Most people suffering with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) endure frequent nightmares. They are terrifying reoccurring dreams that containing frightening aspects of the traumatic event(s), either literally or symbolically. Many times the content of the dreams are not remembered when the person wakes up but they know they had a nightmare Because their heart pounding, they're sweating to the point of having to change their bedding, and they may have been thrashing around and yelling in their sleep. It can become so severe that many develop a fear of going to sleep. Whether caused by the frequent awakening with difficulty returning to sleep or the avoidance to going to sleep, the resulting fatigue can have disastrous consequences on their health, safety, employment, and relationships.
An effective treatment for a very troubling posttraumatic reaction, nightmares. The treatment is Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) and many of the clients I have work with have found it to be quite effective. Not to be confused with lucid dreaming which is the awareness that you are dreaming while you are dreaming, Imagery Rehearsal Therapy consists of changing the content of a nightmare so that the content is not frightening, it becomes empowering or pleasant, shifting from being a bad dream to a good dream. This New York Times article discusses IRT, its background, technique, and use with trauma survivors.
Read the Article Here