The Current

Sleepless kids treated with medication on the rise

Do you have epic bedtime battles? If your kids struggle to fall asleep, new research says they are certainly not alone. But what should come as a wake-up call is setting off alarm bells with doctors. That's because more parents are turning to medication to help their little ones fall asleep.
New research says 70 per cent of kids have sleep problems (kate hiscock, flickr cc)

After a warm bath, a bedtime story and a nice tucking in, sometimes kids just... Will NOT Go To Sleep.

New research says up to seventy per cent of kids have sleep problems --- which is much more than previously thought. 

What's even more alarming, say some doctors, is how many parents are turning to supplements like melatonin, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medication, to help their kids drift off.

A new study states 6 per cent of children are given prescription medication to help them sleep. (Robert Eiserloh Follow, Flickr cc)

Michelle Ferreri knows the sleep struggle all too well. Her eight-year-old son takes melatonin to treat his sleep issues. She joined us from Lakefield, Ontario.

Dr. Dirk Bock is one of the authors of the new study on sleep disorders and kids... which found a significant number of children have sleep troubles -- and many of those, are being medicated. He is an assistant professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Western University & an Associate Scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. 

Connie Schnoes works directly with kids and their parents when sleep issues come up.  She's Director of the National Behavioral Health Dissemination, and Supervising Practitioner at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health. She uses a solution to help frustrated kids and parents at bedtime, one she's found to be very effective with no medication involved. She calls it the "bedtime pass."

Share your stories on bedtime in your house. What have you done to help your kids get a good night's sleep?

Send us an email. Find us on Facebook, or tweet us @TheCurrentCBC. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar.