Melatonin for Children - Is it Safe?
There’s nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. And as any parent will tell you, there’s nothing more frustrating than a child who can’t sleep! There are a variety of reasons while children struggle with sleep, from separation anxiety to fear of the dark. But when the struggle goes beyond these common causes, you may be seeking help from a doctor and possibly a sleep aid. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not melatonin is safe for children. But before we get to whether or not it’s safe, let’s look at why melatonin is even considered for children.
Some doctors will prescribe melatonin for kids with ADHD, autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. And because it is often considered one of the least risky and highest benefits for children suffering from temporary sleep issues, it’s often considered a relatively safe alternative to some of the harsher sleep aids out there. Melatonin is natural and when paired with behavioral interventions and sleep habits, can be highly effective and non-addictive.
That said, does it mean that melatonin is safe for children? It depends on who you listen to. There are some ongoing concerns because studies in animals have shown melatonin affecting puberty-related hormones. Although it’s not been proven true in humans as well, it has given some pause.
So while many parents may be hesitant to give their children melatonin, there’s evidence that low doses of melatonin appears to be both safe and effective. It’s also important to note, melatonin has only been shown to help kids fall asleep but not necessarily stay asleep. So if your child is experiencing sleep problems, you may want to investigate some other behavioral interventions before reaching for the melatonin.
If you decide melatonin might be the right option for your child, it’s important to consider the appropriate dosage as melatonin concentrations can vary. Because of this, it’s recommended to go online and purchase pharmaceutical-grade melatonin, which tends be more accurate in regards to dosage. For instance, in our own Sleep Renew, there’s 3mg of melatonin. The recommendation for kids is to start with the lowest dose of .5 – 1mg and consider increasing by .5mg every few days if it’s not showing to be effective. This article mentions that many children will respond to a dose of .5mg or 1mg an hour or two before bedtime. But some children and teens with significant sleeping issues have been given doses as high as 3mg to 6mg. Most importantly, as with any supplement you are considering for yourself or your child, talk to your health care provider to determine dosage and if a particular supplement is right for you or your child.
I was quite skeptical of taking sleep aid, but the friendly guy at the kiosk reassured me with their all natural ingredient claim, he even told me if I didn’t like it I could bring it back for a full refund. It worked like magic. Been using it for about 3 weeks now and it works just as good as it did on the first day.
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