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Background Sleep disturbances are commonly reported in the psychosis prodrome, but rarely explored in relation to psychotic experiences. Aims To investigate the relationship between specific parasomnias (nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking) in childhood and later adolescent psychotic experiences. Method The sample comprised 4720 individuals from a UK birth cohort. Mothers reported on children's experience of regular nightmares at several time points between 2 and 9 years. Experience of nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking was assessed using a semi-structured interview at age 12. Psychotic experiences were assessed at ages 12 and 18 using a semi-structured clinical interview. Results There was a significant association between the presence of nightmares at 12 and psychotic experiences at 18 when adjusted for possible confounders and psychotic experiences at 12 (OR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.19-2.20). The odds ratios were larger for those who reported persistent psychotic experiences. Conclusions The presence of nightmares might be an early risk indicator for psychosis.