A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that persistent nightmares in childhood could be linked to mental health disorders later in life , according to Science Daily. The study asked parents to file reports about their child’s nightmare behaviors from age 2 to 9 and then interviewed those children when they were 12 and 18. Researchers found that at age 12, one in four children had experienced nightmares in the last six months.