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Nightmare Disorder Workup

  • Author: Daniel R Neuspiel, MD, MPH, FAAP; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
Updated: May 11, 2015

Imaging Studies

Routine radiographic, ECG, or EEG studies are unnecessary.


Other Tests

Polysomnography may be indicated. The hallmark of the various parasomnias is whether they occur during REM sleep, at the sleep-wake transition, or during slow-wave sleep. Polysomnographic studies demonstrate abrupt awakenings from REM sleep, usually during the second half of the night, prior to report of a nightmare.[3]

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Daniel R Neuspiel, MD, MPH, FAAP Medical Director, Myers Park Pediatrics; Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics, Levine Children's Hospital, Carolinas Medical Center; Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Daniel R Neuspiel, MD, MPH, FAAP is a member of the following medical societies: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Physician Leadership, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Erin Hollingsworth Stubbs, MD Faculty Physician, Division of General Pediatrics, Levine Children’s Hospital, Carolinas Medical Center

Erin Hollingsworth Stubbs, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Caroly Pataki, MD Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Caroly Pataki, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York Academy of Sciences, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Chet Johnson, MD Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Director and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, KU Center for Child Health and Development, Shiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies; Assistant Dean, Faculty Affairs and Development, University of Kansas School of Medicine

Chet Johnson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author Kevin P Connelly, DO, to the development and writing of this article.

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