Have you ever experienced a loud and sudden noise inside your head while you’re trying to sleep or when you’re waking up? This sudden imaginary noise can be terrifying and can be an indication of exploding head syndrome (EHS). Despite the scary name, EHS is a relatively common sleep disorder that affects many individuals. However, very few understand the underlying causes of this disorder. In this article, we delve into the underlying causes of EHS to help you understand what it is and how it impacts your sleep.

The exact cause of Exploding Head Syndrome is still unknown. However, there are various theories of what may cause the disorder. One theory is that EHS is related to sleep paralysis, a condition where you’re conscious but cannot move your body. In this case, EHS could be caused by the sudden release of stress and tension that your brain experiences when transitional periods of sleep.

Another theory is that EHS is a symptom of migraines or other neurologic disorders. It’s possible that the loud noise or explosion that people experience during EHS is actually a migraine aura symptom. This could explain why some people experience pain or other symptoms after an EHS episode.

Experts also suggest that anxiety, depression, and stress may trigger EHS episodes. Individuals that suffer from high-stress levels may experience more EHS episodes throughout their lifetime than individuals who don’t suffer from stress. This theory suggests that EHS is related to the stress and tension that people experience in their daily lives.

Interestingly, EHS has also been linked to certain medications. For example, individuals taking certain antidepressants, such as Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), have reported EHS episodes. Some researchers suggest that these medications may significantly alter sleep patterns, leading to various parasomnias such as EHS.

Finally, it’s worth noting that EHS is relatively common among individuals that suffer from sleep disturbances. Poor sleep is a primarytrigger of EHS. People who experience sleep disturbances, like sleep apnea or insomnia, have been found to experience EHS episodes.


Exploding Head Syndrome is a common sleep disorder that can be quite terrifying. Although it’s not a dangerous condition, it’s worth looking into to understand the underlying causes of EHS to get the proper treatment. The exact cause of EHS is unknown, but researchers suggest it may be linked to sleep paralysis, migraines, anxiety, depression, stress, and certain medications. It’s also worth noting that those with sleep disturbances are more susceptible to experiencing EHS. If you think you’re experiencing EHS or other sleep disorders, it’s always best to consult a doctor to get the proper diagnosis and treatment to improve your sleep quality and overall health.