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Waking up in the night and hearing a brain-generated sound

Discussion in 'Neurological/Cognitive: Brain Fog, Concentration' started by strategist, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    What is this symptom called, where I wake up in the night, and feel vibrations in my head, with a high pitched undulating sound that rapidly increases its pitch and then stops with a pop? Otherwise it felt a bit like waking up from an unpleasant dream. There is mild anxiety, but no terror or panic. Heart rate is not particularly raised (maybe a little). There is no sweating or shaking.

    I think this is somehow related to low blood sugar, because not eating enough carbs makes it much more likely to occur.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  2. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  3. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sounds somewhat like, believe it or not... "Exploding Head Syndrome."
    What you describe sounds like a more complex sound, so it might not be EHS.

    I experienced something along these lines once or twice about a decade ago. It was like waking up hearing a loud "crack" that seemed to come from the skull. There was no preceding undulation sound.

    The cause seems to be unknown, although there are some possible physical sources, like the bones of the inner ear. I'd liken it to something akin to the sound of cracking a knuckle - only much louder - which makes me suspect it might be like "cracking your neck" in your sleep. Perhaps it just seems loud because it's close to your ears and your hearing is more sensitive when you're asleep.

    Or, it could be some sort of auditory "hallucination" related to stress, which seems to be another popular theory - but no one seems to know. I haven't seen any references to anyone capturing the event under controlled/recorded conditions, just speculation as to what it might be.

    They say the prevalence might be 10% of the population. It seems as though "reassurance" is the only recommended treatment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  4. adambeyoncelowe

    adambeyoncelowe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Tinnitus coinciding with popping ears maybe? My ears pop all the time and I get tinnitus. It's not quite as you describe though.
     
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  5. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I get something similar, it sounds like my door buzzer has been pressed and wakes me up, but when I investigate no ones there. For years I assumed it was the door buzzer, despite the unreasonable times it occured, and that being asleep I had simply been too slow to respond and whomever bussed had given up and left.

    Then I had a new door entry system, that could be turned off, fitted, and it still happens when it's off - so it's me, hallucinating it, for some reason.
     
  6. Ryan31337

    Ryan31337 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had similar sort of tinnitus symptom before I went very low carb high fat, I had assumed it was blood glucose related too.

    Normal hearing would fade out to be replaced by a ringing that would ramp up in intensity and pitch before ending suddenly, followed by normal hearing fading back in. Odd sensation and happened most days but usually only lasted 10 seconds or so.

    Never noticed it in my sleep, though I certainly had other symptoms of unstable blood glucose wake me up frequently. Back then I would sometimes be woken by imagined noises and bangs too, which also seems to have stopped.
     
  7. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It is not tinnitus. It is some form of abnormal brain activity as far as I can tell.
     
  8. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I thought thats what tinnitus is?
     
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  9. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think it sounds like tinnitus. I have quite loud tinnitus, but it's there all the time, though the tone and volume varies. Though superimposed on the tinnitus I do sometimes get what seems like an extra loud and higher pitched sound that lasts about 10 seconds to a minute, then it fades back to my 'normal' level.
     
  10. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Very early the other morning I was hearing a sharp intermittent beep; it stopped and just as I was going back to sleep it started again.............damn battery in my smoke alarm.
     
  11. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I have the opposite problem. I wake suddenly to a beep, convinced it's a smoke alarm, then lie in bed counting slowly to 60 to see if it beeps again after a minute. It doesn't - I've dreamed it.
     
  12. Binkie4

    Binkie4 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My husband woke suddenly during the night on the day of the debate believing I had been cured. He was so disappointed it was only a dream...........
     
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  13. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Reading your description @strategist I can remember this happening to me a couple of times, just as I woke up (in the middle of the night I think).

    I haven’t given it much thought until now, I guess because 1) it goes away pretty quickly and 2) because I’m half asleep and don’t have the capacity to consider why it is happening.
     
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  14. alktipping

    alktipping Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    a possibility may be fluid in the eustachian tubes .
     
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  15. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Tinnitus, and Menier' s disease have been linked to insulin resistance, so low carb could explain why it disappeared for you.
     
  16. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You beat me to it.
    When i first read the wikipedia entry on it years ago it had the matter of fact line:
    "Note that exploding head syndrome does not involve the head actually exploding"
    However some time later that line was edited out :emoji_boom:
     
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  17. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That can be very loud. If it is that I am now pretty sure that happens in the ears.
     
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  18. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think this might be the rather ordinary hypnagogic hallucinations.
     
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  19. Deanodirector

    Deanodirector New Member

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    hello. I though I might chime in. I have had an ear pop at night for several years now. turned out to be wonky teeth messing with the jaw muscles which are right next to the ear opening. a splint helped and I'm now having orthodontics. If I were you I'd rule out any muscle problems by going to a dentist with a tekscan
     
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  20. Hip

    Hip Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There is a form of tinnitus which appears to come from within the brain rather than the ears, called tinnitus cranii:
    Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13064692

    I came across tinnitus cranii recently, when researching the "roaring sound" that my mother experiences and says comes from inside her brain, particularly when lying down.
     
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