My father and I both have it, and it felt great when I told him about it. He was as surprised as I was that it didn't happen to everyone! In a weird way I'm grateful for it, as I'm sure the reflex urged me to stay inside and cultivate my love for computing :). It's too bad it made me dislike the beach as a kid though -- these days I make sure to bring sunglasses.
I have this and I also sneeze every time I eat peppermint.
(Tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is waking up if you are unable to move?)
It happened twice to me and still scared the heck out of me the second time. Been there, done that, can't recommend.
Nowadays I have better sleep habits and this only happens sometimes after overnight travel, but I still usually remember what's happening and can convince the lizard brain we're not dying and to chill out until we can wake up for real.
It usually jolts me awake for a brief moment. I rarely see flashes of light but it sometimes happens.
Because it happens at the same time in the sleep cycle, it really feels like the auditory equivalent of a hypnic jerk.
Reading the thread, it sounds like there are two rough categories: "door slam" and "guitar feedback". I wonder if they're two different phenomena.
It'll happen usually while falling asleep - a sudden very loud ("overwhelming" is probably a better word since its obviously not auditory) static rising rapidly, sometimes with the image per the page. I never found it frightening, possibly because its so brief. I can imagine it would be terrifying if it continued for longer than a second or too.
Having just read "Fall, or Dodge in Hell" (Neal Stephensons latest novel), this is what I expect he describes when Dodge first gains consciousness. Just... overwhelming random static.
I say "weird" b/c it's not a regular thing, but I have experienced this a few other times, along with similar sudden full-body "spasms" while drifting to sleep. It's not usually alarming, just a strange feeling.
I’m guessing the exploding head thing is related but involves auditory nerves rather than the semicircular canals?
Mine are always triggered when life stress and anxiety build up and it makes me even more stressed.
For me it's always: All black -> loud bang -> flash of light
A few times there were a heat sensation, tingling.
Once I hard punched a friend who was sitting beside me after "waking up":/
Mine: occasionally, when I’m really really tired, as I fall asleep I experience a buzzing in my head that starts out soft and gets louder and louder. After a few moments it’s accompanied by extreme panic, temporary whole-body paralysis, and an uncontrollable need to wake back up. This happens over and over and over again, until I finally get out of bed, eat something, wait half an hour, and try again.
I have never seen a medical authority acknowledge this particular disorder, but over the years I’ve seen individuals on reddit mention the same thing. I have to believe it’s due to parts of the brain shutting down in the wrong order as it attempts to transition to sleep.
The thing is, I live alone so in my dream the screaming is muffled and almost useless. I have no idea if its actually loud in 'the real world'. I am almost certain its connected to past trauma given the subject matter in the dreams.
It's crazy what the mind can do when you try and get a good night's sleep.
After I while I learned to recognise the pattern of speeding rhythmic sound and sometimes I would be able to stop it before the bang- lifting my head from the pillow was enough to break the sequence.
Oddly enough, I accidentally induced this effect on myself by falling asleep laying my neck on the corner of a hard surface. It sounded like someone beating hard once on the wall, but as I woke up, I realized no one was around and no sound had actually happened (no echo).
It scared me half to death the first few times it happened, then it was just annoying once I realized what it was.
Moved out of Toronto and stopped drinking heavily and I don't get them at all anymore.
I remember being woken up constantly at 2/3/4/5am to police/ambulence sirens and car horns. So psychological stress (as wikipedia suggests) was most definitely a factor in my having had this imho.
Just my 2 cents.
I will also get a similar gunshot sound if I'm dozing off in the afternoon. Makes napping impossible.
I always just wrote it off as being caught in a semi dream state.
It comes and goes for me, but it’s pretty frightening during the periods when it happens. The stress explanation sounds plausible.
In the last twenty years, it's come back exactly once.
Similar to a Hypnic Jerk. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnic_jerk
I had this a handful of times.
But I also had sleep paralysis and panic attacks a few times.
Never was a constant problem.
I had previously thought these might be “brain zaps” that people describe after stopping anti depressants, even though I never started
I would use my computer an hour or more before going to bed, so the monitor would run warm (or even hot).
When I'd turn it off and go to bed, the monitor would cool down over the next, I don't know, between 15 minutes to an hour.
And at some point during the cool down, the plastic would make a popping sound (just once). This would be around the same time I'd be about to fall asleep. And that's when a flash would go off in my head.
This happened pretty much everyday. Now I don't have my monitor sitting next to my bed.