A report from The Province reports that 70% of children in Canada have trouble falling asleep, with a number of parents giving them over-the-counter aids.
University of B.C. researcher and nursing school professor Wendy Hall — who has studied child sleep for 10 years — says she wasn’t surprised by the results of the Canadian Paediatric Society study.
“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” Hall said. “We have lots of studies linking (child sleep deprivation) to difficulty learning, behavioural problems, and even increased risk of obesity.”
The new study examined 350 children brought to a pediatric emergency department for issues other than sleep deprivation. The study found 80 per cent of the children with underlying medical conditions had trouble sleeping, and 70 per cent of the otherwise healthy children reported sleep problems.
About one-third of the parents of children with sleep problems reported giving them sleep-aids like antihistamines and painkillers, while half the parents chose the sleep hormone melatonin.