m not the only one. Although I found it odd that it would happen to a 19 year old Male such as myself. Thank you to the person who created this website, you are truly a godsend.

    1. Hi Fellow Ethan
      You’re very welcome – I’m happy to hear the website has been helpful to you!

  38. I was taking a brief nap on my couch this afternoon and i heard a loud pop, I do recall the flash of light too. I immediately woke up confused and afraid. It was so weird. I’ve never experienced this before. I am more tired and high anxiety ridden these days…so weird. It was insanely loud and clear.

  39. Not sure if this is me but it is so very similar. I hear my dog bark loud and frantic and it wakes me with a jolt. But she never barked. I asked my husband and he says no. It happens very, very rarely but it causes me anxiety when I am waken abruptly by it. I shake and feel anxious to the point I cannot fall back to sleep for a good 2 – 3 hours nights that it happens. I also have it happen on extremely rare occasions when I am napping during the day. I am a stay at home mom, only 36, and sometimes I take a nap during the day because I been up late and got up way to early. But it is even more rare for it to happen then. But when it does, it is just as anxiety-inducing as when it happens at night.

  40. I started with it a couple of months ago It’s like a loud chime going from left to right in my head usually it only happens once but last night it was twice. I’m glad to know others have this problem – thought I was going mad. I try to look at positively as I know will soon be asleep.

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