Addressing demons of the night

Beta blockers, benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can cause vivid dreams or nightmares.

Stopping drugs that suppress the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep, such as alcohol and antidepressants, can cause nightmares.

Nightmares may be dream-related episodes of anxiety.

Patients who describe a recurring nightmare could have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Therapeutic Guidelines: Psychotropic describes REM sleep behaviour disorder.