Healthy children should not have sleeping pills.

By Mieke van Leeuwen

New figures from the Danish Health Authority show that the use of the sleep hormone melatonin has increased tenfold since 2010 among children and young people in Denmark.

So writes Dagbladet Holstebro Struer in an article from this week.

Sleep problems can have a major negative impact on the well-being of children and young people, and sleep problems can cause fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating and reduced learning ability, which can lead to a deterioration in the academic presentation of children and young people in school and education.

In view of this, many parents are advised to treat their children's sleep problems with melatonin. Melatonin is a circadian and sleep-regulating hormone recommended by the National Board of Health for children and adolescents with long-term sleep problems.

But melatonin should not be the first-choice treatment for sleep problems, and there are "concerns that treatment with melatonin may lead to harmful effects in the long term," the Danish Health Authority writes in a November 2022 release.

Instead, non-medical treatments such as sleep hygiene measures and cognitive behavioural therapy are recommended. Where the effect of sleep hygiene interventions alone is sparse, the availability of cognitive behavioural therapy is limited.

Therefore, we have developed Hvil. Hvil® is a mobile-based app that is based on digitally delivered cognitive behavioural therapy without the need for face-to-face interaction with a therapist elle psychologist.