Exploding Head Syndrome

BOOM! Exploding head syndrome is a form of hypnagogic auditory hallucination in which a cat sometimes experiences a sudden loud noise coming from within his own head. The noise is brief and is usually likened to an explosion, roar, gunshot, door slamming, loud voices or screams. This noise usually happens at the onset of sleep or within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not necessarily the result of a dream. Someone watching the movie Black Hawk Down can be the cause.

Hawk Down

Can you please turn down the volume!

Inspired by a Wikipedia article.

32 responses

    • I’m having this condition myself, see below in another comment. It’s quite scary sometimes, waking up from imaginary gunshots are slamming doors…

  1. I watched an interesting special on cats on tv some time ago. Said they hear sounds at 14x the volume that we do. I try to remember how loud my voice is. And they hear frequencies we don’t even come close to hearing, like electricity. It said when you flip the light switch, cats can hear the electric flowing thru the circuit before the light turns on. It was an amazing show; taught me a lot about cats!

      • They played a clip of what the cat hears in an ordinary room with two people talking and the tv on. It would be deafening. I’ve tried to be very sensitive to sounds for her little ears since that. And hearing electricity, I’m not sure I’d want to hear that lol.

  2. I cannot believe this stuff. It is “a filler” of some sort. That cats are hypersensitive to noises, odors, sight etc.is an established fact due to their nature as hunters. And it is true that occasionally they do sudden body movement when they sleep, but so do dogs, and so do we as we fall asleep – we sense that we are falling or being thrown, missed a step etc. but all that is part of the systemic changes that happen when the body goes to a wake state into a sleep state. So we mammalians all share that form of hypnagogic blah blah because we share the same type of nervous system.
    And besides, did some talking cat report auditory-hallucinatory experiences to anybody ? the way we do when we say to someone: hey, I was falling asleep last night when… blah blah happened…
    Hmmm, just my 2-bits.

    • Dear Vera, my apologies, I was just fooling around with this post. Don’t believe everything here on HoB. Like I said in the About page – Most of what follows is true, kinda… Some names and eye colors have been changed. I let the word ‘cat’ slip into this article…

      But the exploding head syndrome is for real. I’m having this condition myself, I’m not joking this time. The exploding head syndrome was first described in 1920 by the Welsh physician and psychiatrist Robert Armstrong-Jones. A detailed description of the syndrome was given by British neurologist John M. S. Pearce in 1989, who noted that it was most common in patients that were more than 50 years old.

      • I always adore Ewan and then I saw “A Long Way Down”..he and a pal Charlie take motor bikes from Scotland to South Africa. His wife joined them on part of the trip…Ewan was so lovely with her, a true gentleman, a dream. I just adore him even more now…sigh! Check it out if you can, it’s fantastic…called “A Long Way Down”. 🙂

        • I heard and read a lot of positive comments about “A Long Way Down”. I’m going to check if I can find it on Video on Demand over here…

  3. Shakespeare here: I’ve discovered that I can be sleeping at the opposite end of the house and if someone goes into the kitchen, it’s like a bomb going off in my head and I have to run as fast as I can to get out there immediately.
    Hemingway here: He only does that ‘cuz he thinks someone is going to give him food. You better not be in his path when he’s heading for the kitchen!

    • Ha ha ha … you guys are so funny, love you both!
      I got more than 20 wardrobe doors in my house. Bowie only comes running to me when I open the one where I keep his food!

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