I am not a fan of medications as they poison the body and cause many other problems/side effects. Word has it that marijuana is very helpful as it prevents your brain from the continuous hypervigilance and anxiety. It also helps with lifting the depression associated with it. I wonder if one takes it before bed if it helps with reducing the PTSD brain activity?
That being said - I'm 100% in favor of people using anything that works for them, including MMJ.
There are two different things involved, when discussing nightmares. One is what you've pointed out - the level of stress/arousal one is experiencing prior to sleep, this will affect what our brains churn up as dream-fodder.
The other is sleep cycles. Any drug that helps with nightmares will be doing it by affecting your sleep cycles.
The current science on sleep tells us that we (people) always have dreams. If we're asleep, we will dream. Those can be good, bad, nightmares, whatever...they are there, at two different points in the sleep cycle. Drugs don't stop us from dreaming, but they can stop us from recalling our dreams. They'll do this one of two ways.
- They will force a deeper sleep, and slow the rate of waking. We are hardwired to forget our dreams as we come back up from deep REM sleep.
- Or, they will prevent deeper sleep, in order to keep our sleep shallow. This shortens the time we spend in the cycles where dreams will occur (there are two).
There's more to all that, having to do with how our memory is re-engaged when coming out of a sleep cycle, that'll also affect whether you remember the dream for a few moments, or for a long time...It's just useful to have an awareness of how any drug (Grown or Labbed) is meant to help with sleep+nightmare reduction.