It's in Everyone

Healthy Living...

Medications and Sleep

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:

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.

BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.