- Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Healthy Living
Medications used to help treat some mental health conditions can disrupt a child or youth’s sleep. Small changes in the time your child takes their medication can be helpful for getting a good nights sleep. Talk to your medical professional if you would like to discuss the effects of your child’s medication on sleep.
Melatonin is a neurohormone naturally found in our bodies. It regulates our internal body clock and sleep cycles. For some children and youth, taking melatonin as a part of their treatment plan might help them to get a better night’s sleep.
Melatonin is a natural chemical that can help to regulate sleep cycles
For certain mental health conditions, melatonin may reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It may also lengthen the time one stays asleep, and increase daytime alertness. However, melatonin may not be effective for some children and youth and may interact with certain medications or supplements. Also, based on your child’s age and the medication they are on, they may need a specific dose. You should always talk to your medical professional before giving melatonin to your child.
From: Using Melatonin in Children and Adolescents, BC Children’s Hospital.
For more information on melatonin: http://keltymentalhealth.ca/treatment/medications
Check with your doctor before starting your child on melatonin
Melatonin can interact with certain medications, and is not helpful for all sleep difficulties. You should always talk to your medical professional before giving melatonin to your child
Other medications for sleep difficulties
Other medications that can help with sleep difficulties in children and youth exist. Speak with your doctor about other medications that may be helpful.
This toolkit was created for families who have a child or youth with mental health challenges. It was developed by The F.O.R.C.E Society for Kid's Mental Health in partnership with BC Mental Health & Addition Services (BCMHAS) and BC Children's Hospital (BCCH).
We are grateful to the many families who helped and who guided us in the process of creating this toolkit; their knowledge was invaluable. We would also like to extend a special thanks to our advisory committee.
We would like to thank the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) for their generous financial support, which helped make the development of this toolkit possible.