Do I have a sleep disorder if I have nightmares every two hours while sleeping?

This question was asked in Huntingtown, Maryland on 08/09/2012.
I get very hot and sweat profulsley, and have the very vivid and confusing dreams.

Doctors Answers (4)

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 8/10/2012

If your symptoms contribute to daytime fatigue and sleepiness, sometimes headaches, anxiety or depression, then it may be stemming from your sleep symptoms. It may be worthwhile to get evaluated by a sleep physician.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 8/10/2012

Yes, you have a sleep disorder if you have nightmares every two hours. Generally, our body temperature during dream sleep (REM) loses internal control and tries to reach the temperature in the room. Your nightmares may be more than bad dreams. Night terrors, for example, often occur in Non REM sleep. Medication is available to help. I recommend you see a sleep specialist and a cognitive behavioral therapist.

Gary K. Zammit, Ph.D.
Answered on: 8/10/2012

If vivid nightmares are a recurrent problem you should consult with your physician or a sleep specialist. While we all dream during sleep (i.e., dreaming occurs during rapid-eye-movement sleep, which sleepers will go through several times during the course of an average night of sleep), nightmares represent only a small fraction of the dreams we experience. If you are having nightmares often, and especially if you are having them on multiple occasions in the same night, it warrants a work-up. Nightmares in adults sometimes follow a stressful life event, and they are known to be a component of post-traumatic stress disorder. Therefore, your dreams may be reflective of a stress you are now, or in the past, have experienced. Recurrent nightmares can be treated quite effectively, so do speak to your doctor.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 8/10/2012

You may have night terrors or nightmare which occur at different stage of the sleep cycle. These conditions are pathologic and require treatment because they may fragment sleep.