Nightmares can plague adults, too

A good night's sleep is crucial to stay healthy. But those frightening, unpleasant dreams known as nightmares can often get in the way.

"They often co-exist with other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg and others," said Dr. Sagarika Nallu of USF Health at Tampa General Hospital. 

Repeated nightmares can affect you when you're awake.

"They are tired, some of the nightmares have some complex motor activities thereby leading to injuries in the night,” continued Dr. Nallu.

Those you love can suffer too. 

"Their bed partners also report some injuries because the patients are thrashing in bed or punching them or kicking and screaming.”

Sometimes a sleep study is needed.

"We are able to assess if there is any coexisting sleep disorders that are provoking these nightmares or that need some intervention to further help these patients," offered Dr. Nallu.

The doctor said if you are prone to nightmares, you should avoid shows or movies that could trigger unpleasant thoughts.