Exploding head syndrome, stress and Sceletium Tortuosum
Do you suffer from Exploding head syndrome? No, this is not a joke. Exploding head syndrome is a rare form of hypnagogic (the period of drowsiness immediately preceding sleep) auditory hallucination in which the person experiences a loud bang or explosion in their head similar to a real-life bomb exploding. It could also be like a gun firing, a clash of cymbals, ringing, or any other form of loud noise. But, there is no noise. It all transpires inside their head.
It usually happens just at the onset of, or within an hour or two of sleep. It is not necessarily the result of a dream. There is no pain involved however, sufferers frequently feel a sense of fear and anxiety and an elevated heart rate, difficulty in breathing, Attacks may also be accompanied by perceived flashes of light. Exploding head syndrome is also known as “auditory sleep starts”. Though the cause of the Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS) is not known, though some physicians hypothesize it is facilitated by extreme fatigue. It is also linked to rapid withdrawal from certain prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines and SSRI antidepressants. In some cases it is isolated on the left side of the head, and seems to come from the inner ear region. It affects women more than men.
Typical clinical features of REM sleep behavior disorder are:
- Skews slightly toward female gender predilection, but common in men.
- Mean age of onset 50–65 years (range 20–80 years)
- Vocalization, screaming, swearing that may be associated with dreams
- Motor activity, simple or complex, that may result in injury to patient or bed-partner
- Occurrence usually in latter half of sleep period (REM sleep)
- May be associated with neurodegenerative disease
Acute EHS, occurs mostly as a result of a side-effect in prescribed medication—usually antidepressants. But if not then 55% of the time the cause is unknown the other 45% the cause is associated with alcohol.
If you have experienced anxiety-based EHS from benzodiazepine or SSRI withdrawal you should be aware of the natural herb antidepressant known as Sceletium Tortuosum is both a powerful natural SSRI antidepressant and it works at the opioid receptor sites much like benzodiazepines without the addiction issues. Hence, it addresses anxiety, depression as it promotes peaceful sleep. HBC Protocols now offers two different forms of Sceletium Tortuosum. The patented form and raw Sceletium Tortuosum powder. Caution: the raw form of sceletium possesses more of the anti-anxiety and sexual enhancing alkaloids than our patented form of the herb. Please keep that in mind while administering it so that you don’t take too much.
A few companies, however, are rising to the challenge, New ingredients, such as sceletium (sceletium tortuosum) and devil’s claw (harpagophytum procumbens) are generating strong interest, have compelling safety and efficacy documentation and burgeoning consumer health applications. Although expert opinions are divided on whether such products an truly find success in global markets, some believe they have the potential to herald a new era for botanical ingredients of African origin.
Medicinal and aromatic plants from Africa have a long history of contributing to the worlds drug, food, herbal and dietary supplement markets, according to Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council. Many plants of African origin are household words, including peanuts, yams and watermelon, he says. Think of the beverage category, where an extract from the seeds of the West African kola tree became the basis for Coca Cola. Think of coffee and its east African origin. More recently, plants for application in dietary supplements such as rooibos and plargonium have established a solid market presence thanks to commercialization efforts by such names as HBC Protocols.
The potential for medicinal ingredients from Africa is enormous, according to botanist Nigel Gericke, director of medical and scientific research in Cape town, South Africa. “There is a beautiful saying about Africa in Latin, which in English means, ‘Out of Africa, always something new.’ The biodiversity in Africa is breathtaking. There is a high degree of endemism, and we also have unbelievable cultural diversity and a long history people who has been exposed to these botanicals and depend on them for food and their very survival.”
Beyond sceletium, which has been recently commercialized as a proprietary ingredient for cognitive function and stress relief, and devil’s claw for inflammation and pain relief.