Nightmares: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose nightmares?

While nightmares generally don’t need testing, they are events that occur during the dream stage of sleep (Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep) and can be detected on a sleep study if needed. Rarely, other medical problems might need to be ruled out.

How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

If children have recurrent nightmares, sleep specialists at the Children’s Colorado can provide testing and treatment, which includes counseling with our sleep psychologist.

Call your child's physician during office hours if:

  • The nightmares become worse.
  • The nightmares are not minimal after 2 weeks.
  • The fear interferes with daytime activities.
  • Your child has several fears.
  • You have other concerns or questions.