Adult Night Terrors and Exploding Head Syndrome
Did you know that 10% of the adult population suffer from sleep related disorders.
6.5% of children experience night terrors, but interestingly 2.2% of adults do too. That means that there are 88,704 adults in Melbourne alone who occasionally (or in some cases regularly) experience night terrors or other sleep disorders.
What are Adult Night Terrors?
They are pretty much as the name implies, they involve sleep disturbed by a frightening perception. Sometimes the person experiencing the terror will be woken by the terror sometimes they will sleep through the experience but may be screaming, yelling out or thrashing around. They may hear about it the next day from their partner or housemate if they have one.
Some examples of Night Terror perceptions experienced by clients are:
Exploding Head Syndrome
Exploding Head Syndrome is another sleep related disorder and again the name gives a good description of what occurs. A will be falling asleep only to be startled by a loud exploding sound, they may often think that there's been an explosion outside, a car backfiring , a gunshot or some other similar sudden loud noise. It may be accompanied by a bright flash, for some people there is a quieter sound building up to the explosion.
There are various theories as to why head explosions occur, including ear disorders and epileptic seizures. However one theory that has been making ground is that the disorder is caused by a burst of neural activity which interrupts the brain in it's shutting down processes as the person goes to sleep. For more information refer to this recent article published by the BBC
What both disorders have in common is that they can both be exacerbated by Stress, Anxiety, Depression and PTSD.