Health Tip: This Sounds Scary

A rare condition called 'exploding head syndrome'

(HealthDayNews) -- Have you ever been awakened by a loud noise that sounds like a gunshot in your head?

It could be a rare condition doctors call "exploding head syndrome," according to the Mayo Clinic.

It's a harmless but scary sensation that typically occurs within an hour or two after falling asleep. People with this condition describe a frightening loud noise that lasts only a moment and doesn't occur with headache or pain.

The cause isn't fully understood. But it may be due to a delay in the "switching off" of some of the brain-alerting pathways, which normally occurs as sleep begins. The attacks may occur with varying frequency for weeks or months and then stop, sometimes permanently.

The disorder, occurring most often in older adults, isn't an indication of a serious condition. But if you're concerned about these symptoms, see your doctor.

Consumer News