Getting to sleep can be nearly impossible some nights for individuals with exploding head syndrome.
The sound can be as loud as cymbals crashing right next to the individual’s ear or a nearby thunderclap, but it is not real. Instead, it is a hypnagogic hallucination, and it can be prevented.
In addition, some individuals experience a flash of light along with the loud sound. While the causes of exploding head syndrome are not fully understood, it is believed to be caused by differences in the way the brain functions.
Ways to Treat Exploding Head Syndrome
Here are some steps individuals can take to put a stop to exploding head syndrome.
1. Sleep and Wake Up At the Same Times
If individuals go to sleep and wake up at the same times, they’re likely to fall asleep more smoothly, and this can prevent the sounds and flash of exploding head syndrome from occurring.
It’s essential to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. As individuals begin to do this, it is likely to become easier to maintain a regular sleeping pattern, and this may reduce the severity of exploding head syndrome.
This can be challenging for individuals who work hours not consistent with the human circadian rhythm. However, there are ways individuals can help to get their sleep cycle more regular, such as limiting their exposure to sunlight when getting ready for sleep.
2. Recognize the Hallucination
If individuals are aware he hallucination is not real, it is likely to be much less disturbing. As a result, the individual’s sleep-wake cycle is likely to be much more regular after they begin to recognize the sounds and flashes are not real.
If individuals are in a relaxed state of mind before going to bed, they may be more likely to recognize the hallucination of exploding head syndrome.
Furthermore, becoming familiar with exploding head syndrome can help patients begin to recognize when the hallucination is occurring.
In addition, talking with individuals in the same house who do not have exploding head syndrome can help individuals verify the hypnagogic hallucination was, in fact, a hallucination.
3. Create a Good Sleeping Environment
The environment individuals sleep in can have a significant impact on how easy it is for them to get to sleep in the evening.
Keeping the temperature in the room relatively cool but not cold can help patients be more comfortable in their room at night and create a good sleeping environment. In addition, use darkening shades to keep light out of their room early in the morning.
Also, it’s typically best to cover the clock in the room, but individuals should make sure to set their alarm as necessary. In addition, it’s important for individuals to avoid noise while sleeping.
It’s recommended to not sleep with the television on, but certain types of white noise can be beneficial when it comes to maintaining a healthy sleep pattern.
4. Consume Foods That Promote Healthy Sleep
If individuals consume foods that promote healthy sleep, they may be far less prone to exploding head syndrome.
One of the most important things to consider for individuals to ensure their diet is effective at helping them get a better quality sleep is ensuring they get enough essential vitamins and minerals, and B vitamins are considered to be especially important.
It’s important for patients to make sure they eat a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables. In addition, following the food pyramid helps individuals get enough of all their essential nutrients.
Foods that promote healthy sleep include a variety of nuts, yogurt, cheese, tuna, rice, chamomile tea, honey, and kale.
5. Reduce Levels of Stress
If individuals are highly stressed, it can be more difficult to get to sleep. In addition, high levels of stress can create a vicious cycle as a result of sleep deprivation.
If patients are unable to get to sleep because of stress, their stress levels are likely to rise. Luckily, there are a variety of ways individuals can reduce their stress, and this is especially true for patients suffering from exploding head syndrome.
Some great ideas for stress relief are taking a relaxing bath before bed, listening to relaxing music, doing yoga, reading, and listening to relaxing music before bed.
If possible, avoid stressful situations when it is close to bedtime, and avoid watching television shows that are likely to cause distress at night.