Most people who have experienced a nightmare find that this is an isolated event. The long-term outcome is generally good. If nightmares occur frequently over several months or follow a traumatic event, evaluation by a psychologist or psychotherapist is indicated.
Nightmares are not associated with sleepwalking or other parasomnias (disruptive sleep disorders).
Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Stores, G. "Aspects of parasomnias in childhood and adolescence." Archives of Disease in Childhood 94.1 (2009): 63-69.
Thompson, D. F. and D. R. Pierce. "Drug-induced nightmares." The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 33.1 (1999): 93-98.
Previous contributing author and editors: Author: Kevin P. Connelly, DO. Editors: Anthony M Murro, MD, Laboratory Director, Professor, Department of Neurology, Medical College of Georgia; Mary L Windle, Pharm D, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine.com, Inc; Carmel Armon, MD, MHS, MSc, Professor of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Chief, Division of Neurology, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2015
Must Read Articles Related to Nightmares
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, fear, or worry. Some fears and worries are justified, such as worry about a loved one. Anxiety may occur without a cause, ...learn more >>
A wave of new drugs has become increasingly popular with today's adolescents and young adults. These drugs are commonly known as club drugs. Common club drugs i...learn more >>
Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias)
Parasomnias are disruptive sleep-related disorders. They are characterized by undesirable physical or verbal behaviors or experiences. Parasomnias occur in asso...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Nightmares: