Doctors Answers (3)
Best option sounds like maybe to see a board certified sleep specialist. I would probably start the workup with a sleep study and see if we can find anything wrong with sleep. These symptoms can be present in a broad range of sleep and some brain disorders. If they are starting to affect you, you should definitely seek professional help.
Nightmares and night terrors are sleep disorders characterized as parasomnias that can begin in the childhood and the preteen years and persist in a small percentage of adults later in life. They are usually self limiting and sporatic but if they are increasing in frequency or are becoming more vivid and associated with automatic behavior then further investigation for another new sleep disorder or possibly seizures is warranted. You should see a sleep specialist for an evaluation and potentially a neurologist to schedule an EEG.
Nightmares are common but very disturbing, as you know. They generally occur during REM sleep when we usually dream. Treatment is available and you should see a board certified sleep specialist. Some of your symptoms such as snoring and sweating raise the question of sleep apnea which can also be associated with nightmares. The family history of your disorder tends to discount sleep apnea as a cause. There is also a disorder called "sleep terrors" which tend to occur in Non-REM sleep and are associated with screaming. Treatment is available for that disorder as well. A careful history given to the sleep specialist will help determine the diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes, an overnight sleep study is helpful to determine which stage of sleep these events occur.