Sep 2, 2016

Restless Legs, Exploding Head, Hey Sleep - WTF?!

Last night, smack dab in the middle of a really great, cool crisp September air, fluffy down comforter, whole bed to myself sleep, I was immediately awakened by five sharp and very loud knocks on the door. I laid there for several moments listening to the neighborhood through the open 2nd story window contemplating whether I should get up to investigate or just go back to sleep.  My front porch light is always on and I wondered if someone was looking for help in the middle of the night.  I heard the usual crickets and nothing else.  No wind.  No steps on the wooden front porch.  No more knocks. No voices. I chalked it up to one of those loud noises that I hear in the night sometimes just before I fall asleep and sometimes right before I wake. Like an auditory hallucination along the lines of feeling like you're falling before you sleep.  One time it was someone yelling "HEY!" right in my ear, another time it was an explosion, another sounded like either an earthquake or a truck hitting the house.  All episode are followed by utter silence proving to my sleepy self - nobody else hears it, not the dogs on the block, not the crickets, and certainly nobody else in the house.

This morning I looked out onto the front porch and made sure everything as it was yesterday. It was. I decided I ask the internet and about loud knocks in the night and to my dismay the hoodoo is that it's a "death knock".  I clicked the link and read three loud knocks in the night are a harbinger of death. Nah, I had five knocks and it didn't seems scary when it happened outside of laying wide awake in bed and having a lot to do today.  So I moved on looking for something far more scientific.  There's a thing called "Exploding Head Syndrome" in which folks hear an extremely loud noise just before falling asleep or just before waking.  The causal theories include small frontal lobe seizure and involuntary movements of the inner ear.  I always thought it was an auditory hallucination but either way I was happy to see the phenomenon addressed scientifically. I was excited to read that people who have this happen also complain of their body jerking before falling asleep, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and a feeling of the entire bed vibrating - all of which I have! So hey all the sleep oddities killed with one stone.

The cure? less stress, yoga, meditation, clomipramine (an older class of tricyclic antidepressant used for narcolepsy.) I don't know about you but just knowing it's a thing and not having to read about ghosts and dead relatives and demons makes me less stressed out to begin with. I think I have to get a dog and then if I hear things and the dog isn't barking I can save a few seconds of laying in bed wondering before stop caring and go back to sleep... or this is a thinly veiled attempt at justifying getting a puppy!

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