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Popping in for a moment to ask about Melatonin - please help!

(23 Posts)
HonorMatopoeia Fri 11-Sep-09 21:16:39

Hi there, I feel a bit like the prodigal son here, haven't been on these talk boards for years! However, LittleFish (if indeed that is still the name she goes by!) suggested I pop in and ask a question....
I have searched for this in the old files but got way too many hits to trawl through.
My Dd1 hasn't slept properly for over 2 years now. We have tried everything (and I mean, literally everything) and I finally got a GP to listen to me and agree her lack of sleeping was more than 'a phase'.
The GP refered me to the Child Pysch (due to some strange OCD type behaviour which is worse when she has had a particularly bad night). I had a home visit from the social support assistant yesterday and she said she couldn't believe I hadn't been offered Melatonin for Dd's sleeping problems. She said the child pysch can help with the behaviour problems but if the root problem is lack of sleep then that needs to be tackled too.
So, my question is, has anyone else been prescribed melatonin for their child's sleeping problems? Does it work? How long are they on it for? Are their side effects? Will my GP prescribe me this if I ask? Should I ask or just state the problems again (I've been to the GP at least 5 times over the past 2 years for this) and hope for action?
Sorry, that was waaaaaay more than one question!!

Littlefish Fri 11-Sep-09 21:20:02

<waves wildly to Honor!>

Bumping for you. smile

HonorMatopoeia Fri 11-Sep-09 21:21:14

Helloooooo! Gosh it feels weird to be back. Watch me, I'll be addicted again within 3 minutes!

HonorMatopoeia Fri 11-Sep-09 21:25:15

bump

CarGirl Fri 11-Sep-09 21:26:10

Hi

Melatonin is something that is usually produced by the brain to tell the body & brain when to go to sleep! If you don't produce enough you find it difficult to get to sleep and possibly stay asleep.

How much you need is linked to weight, it shouldn't have side affects because it is something we usually produce and should be in our bodies IYSWIM.

In the USA & Australia it is available over the counter as you can use it to combat jet lag!

Have you considered that your dd produces to much adrenalin and that is why she has sleep issues? That was the case for my dd3 she has been treated now and very rarely wakes up (used to be 3/4 times per night and just wide awake) and sleeps for longer.

bonkerz Fri 11-Sep-09 21:26:26

my ds is on melatonin, he takes 4ml every night. he has asd and odd and had been struggling for 2 years to sleep before 11pm.

from what i know GPs cannot prescribe melatonin as it is not liscensed for children. we get DSs prescription from a CAMHS psych.

Ds has been on it for about 8 weeks now and we are finding it brill, he is now asleep by 8pm or within half an hour of taking the melatonin.

HonorMatopoeia Fri 11-Sep-09 21:33:41

Thank you for your replies.
Cargirl - it's good to know that it is a natural thing even when given as a medication. I hadn't thought about over production of adrenalin, but that would also fit with how she generally is. I shall have to mention that too. She is rarely asleep before 10 and will literally fall asleep mid sentence, it's as if she doesn't have any speed other than full on or fast asleep.
Bonkerz - sorry to be ignorant but what is a CAMHS pysch? I'm pleased the melatonin is working for your Ds

CarGirl Fri 11-Sep-09 21:41:08

My friends dd gets her melatonin pescription from hospital. I think her issue could be caused from being in an orphanage until she was 5 in cot 24/7 with the lights on, perhaps she just doesn't make her own melatonin!

I got my dds adrenalin sorted using INPP, basically she still had the moro reflex at the age of 4 (as do I and I'm a crap sleeper too) here is some info on that as it may help your dd in more holistic way

www.inpp.org.uk/reflexes/moro_reflex.php sleep is not mentioned on the moro list but neither is ADHD but the practioner we saw helps lots of ADHD children and it's nearly all down to producing to much adrenalin.

Dd could fall asleep virtually mid sentance and I agree it's all or nothing, no drowsy state. She would ask a few times a night whether it was time to get up as she was wide awake it wasn't about attention from me at all!

Now she is a "good" sleeper she probably does 8.30/9pm until 6.30am most days and has done since she was 4. Not even going to school made a difference after the first week shock

HonorMatopoeia Fri 11-Sep-09 21:45:21

shock at your friend's Dd in the orphanage. It would be no wonder if she didn't make her own melatonin after that!
Thank you for the link, I will go and do some research straight away. Gp's is on Monday so I'm hoping to go armed with a bit of info so I can at least make sense!

CarGirl Fri 11-Sep-09 21:50:21

I think anything to do with sorting her adrenalin levels out will have to be done privately. It was worth every £ though after years of interrupted sleep lol!!!

