Alarming number of teens are using sleep aids, doctors warn of potentially risky results
Teens don’t get enough sleep and one in four cope by medicating.
Less than three percent of teens get the recommended 8 or 9 hours of sleep a day, according to a recent Pediatrics study.
So, robbed of slumber, a quarter of them seek relief in herbal, over-the-counter pills and prescriptions.
The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that 28 percent of teens ages 13-18 tried some type of medication to help them sleep.
- 16 percent said they tried over-the-counter sleep medicines like NyQuil or a “PM” formulation of pain reliever or cold medicine.
- 14 percent said they used antihistamines like Benadryl.
- Five percent said they used prescription sleep medicine.
- Even more turned to natural or herbal remedies, specifically melatonin, at 36 percent.
Doctors warn taking sleep aids could endanger teen’s lives.
Teens are taking drugs to sleep without ever seeing a doctor
The Mott poll released in September surveyed 1,018 parents about strategies for dealing with their teens sleep issues.
Alarming to poll co-director Sarah Clark was that only a quarter of parents of teens with sleep problems said they or their teen had ever talked to a doctor about their issues.