Things heard on the radio

I was doing a somewhat repetitive project for a few hours the other day so I had the radio on as background. Two child-related ads caught my attention, one directly related to kids (the other less so).

Did you know that you can buy sleep medication for children? I didn’t. I guess I probably knew certain cold or flu products might be indicated for sleep but this was a product intended only for sleep. The voice-over included a child asking for “one more story” at bed-time. There was a time when this would have made a great SNL skit:

“Susie and Johnnie won’t go to sleep at night? Do they keep asking for one more story or another drink of water? Well, worry no more! Just slip them a nighty-night pill in their milk at dinner and you’ll hear no more whining or tolerate rambunctious behavior come bed time!”

Sure, I’ve made fun, but truly, the idea of sleep medication for children IS troubling to me. It could be abused by adults looking to settle their kids down without the pesky tasks inherent in parenting. And, I can’t help but think if a child is having trouble sleeping, something else is probably amiss. Yes, many, many adults have sleep issues and take medications of one sort or another but whether you agree that’s a good idea or not, it’s still different for an adult to make that choice than for a child to be given sleep meds, all the more so if it’s just for normal kid-resistance to going to bed which is what this particular ad implied. I wonder if a child who takes medications to induce sleep is always going to be reliant on them, if not physically, psychologically, even later in life?

I had a friend, a smart person, with sleep issues who claimed insomnia was a “disease.” That didn’t sound right to me at all and I remember at the time looking into it and finding information that said insomnia didn’t exist 100 years ago. That is very telling. Living like people did 100 years ago, with all that entailed, does not sound like fun, but I can’t help but think that it couldn’t hurt to try to replicate at least a few of the habits that made sleeping naturally a routine part of life, starting very young.

The other ad was for the TV show Jeopardy. The voice-over said the show was for “mature audiences.” What? I’m not a regular viewer but I’ve watched the show and that caveat surprised me. Was there a law suit? Complaints? I can’t think what would elicit that warning. Particularly framed against EVERYTHING ELSE kids view. Googling the topic didn’t provide any answers. Racy Jeopardy? At 7:30pm? If it WAS, I might be a more regular viewer.

15 thoughts on “Things heard on the radio

  1. Letitgocoach

    Over stimulate them with technology, and then knock em out. It’s sad. My Mom would give us a jar to catch fireflies, and we’d chase them, and each other around the house before bed. Outdoor air and physical activity before a good night’s sleep.

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    1. Colette Post author

      Well said. It’s been a long time but I don’t remember having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep unless I was excited about something, at least pre-adolescence. And my parents sure didn’t “bargain” over things like bedtime! I really feel for kids – they are so over-exposed (apparently kids have terrible anxiety over climate change for one).

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      1. Letitgocoach

        Thank you. We didn’t have trouble with sleep, unless at a sleepover! But something has changed because now I meditate myself to sleep. Heck no! When they told us to go, we went. I feel for them too my darling.

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  2. Ally Bean

    I didn’t know there was sleep meds for kids nor did I know that 100 years ago insomnia didn’t exist. Both things surprise me. I can’t help thinking that if people were more into doing something in front of them instead of watching something happen in front of them, then people of all ages would sleep soundly. Just a hunch.

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    1. Colette Post author

      Apparently before electricity it was hard to stay up at night doin’ stuff! Your point about doing something rather than watching something makes sense. Having a sense of purpose is crucial to so many things. Those of of us with busy minds that can keep us awake (I count myself) sleep better when we’re flat worn out from exertion. (I mean the good kind of exertion, not 14-hour work days.)

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    1. Colette Post author

      I know. And it’s not like the ad was geared to children with serious issues or psychological problems. It was just kids being kids. Of all the bad things parents can pass on to kids, substance-abuse of any stripe seems near the top.

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  3. AutumnAshbough

    I was an insomniac until I was 25. An insomniac who danced competitively and swam on a team and didn’t have screens. It’s not all technology and crap parenting.

    I think that a lot of issues, especially neurological ones, weren’t identified, let alone diagnosed, until recently.

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    1. Colette Post author

      I think your words speak to my point that the ad was referencing normal kid complaints, like requests for one more story, that the medication was supposed to put an end to; it wasn’t about serious issues which are something else.

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  4. Kate Crimmins

    My husband has never been able to sleep well, even as a child. He is over the moon if he gets 5 to 6 hours sleep. Too often it’s less and he’s groggy the next day. Having said that, drugs for kids isn’t the answer. There has to be better solutions. Even today my husband will rarely take anything for it. Most of the meds don’t work all that well for him and some are addictive.

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    1. Colette Post author

      Sleep issues for adults are a huge problem and a big industry. I understand why your husband doesn’t want to take anything (I’m much the same and the idea of melatonin for one makes me quite nervous after reading about it) but wonder if he’s ever considered something like a sleep study to see if there’s something (else) amiss that could be treated. Sleep apnea apparently wreaks havoc.

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      1. Kate Crimmins

        I have not been able to convince him to go to a specialist for that. He says he doesn’t have apnea because he doesn’t stop breathing. I think it would be worth a look see. Maybe there is something treatable. He’s been taking CBD oil and it helps to some extent. This week he had 3 consecutive days where he had less than 4 hours sleep. That makes him groggy (and ill tempered but I’d never tell him that).

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        1. Colette Post author

          I know lack of sleep makes me crabby! I am no expert but I’m not sure everybody can tell if they stop breathing. I think apnea prevents the deepest stage of sleep, the one we really need. I’m with you on checking it out.

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  5. Colette Post author

    Definitely. The idea that a kid not wanting to go to bed should be handled with medication really threw me for a loop. I think about the drugs-in-society a lot; wonderful things have been accomplished (generally) but over-use (such as antibiotics no longer working because they’ve been over-prescribed) is troubling.

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