Dreams - bad; Bad dreams
A nightmare is a dream that occurs during sleep that brings out strong feelings of fear, terror, distress, or anxiety. Nightmares usually happen in the second part of the night and wake up the sleeper, who is able to remember the content of the dream.
Nightmares tend to be more common among children and become less frequent toward adulthood. About 50% of adults have occasional nightmares, women more often than men.
Anxiety and stress are the most common causes of nightmares. A major life event occurs before the nightmare in some cases.
Other causes of nightmares include:
Moore DP, Jefferson JW. Nightmare disorder. In: Moore DP, Jefferson JW, eds. Handbook of Medical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2004:chap 123.
Moser SE, Bober JF. Behavioral problems in children and adolescents. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 33.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885