What treatments are available for nightmares?

Speak to your doctor about any medication you are taking and be sure to read the package inserts on any medication to see if vivid dreams or nightmares may be a side effect.

Consider that a drug interaction (two medications together, or a glass of wine before taking a medication) could be causing the effect. Consider speaking to a psychiatrist or your general practitioner about a medication to help reduce nightmares by reducing your REM sleep.

Certain anti-depressant medications (SSRI’s and tricyclics) can reduce the frequency of nightmares by reducing the amount of REM sleep you are getting.

Talk therapy: Work has been done where the person having the nightmare will wake up and write down everything that they can remember about the dream.

1. In as much detail as they can, even with the potential horrible endings (people getting killed, or loved ones getting hurt, or persecuted).

2. Next they collect these dreams over the course of a week or so and create a script as though it were a play or movie scene.

3. Finally they change the ending so that whatever is the horrible consequence is changed so that they become the hero of the dream!

4. This new version of the dream is then read by the person several times right before they go to bed, to influence their dreaming.

Consider speaking to a therapist about how to begin the journaling process.

Continue Learning about Dreams and Nightmares

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.