Nightmare disorder, also known as 'dream anxiety disorder', is a sleep disorder characterized by frequent nightmares. The nightmares, which often portray the individual in a situation that jeopardizes their life or personal safety, usually occur during the REM stages of sleep. Though such nightmares occur within many people, those with nightmare disorder experience them with a greater frequency.Nightmares are associated with a range of psychiatric symptoms, full-blown psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sleep disturbances. While some psychiatric, personality, sleep and biological correlates of nightmares have been described, the vast majority of extant studies are cross-sectional, precluding conclusive determination of causality and etiology.
Treatment modalities for nightmare disorder include medications, most prominently prazosin, and several behavioral therapies, of which the nightmare-focused cognitive behavioral therapy variants, especially image rehearsal therapy, are effective.Ministry of Health (MOH) statistics tell a sobering tale about the general state of Singaporeans’ health. According to the Singapore Burden of Disease Study 2010, approximately one in four adult Singaporeans (23.5 per cent) had hypertension, one in six (17.4 per cent) had high total cho-lesterol and one in 10 (11.3 per cent) had diabetes.Little research exists on the use of medicines to treat nightmares from trauma. The medicine with the most promise is prazosin.