Which age groups have the highest prevalence of nightmare disorder?

Updated: Aug 08, 2018
  • Author: Daniel R Neuspiel, MD, MPH, FAAP; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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In one study, nightmares first emerged as a parent-reported sleep problem in children aged 24–36 months, but onset typically occurs between the ages of 3 and 6 years. [8]

Peak incidence occurs in children aged 7–9 years. [9] A decrease in frequency is noted between ages 10 and 12 years. [5]

The prevalence of nightmares and other parasomnias declines in school age and adolescence, presumably due to progressive neurological maturation and reduction in separation anxiety. [10]

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