My husband was out of town last week for a military training. I have no problems with him being gone; however, even with my anxiety medicine sometimes the overwhelm of getting everything accomplished without him is a bit much. Last week we had a lot to accomplish. It was the one week where all of the girls activities occurred in the same week. Plus they had a dentist appointment, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but my daughter also has anxiety so a dentist visit takes longer and is much more mentally draining for all of us.
This particular week I was also on edge because we had a fairly nasty afternoon thunderstorm which was producing rotation around our area. For those who don’t know what that means, it means there are clouds and winds that are spinning in a way that have a strong potential to drop a tornado.
Not only was their rotation, but the tornado sirens ended up going off; well all except the one close to us. I still don’t know if they just didn’t feel our neighborhood was in a threat or if the siren malfunctioned.
Don’t worry, we’re safe.
Early Morning Alarm
Now that you have the background of our week, you can imagine that I was a bit on edge.
The night of the afternoon storm another storm rolled through. I went to bed as usual around midnight. My cat snuggled up next to me just like he always does. Glory, or dog, was sleeping on her bed next to our bed. The girls were in their own bunk beds fast asleep.
I quickly fell asleep after the lightening and thunder subsided. It was a busy week and I was mentally exhausted. The storm only increased my anxiety. My brain needed a break.
At 4:56am I was awoken by an ear piercing alarm. It was a familiar alarm sound but I couldn’t place it. It wasn’t our security alarm, it wasn’t the smoke detectors, and it definitely wasn’t my phone. The alarm was short lived, but the sound echoed in my ears and my heart pounded. I’m pretty sure I held my breath as I assessed all possible sources for this alarm, which only took me a matter of seconds. I came up blank.
It didn’t take me long to leap out of bed to check the house. There wasn’t any noticeable smoke, the girls door didn’t feel warm. Down the stairs and I noticed some bright flashing blue and white lights. The source was the printer. They looked brighter because my eyes hadn’t adjusted to the dark and I didn’t have my glasses on so my astigmatism made the light shimmer more than normal.
All the doors were locked, and it was at that time I realized the children slept through that ear piercing screech of an alarm, as did the pets.
Exploding Head Syndrome?
What is Exploding Head Syndrome?
About a month prior to this my husband told me about Exploding Head Syndrome. This harmless sleep disorder causes the person to hear loud sounds such as bangs, crashes, alarms, screams, etc at a certain point in their sleep cycle. Usually when they are starting to wake up. Often it only happens every once in awhile, like once a year or less, though some people do hear these sounds more frequently.
Exploding Head Syndrome can cause increased anxiety. It makes sense. Anyone who wakes up to a loud, unidentifiable sound is going to have a bit of heart pounding.
It reportedly only affects about 10% of the population. My husband jokingly insisted I have this disorder because I’ve gotten him out of bed on a couple of occasions to check on a loud sound I heard in the night.
We never thought much of it in the past because I’m a lighter sleeper than my husband. Normally I wake up multiple times through the night and sometimes have to sit up for an hour or so if I can’t sleep. It made sense that I would hear a loud sound that he’d sleep through.
The more I thought about it after this recent episode the more I realized I’ve heard that alarm sound before and I’m pretty sure it was on those instances my husband didn’t hear it.
I’m 99% sure it was all in my head. Literally.
Exploding Head Syndrome.
Who knew. At least we’re all safe, nothing is amiss, and hopefully I don’t ever experience it again, though I’m thinking I won’t be that lucky.
Have you ever experienced a loud sound that woke you up, but you couldn’t explain it? Do you think you might have Exploding Head Syndrome?