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For many years, I've had random nights where I'm awakened by the sound of someone shouting in my ear. Usually it's my name being yelled in the same way you might shout "BOO!" to scare someone. It's sudden and close and very very loud. I wake up startled, only to realize the sound I heard wasn't external (there's no one standing over me and my ears don't feel like they've been shouted into), but internal — it's a shout inside my head. Weird, right? Yeah. It's disturbing in how real it sounds, but I've always assumed it's some freaky sleep glitch in my brain and thought nothing more of it. Last night, however, I experienced something similar that I now know is part of this same phenomenon.

As I drifted off to sleep, I was blasted awake by what can only be described as the sound and sensation of a lightning strike in my head. In fact that's exactly how I described it to the man when I got up this morning. It was a crackling explosion of white light that jolted me up and had me wondering if I'd just experienced some sort of electrical disturbance in my brain. But a quick systems check let me know I was okay. My thoughts worked, I was breathing, didn't even have a headache — everything seemed fine. So I assumed it was something like those occasional weird shouts, shrugged it off and went back to sleep.

When I got up this morning, it was the first thing on my mind. WTF was that blast in my head last night? That can't possibly be normal. I started googling... loud electrical zap in my head, jolted awake. I didn't actually expect to find an answer, or if I did, I figured it would be some ramblings on a message board. Much to my surprise, this is known thing and it's called (wait for it)...


LOL. I found a number of articles about this, but the one I linked to is the most interesting to me personally. Not only did it perfectly describe what I experienced last night, but it also talked about the shouting! It's apparently all part of the same phenomenon and as strange as it is, it's harmless. It's considered rare, but probably isn't rare at all because who the hell is going to see a doctor about phantom shouts and lightning blasts interrupting their sleep once in a while? Um, not me. It's a bit crazy-sounding. Also, unless you experience it yourself, you'd think it's an over-reaction to a vivid dream. But it's really quite different than that.

It was seriously cool that I could google something this bizarre and actually find info about it. Maybe someone else will wake up wondering what the hell they just experienced and they'll be glad to find this post. 


( 8 comments — Add a comment )
May. 15th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)

The brain is weird. Awesomely weird, sometimes, but weird nonetheless!

I'm glad you were able to find an explanation for the shouting, though. That would freak me out.
May. 16th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
The first couple times it happened to me, it definitely freaked me out. And then the thing last night freaked me out too. But at least now I know it's just a weird thing that happens sometimes. Yep, the brain is mysterious!
May. 16th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Human beings are just…weird you know?

All the stuff that happens to us that medical science doesn’t even have a handle on is scary large, for example I’ve been suffering for the second time with something I have never even heard of called benign positional vertigo, while asleep I turn over and suddenly it like the world is spinning out of control, the first time the symptoms lasted a week, this time they lasted 3 months before going away, and worst of all there is no treatment or medicine for the condition.

And while there is plenty of documentation about it the explanation on the cause has a preamble with the phrase, “thought to be caused by…” scary stuff!

You get so used to going to the doctor for “cures” to whatever problem you have it’s a great surprise when they say they can prescribe some motion sickness pills that don’t really work and just to live with it until it goes away.

Man, “shit” really does happen!
May. 16th, 2011 08:54 am (UTC)
Hey, I actually read about benign positional vertigo during my searches about this exploding head thing! I think it was on some page about various sleep disturbances. OMG, you've had that lasting three months?!

I get frequent episodes of vertigo (I think one of my inner ears is messed up), but for me it's not a spin, it's a tilt, and it generally only lasts a few seconds at a time. Worst case of vertigo I ever had lasted a few hours. I can not imagine the kind you're talking about nor having to deal with that for days or OMG weeks or OMFG months. eek!

“thought to be caused by…”

^ Augh, I hate that. The human body has so many strange quirks and most of the time that's about all you ever do find out. I don't bother going to the doctor unless I'm sick for several days without improvement or I've got something obvious wrong like I sprained an ankle. The rest of the time, the internet usually tells me what I need to know.

Hope your vertigo stays away.
May. 16th, 2011 11:51 am (UTC)
Well the first four days are the worst then it gradually gets better so now I only get light headed when I get up or lay down but in the early days it like being in the spin cycle of a washing machine every time you move, at least it settles after about 10-20 seconds.

Funny thing is your eyes are apparently tied into the balance mechanism so they automatically track where you are supposed to be, but since the problem is created by your brain getting mixed messages from the balance centre from each ear they track from one point and back again which only enhances the spinning experience.

I hated those fairground rides as a kid because I always got dizzy and sick so this is a special type of hell for me, I’d rather have a broken arm, at least that’s only unbearable until you get the cast, this is totally incapacitating, and when its dark you have no sense of direction or which way is up and I end up prat falling so lights at all times are a must.
May. 16th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
Ha ha! That is so whacky!

And the internet IS awesome.
May. 16th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC)
The internet knows all!
May. 18th, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
Head explosions...
I think I would be contacting all my friend and loved ones, to make sure no one died.

At least mark the dates on the calendar... in case this is your "ability" beginning to manifest ;-)
( 8 comments — Add a comment )


roxy burglar
Roxy Bisquaint

Roxy Bisquaint...

Is self-indulgent. Over thinks everything. Tweets too much. Looks really good in these jeans. Wants to eat butterscotch. Makes herself laugh. Obsesses about aging. Does some crunches. Lives with two ghosts. Procrastinates daily. Measures once, cuts twice. Hates Foo Fighters. Drinks lots of coffee (keep it coming). Puts spiders outside. Brings balance to the force. Draws a perfect curve. Enjoys dark chocolate. Bangs on the drums. Always gets in the slow line. Orders from a menu. Hopes to be reincarnated. Speaks fluent Sarah Connor. Cooks tasty crack theory. Loves a good storm. Dances like a dork. Picks some locks. Tips well. Refuses to share the popcorn. Dreams about the future. Ignores the clock. Sings off key. Has a superpower. Shoots the paper bad guys. Needs some eyeliner. Goes to bed at dawn. Can't resist good smut. Quotes movie lines. Eats whipped yogurt. Lets the story tell itself. Maintains a rich fantasy life. Knows all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe.

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