Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Nightmares in Children

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Oklahoma
Updated on 24 January 2021


Up to 50% of children experience nightmares annually. Nightmares interfere with sleep quality and quantity resulting in sleep deficiency, and are associated with negative mental health consequences. Previous research has shown efficacy of manualized CBT treatment for reducing trauma related nightmares in adults, and preliminary evidence has shown efficacy in children. This study is the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment for idiopathic, as well as trauma related nightmares in children. The treatment in a manualized CBT protocol (5 sessions) that teaches sleep hygiene, relaxation strategies, and addresses nightmares therapeutically through exposure and rescripting.

Condition Nightmares
Treatment Cognitive behavioral therapy
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04047277
SponsorUniversity of Oklahoma
Last Modified on24 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Children must have a history of nightmares occurring approximately once or more per week over a minimum of one month
Children must have verbal comprehension of at least age 5 (determined by PPVT), and be fluent in English
If taking psychotropic medications, must be stable for one month
Children must have a parent or legal guardian who is able to participate in treatment assignments and be able to read and speak English

Exclusion Criteria

Under age 5 or over age 17
No nightmares (or less than averaging one per week)
Apparent psychosis
Pervasive developmental disorder or mental retardation
Not able to read and speak English
Sleep apnea
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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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