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Do you give melatonin to your child? Please tell me more.

(13 Posts)
WellTidy Mon 11-Jan-16 13:47:40

DS 3.9 yo has ASD and is a poor sleeper. He will fall asleep fine, but will wake anything between once (on a rare, good night, so say once a month) and 10+ times (on a bad night, so say twice a week) a night. A normal night would be him waking three or so times.

When he wakes, he doesn't seem to be able to settle on his own. He will get up, walk into our bedroom and tug at our duvet. I will take him back to bed, which he does happily, tuck him in and go back to bed myself. Sometimes he will stay in his bed for a few hours, sometimes he will get up within minutes and come back in, sometimes he will come in again within 20 minutes.

I allow him to come into bed with us anytime from 6 am onwards. Sometimes he will go back to sleep, other times he will just lay in bed with us until we get up (usually around 7ish).

He doesn't seem to need as much sleep as other children. He settles fine on his own to fall asleep when he goes to bed at 7pm ish. He doesn't nap in the day.

Last night was a bad night. He was up at 9:50, 11, and maybe 10 times between 12:30 and 4:30. I let him come in bed with us at 5, as I was frazzled, and he eventually fell asleep at about 5:45 or so. DH and I take turns to put him back to bed, but I inevitably do more of the night wakings as I work part time and DH works full time. But we are both shattered.

I am considering asking the GP or paediatrician on someone about administering melatonin. All experiences and thoughts of it are welcome, thank you.

cansu Mon 11-Jan-16 18:16:19

Yes. Dos started with it around five years old I think. When we first started using it it was pretty amazing as he slept brilliantly. After a while we have had to up the dose to get a similar effect. It is good in that there is no hangover into the next day as it wears off pretty quickly. It is definitely worth a try. We have a flavoured liquid and mix it in juice for ds as he will not take tablets. If your ds will take tablets there is a slow release version.

Ineedmorepatience Mon 11-Jan-16 18:46:45

Yes Dd3 who is 13 takes a small dose of slow release melatonin!

She needs to take it at least an hour and a half before bed but it does help her to drift off!

With it being slow release if she takes it too late she gets a melatonin hangover!

You do need a paed to prescribe it. Apparently some GP's will do a repeat but not mine!

Good luck.

bbkl Mon 11-Jan-16 18:50:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WellTidy Mon 11-Jan-16 19:34:07

Thank you. I wonder if it is the slow release melatonin that helps them stay asleep, rather then go off to sleep? And does anyone have any experience of the slow release one in flavoured liquid form? Ds would never ever take a tablet, we disguise his multi vitamin and probiotic in chocolate milk or juice.

Ineedmorepatience Mon 11-Jan-16 21:09:59

I think only the tablets would be slow release because they take longernto dissolve and get into the system!

bbkl Mon 11-Jan-16 21:11:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsBobDylan Mon 11-Jan-16 22:47:26

My ds has it in dispersible tablet form and we mix it with black current juice and use one of those calpol dispenser things.

It helps him fall asleep and he generally doesn't wake now. before, we were stuck in a sleepless nightmare as he would take hours to fall asleep, then be wide awake for two hours during the night, only to rise, angry and sleep deprived at 6am.

I think the melatonin helps him fall into a deep sleep which he just can't achieve otherwise.

He's been on it for 2 years and he's 6. My only regret is not doing it sooner!

WellTidy Sat 16-Jan-16 22:25:10

MrsBobDylan yours is the first experience of a child staying asleep whilst taking melatonin in dispersible tablet form ting I've come across. Thanks for your post. Who prescribed it please? Gp or pead? We are getting quite desperate now as it really is every night that DS is up multiple times.

MrsBobDylan Sun 17-Jan-16 08:18:12

We gave the paed who diagnosed DS a call-we hadn't seen her for a year but she gave us an appointment and a sleep diary to fill in for 4 weeks.

We all agreed the slow release would be ideal but that DS wouldn't take a tablet so opted for a disperisble one instead.

Before melatonin, DS fell asleep at 12am, woke between 2-4am and got up at 6am. During the night he would scream for fish fingers and we would be up and downstairs fetching food for him to try and keep him quiet.

Fast forward to now and he gets in bed at 8pm with his iPad, we give him melatonin at 9pm and he falls asleep around 10pm and generally goes through till 8am. My theory is that DS can't access rem/deep sleep without melatonin so once it's helped him into that, he can maintain a normal sleep pattern.

Give the paed you saw at diagnosis a call and try to get an appointment. Gp's can't prescribe it as it's unlicensed for use in the UK I think.

Hope it works as well for your ds-I can totally sympathise with how utterly soul destroying sleep deprivation isflowers

WellTidy Sun 17-Jan-16 09:20:54

Thank you. You must be feeling so much better now that you're all getting proper sleep. It must have a huge impact in everything you do.

Although I am obviously awake when i re-settle DS, I try mot to be too alert so that I can fall back to sleep. Sometimes I I'm,y have a vague idea if when he has been up. A sleep diary would be good, and I will start that so that I can present a fuller picture to the paed.

For the first time in ages, he slept 7:30 - 5:30 last night. It was incredible. I kept waking, thinking that he would be awake soon, but at least I didn't have to get up. I feel amazing.

ilovesprouts Sat 27-Feb-16 17:02:26

My son has alimemazine works for us.

MaterofDragons Sat 27-Feb-16 19:38:09

I wish someone would invent a slow release melatonin patch that's suitable for children. This would work so well for my DT2.

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