Exploding Head Syndrome: Clinical Features, Theories about Etiology, and Prevention Strategies in a Large International Sample

Sharpless, Brian A.; Denis, Dan; Perach, Rotem; French, Christopher C. and Gregory, Alice M.. 2020. Exploding Head Syndrome: Clinical Features, Theories about Etiology, and Prevention Strategies in a Large International Sample. Sleep Medicine, ISSN 1389-9457 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

OBJECTIVE: Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is a benign sensory parasomnia characterized by the perception of loud noises or a sense of explosion in the head. Few studies have assessed clinical features and little is known about demographic differences or prevention strategies.
PATIENTS/METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 3286 individuals with and 2954 without lifetime EHS episodes was conducted via online questionnaires.
RESULTS: Those with EHS had shorter sleep durations, longer sleep onset latencies, poorer sleep quality, and less sleep efficiency, but effect sizes for these differences were small. Females were slightly more likely than males to endorse EHS. 44.4% of individuals with EHS experienced significant fear during episodes, but fewer reported clinically significant distress (25.0%) or interference (10.1%) as a result of EHS. Most sufferers believed it to be a brain-based phenomenon, but a small minority endorsed anomalous causes. Five prevention strategies with >50% reported effectiveness were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: EHS was assessed in the largest sample to date. Though associated with clinical impacts, no empirically supported interventions yet exist. The five prevention strategies may prove useful for treatment development.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2020.05.043

Keywords:

Exploding head syndrome, episodic cranial sensory shocks, parasomnia, differential diagnosis, etiology.

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology
Psychology > Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU)

Dates:

DateEvent
26 May 2020Accepted
10 June 2020Published Online

Item ID:

28747

Date Deposited:

11 Jun 2020 10:56

Last Modified:

26 Sep 2020 05:36

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/28747

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