Epic Dreaming and Complex Nocturnal Visual Hallucinations

Epic dreaming was described by Schenck and Mahowald in 1995 and represents a dreaming disorder characterized by endless and exhausting dreams associated with morning tiredness and chronic daytime fatigue [80]. The condition shows a strong female predominance (85%). The dream content typically consists in relentless, mostly banal physical activity reoccurring nightly in 90% of affected patients. A remarkable feature is the poor affective tone of the dreams and the absence of emotional arousals. Polysomnographic recordings do not reveal any particular abnormalities, and the underlying disturbance of the disorder remains unknown.

Silber et al. have recently reported a series of 12 patients (11 of whom were females) with vivid, silent, often distorted images of people and animals occurring after waking, disappearing with increased light. Idiopathic hypersomnia, beta-blocker use, dementia with Lewy bodies, macular degeneration and anxiety were associated factors [81].

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