Nightmare disorder, which is also called dream anxiety disorder, is characterized by the occurrence of repeated dreams during which the sleeper feels threatened and frightened. The sense of fear causes the person to awake.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.
Treatments are generally very successful.From childhood through early adolescence, between 5 and 50% of children have nightmares with the prevalence of nightmare “problems” generally falling into the 20–40% range. In comparison, up to 85% of adults report at least one nightmare within the past year, 8–29% report monthly nightmares, and 2–6% report weekly nightmares.A great majority of the research focuses on management of individual patients and case reports. Thus, there is paucity of research with randomized controlled trials and Level 1 studies. In addition, consistency in nightmare metrics would improve the ability to compare results among trials.