Head banging is a stereotypic movement or rhythmic movement disorder commonly found in infants or young children. Considered a soothing repetitive motion, researchers believe the movements relieve tension and promote relaxation, especially since children often do it before they fall asleep. This form of head banging typically involves repeated banging the head against a pillow, mattress, or headboard. Head banging might also help children express frustration. The behaviors typically dissipate by age 5.
Though head banging disorder is usually attributed to children, it also occurs in adults usually as a sleep behavior known as rhythmic movement disorder.
Head banging describes a form of dance, performed while listening to music, particularly rock and heavy metal music. Though it is hard to see an underlying connection between head banging in children and the head banging "dance", one might find a relationship between the two in that both activities involve repetitive movement, from which people feel pleasure. This type of pleasure is sometimes called the kinesthetic drive or the joy in movement that all humans share.