Nightmares are common in children and adolescents; as they mature, nightmares generally fade on their own and are unlikely to require treatment. Due to this belief that nightmares are transitory, there has been a negligible amount of attention given to nightmares and nightmare treatment in the medical, psychiatric, and psychological literature. In spite of the potentially high prevalence of nightmares and their extreme impact on sleep (especially in light of the fact that nightmares are usually accompanied by other sleep disorders such as insomnia, micro-arousals, day-time fatigue, and restlessness), there have been no controlled treatment studies on children or adolescents. Due to differing symptoms and causes, there is no one universal treatment for nightmares. Therefore, while many treatments seem to correlate with improvement in condition, they do not necessarily reach significant results.
Also, treatment for nightmares typically involves more than one therapy. Hence, there are many sub-categories of treatments and combinations of treatments for nightmares. There are numerous studies done by Krakow and his colleagues on therapeutic treatment for nightmares, particularly on patients with PTSD. In one of his studies he lists several case reports that present individual patients treated with a variety of techniques, such as imagery rehearsal training, desensitization, play therapy, storyline alterations, extinction, dream reorganization approach, implosive therapy, and a relationship approach; however, as mentioned above, few of these were shown to provide significant benefit to the patients.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Co-Morbid Sleep Disordered Breathing
Pharmacological Treatment of Nightmares
Conclusions about Nightmare Treatment
Or check out the Different Types of Nightmares