Nightmare Disorder

21 Jun Nightmare Disorder

Many people suffer from nightmare disorder, also known as dream anxiety disorder, where sleep is hampered by frequent nightmares.

Nightmare disorder negatively impacts quality of life, resulting in sleep avoidance and deprivation. It can also cause clinically significant distress or impairment, with an association towards psychopathology such as depression and anxiety. Those who have had nightmares successfully treated report better sleep quality, improvements in insomnia symptoms, less daytime fatigue and sleepiness, and feeling more rested upon awakening.1

However, its effective treatment has always been non-characterised and situational. According to a position paper from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), a variety of treatment options may be effective for nightmare disorder in adults, reports the Deccan Chronicle.

The position paper reported that image rehearsal therapy is useful for the treatment of nightmare disorder and nightmares associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Treatments not recommended by the AASM for nightmare disorder include clonazepam (Klonopin) and venlafaxine (Effexor). Judgment regarding usefulness and effectiveness of any specific care or treatment must be made by a Physician, in light of individual circumstances, accessible treatment options and resources available.1

For more information the Full Text position paper is free via the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine Also, the Deccan Chronicle provides an easy to digest summary of the topic



  1. Morgenthaler TI, Auerbach S, Casey KR, Kristo D, Maganti R, Ramar K, Zak R, Kartje R. Position paper for the treatment of nightmare disorder in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position paper. J Clin Sleep Med.2018;14 (6):1041–1055.