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)...
EXPLODING HEAD SYNDROME
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.