Nightmares can be defined as vivid and terrifying dreams which awaken the dreamer from sleep. Typically, the dreamer wakes from the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep and can remember a detailed, perhaps bizarre dream plot. There is evidence that frequent nightmares are associated with insomnia and poor-quality sleep.Nightmares in adults are often spontaneous. But they can also be caused by a variety of factors and underlying disorders.Some people have nightmares after having a late-night snack, which can increase metabolism and signal the brain to be more active. A number of medications also are known to contribute to nightmare frequency.
Imagery rehearsal treatment is a promising cognitive behavioral therapy for recurrent nightmares and nightmares caused by PTSD. The technique helps chronic sufferers change their nightmares by rehearsing how they would like them to transpire. In some cases, medications may be used in conjunction with therapy to treat PTSD-related nightmares, though their efficacy has not been demonstrated as clearly as that of imagery rehearsal treatment.A 2-phase design involving a cross-sectional survey of 8558 subjects (men, 47.6%) with a mean age of 40.9 years (SD 5.5, range 20-78) and subsequently followed by a detailed clinical evaluation of the psychopathology and personality profile of 252 subjects.