Children are not Sleeping, so They're Pumped Full of Drugs

A new survey of child psychiatrists indicates that insomnia is a major problem among children in mental health treatment.  What’s more, at least a quarter of these patients are given sleep medication.

To address the issue of insomnia, an overwhelming 96 percent of the clinicians recommended at least one prescription medication in a typical month and 88 percent recommended an over-the-counter medication. The sleep medications prescribed ranged from antihistamines to sedating medications to antidepressants.

According to Eurekalert:

“The researchers report that past studies have found that behavioral treatments such as relaxation techniques, sleep restriction and cognitive behavioral therapy are effective for childhood insomnia ... [L]ittle data exists about the safety and effectiveness of pharmacotherapy for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disturbances in children and adolescents. In addition, there are currently no medications specifically approved for use as hypnotics in children under the age of 18.”

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