I have also awaken because of excruciating pain around my outer ear. I read in a magazine where someone had written about having excruciating pain around the ear lobe whenever she slept on her ear. This interested me, as I had the same problem. She was advised by the doctor answering the post. He stated that the condition is known as trigeminal neuralgia. I intend to look up information on this condition and maybe oneday I will be able to get a good night sleep instead of sleeping on my hands.