Medicine will not fix the problem of sleeplessness or even help your child catch some sleep. In some countries, people rarely use sleep medicines to induce sleep in insomniac children since most of them come with side effects. Even natural and herbal remedies usually have some side effects. Parents can make certain changes to enable the child to sleep better at night. These adjustments include:
- Eliminating or reducing the intake of caffeinated drinks and food
- Introducing a consistent bedtime routine
If eating habits and quality sleep don’t help, seek medical attention especially if the child’s sleep issue tends to affect her relationships, well-being and school work. You will also need to consult a doctor if the problem makes them anxious. Every child requires individual treatment when dealing with sleep-related problems.
Using Over the Counter Sleep Aids for Children
The doctor can recommend the use of natural melatonin or sedatives if the sleep issue is very serious to help the child sleep better at night. The medicines will only be prescribed for use for a short period along with other behavioral strategies that will help improve the child’s sleeping habits.
Using the sleep aid for children over the counter together with different behavior strategies will help the child maintain a healthy sleeping pattern even after getting off medication. Parents should always inquire about the side effects of the medicines the doctor prescribes.
Besides, you can get some of these sleep aids for children over the counter in pharmacies and food shops. However, you need to talk to the doctor before using them on your child and only use the medication advised by the care giver. Never under any circumstance overdose the child.
Herbal Sleep Remedy
Herbal also known as natural remedies for sleep like passion flower, hops, St. John’s wort and chamomile are usually available in health food stores but there’s no scientific evidence that shows their benefits when it comes to sleep deprivation.
Valerian, omega 6 and 3 fish oil (fatty acids) can also help improve the quality of sleep but doesn’t work for everybody. The supplements don’t have a lot of side effects if any but generally the evidence that shows if they work perfectly or beneficial is very little.
Herbal sleep remedies don’t undergo similar testing as prescribed medicines or the ones bought in pharmacies over the counter. Remember, mixing the doctor’s prescriptions with natural or over the counter medicines is quite dangerous.
Melatonin is a hormonal substance usually produced by the brain naturally at night. It helps induce sleep and maintain the body clock daily. The doctor can prescribe melatonin supplements to autistic kids, ADHD and visual problems like blindness. They can only be prescribed if the child finds trouble sleeping at night or staying awake at dawn.
The child needs to be ready and settled for bed if they are on the melatonin supplements before taking their usual nightly dose since the medicine tends to work within 20-60 minutes. Don’t give the child melatonin supplements unless under supervision or medical advice.
Sedatives include antihistamine drugs Phenergan and Vallergan. Only give the child sedative medications when prescribed by the doctor. Besides, they are not ideal for children 3years and below as they can cause various side effects such as challenging behavior, hyperactivity, daytime drowsiness and crankiness.
Using sedative medication on its own will not help with the child’s sleep issues without any behavioral strategies which enhance the kid’s bedtime routine.
Sleeping tablets such as benzodiazepines are usually recommended for insomniac adults but most scientists are not sure of their effects on young children.
In very rare situations, the doctor can prescribe a sleeping pill for the child under strict medical supervision. Remember, some of these sleeping tablets are addictive.
Seek medical attention if the child has a medical condition, behavior problem, ASD, ADHD or developmental delays such as cerebral palsy and finds trouble catching sleep. The pediatrician can prescribe other medications to help solve the child’s sleep-related problems.
Besides, sleep medicines along with behavior strategies will be useful in the long run since they help the child adhere to a specific sleep routine for a restful night.