Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 529–535 | Cite as

Management of Post-Traumatic Nightmares: A Review of Pharmacologic and Nonpharmacologic Treatments Since 2010

  • Monica Escamilla
  • Mercedes LaVoy
  • Bret A. Moore
  • Barry Krakow
Sleep Disorders (MJ Sateia, Section Editor)


Nightmares are a universal and timeless phenomenon. They occur in most healthy adults as well as a significant portion of clinical populations, especially those exposed to trauma. Considerable advances in the pharmacological and psychological treatment of post-traumatic nightmares have occurred over the last decade with continuing advances in psychological interventions over the last few years. Pharmacologically, the medication prazosin is showing robust clinical effects with minimal side effects. Psychologically, imagery rehearsal therapy commands the greater portion of the nightmare literature due to its established efficacy. These issues are reviewed in the following paper along with recommendations for future studies.


Sleep disorders Post-traumatic nightmares Trauma Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD Pharmacologic treatments Behavioral treatments Sleep treatments Psychiatry 



M. Escamilla: none; M. LaVoy: none; B. A. Moore: has been a consultant to Neuroscience Education Institute, has received payment for lectures including service on speakers bureaus from CMI/PESI, and has received royalties from Wiley, Guilford, APA, Routledge & Pearson; B. Krakow: has been a consultant to AMEDD Center & School; has received grants from Simon Foundation and Oxynard Foundation; has received royalties from Wiley, Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences, and The New Sleepy Times; and owns and operates 4 websites that provide education and offer products for sleep disorders patients.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica Escamilla
    • 1
  • Mercedes LaVoy
    • 1
  • Bret A. Moore
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barry Krakow
    • 3
  1. 1.Trauma, Risk, and Resiliency Postdoctoral Fellowship Warrior Resiliency ProgramSan Antonio Military Medical Center, U.S. Army Southern Regional Medical CommandSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Behavioral Readiness DivisionTrauma, Risk, and Resiliency Fellowship Warrior Resiliency ProgramSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Maimonides Sleep Arts & Sciences, LtdSleep and Human Health InstituteAlbuquerqueUSA

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