Many children and adults experience nightmares at various times in their lives but this doesn't usually cause too much stress to the individual. But for people who are extremely anxious or suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), nightmares become much more of a problem. Sleep terrors cause even more distress than ordinary nightmares. Nightmares are a form of dreams that are always upsetting to the individual, causing extreme anxiety with symptoms of fear, very increased heart rate, sweating, etc. Other variations of nightmares cause people to sleep walk or sleep talk and may even result in them unknowingly becoming violent if somebody tries to help them.


Dream anxiety disorder, also known as Nightmare disorder, is characterized by the occurrence of repeated dreams during which the sleeper feels threatened and frightened. A naturally nervous person or someone suffering from PTSD or depression or anxiety may develop panic attacks during sleep as well as having bad nightmares; any family or friends trying to deal with a person in this state may find it very distressing themselves as often it will be very difficult or even impossible to wake them and they seem to be in a state somewhere between being conscious or awake, and unconscious or asleep.


PTSD often causes nightmares to occur for the victims of severe trauma, such as rape or a personal attack or being witness to something horrific; these nightmares can get really frightening and can sometimes occur several times per night and last over a period of years. This can naturally lead to the person becoming extremely stressed and agitated and it can result in having a nervous breakdown for the unfortunate sufferer or a carer.

How to Deal with Nightmares

Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) has been used quite effectively for sufferers of chronic nightmares – the unfortunate sufferer is encouraged to try and “rethink” a particular nightmare that is re-occurring many times; the technique involves the patient repeating in their mind the re-thought version of the nightmare and eventually their mind starts to accept this new version as the original version.

Other techniques include a good amount of exercise, meditation, altering a person’s diet to focus more on healthier options e.g. less fat, less salt, less alcohol, and more fruit and vegetables and pulses. Writing down notes about the nightmare and talking about the nightmare can also help. The main goal is to try and get the person to relax more and then hopefully they will drift into a better, more restful sleep.

Author's Bio: 

Scott Whiskeye has created several websites which are devoted to healthy body and mind and Scott's aim is to create stimulating articles about all forms of healthy living and problems of health which will help the visitor attain a better quality of health. Scott has written another article about nightmares and night terrors which could be read with this article.