Guess you would need paed referral to get melatonin>

Yes shock at orphanage, I just commented on it being perhaps because she was tied to her cot to discover er no they never distinguished between day and night at all sad

LeonieSoSleepy Fri 11-Sep-09 21:55:07

Message withdrawn

amtooyoungforthis Fri 11-Sep-09 21:56:51

I use melatonin as I have always had trouble getting to sleep

I have never had a side affect, some nights it works better than others, I am not sure why that is

It doesn't help to keep you asleep, just to getting off to sleep in the first place. You can get slow release form that will help if the problem is staying asleep

I have taken it almost nightly for 2 years with no adverse affects. I don't take it at weekends if I don't need to be up early and can sleep in and I don't find it any harder than before to fall asleep. (I've always been nocturnal, can stay awake all night and sleep all day and would if it wasn't for work and children)

I know many families who have children who use melatonin and all are happy with it

I give it to my teenagers if they are struggling to sleep too

brimfull Fri 11-Sep-09 22:01:39

I use it when i have trouble sleeping.
Got it over the counter in Canada.
I only take .5 or 1mg

willtryharder Fri 11-Sep-09 22:19:40

Cargirl, Can I ask what type of treatment your daughter had to sort out her adrenaline levels?

CarGirl Fri 11-Sep-09 22:30:39

She had INPP brushing but the person we saw uses INPP and something similar that uses exercises (more like the conductive education that came out of Hungary years ago).

He gives whatever he thinks will treat the individual patient the best.

some more info here

www.neurodevelopmentaltherapy.ie/whatisdevelopmentaldelay.html

I was very sceptical but it solved her gross motor coordination and lack of sleep very quickly indeed!

alypaly Sat 12-Sep-09 00:51:14

HonorMatopoeia ..it has to be prescribed by a consultant first as gp's mainly say it is too specialised a product for them to instigate the use of it.It does not have a product licence and has to be obtained from specials labortories ,on a named patient basis only. It is not given out willy nilly. The company that makes it likes to monitor who is using it in case of side effects etc as it has no licence.

BlueKangerooWonders Sat 12-Sep-09 05:09:58

My friend's ds has melatonin prescribed for her ds with Aspergers (now 6). Works well for that family, but was prescribed by hospital, not gp.

nooka Sat 12-Sep-09 05:49:17

It's a little strange outside of the UK Melatonin is considered to be a supplement and not a medicine at all. You can buy it in big bottles at the pharmacist with no questions asked. Yet in the UK it is prescription only, and very restricted for children due to little research in the area (sadly true for many treatments for children).

My nephew has a nasty autism/epilepsy combo, and has used Melatonin for many years in order to become drowsy enough to go to sleep. It is not unusual for it to be used in the long term with no side effects if used properly, and there are no issues with addiction.

Here's a good link to a very reputable site:
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-melatonin.html

HonorMatopoeia Sat 12-Sep-09 20:33:53

Thank you so much for all your replies. The lady who spoke to me was obviously vastly misinformed! She said 'GP's hand them out like sweets' shock
Well, I shall keep the appointment on Monday and just state the facts yet again. Maybe I can badger them into referring me to someone who can actually help!!

lily333 Thu 24-Sep-09 21:45:17

sorry - am a couple of weeks behind!!! but anyway....

our DS (3) has been on melatonin since he was about 18mths old. He had great trouble sleeping, and staying asleep, and by the time he was regularly waking 13 times a night I was about ready to lose the plot, crash the car, and was more than ready to pack in my part-time job. The unremitting sleep deprivation for all of us was terrible and I really worried about his development because of it. In the end my GP suggested melatonin. We use roughly 3mg of kidnaps from the "special pharmacy" and life has been relatively blissful in the sleep department since. Occasionally DS has had a bit too much and it can give him too vivid dreams, or we can go the other way and if he doesn't have enough he's very restless. He doesn't have any ASDs, but only has sight in one eye which is a contributing factor to him not making enough melatonin of his own. Hope you've had some support from your GP by now - don't listen to the sleep training/cry it out when little-type advice handed out by some HVs - I always thought that my experience of sleeplessness didn't even remotely tally with my RL friends' and knew something wasn't right. Good luck.

lou031205 Fri 25-Sep-09 20:05:07

DD1 (3.9) has melatonin to sleep. She has a brain malformation & epilepsy. A paed can prescribe it, then GP follows on.

pingapengin Fri 25-Sep-09 20:10:04

We use melatoin for DD1, works a treat and helps with her night terrors.

I get it from melatonin.com 3mg.

My OH is a neuropsychiatrist and he swears by it, less is more with melatonin, if that make sense?

releasethehounds Sat 26-Sep-09 22:20:16

My DD1 (11) has just been prescribed melatonin and has been taking 10 mils (is that the same as mg?) for the last 4 nights. She has slept really well and longer than she usually does, however now I'm a little worried that the medication could be dangerous. I've just had a trawl via Google and melatonin appears to have few serious side effects but I'm still concerned, particularly as DD seems to be on such a high dose. The paed has prescribed 10 mils per night for 1 week followed by 5 mils per night for the next week, then stop.

Information on the net also seems to suggest that melatonin is usually used for children with special needs, but my DD has none.

I'm not sure that the doctors have missed the point with DD's treatment as I feel her sleep problems are more anxiety based/behavioural than medical, but I'm willing to give the medicine a try.

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