Medications for sleep disturbances in children

Neurol Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;4(1):82-87. doi: 10.1212/01.CPJ.0000442521.30233.ef.


At least 25% of infants, children, and adolescents have a sleep problem at some point during this developmental period. The management of pediatric sleep-related disorders often begins with behavioral strategies. While medications can be a useful adjunct, they are used off-label for sleep problems in this age group. When used, medications should be chosen carefully and targeted to specific outcomes as part of a comprehensive approach to management. This article reviews medications used for common pediatric sleep problems with a focus on pediatric insomnia and the importance of a multifactorial approach to evaluation and management.