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Talk to me about melatonin

(11 Posts)
nenevomito Wed 03-Aug-11 12:16:23

Yesterday at the paed appt, she recommended DS goes on melatonin to help him sleep. I wasn't sure as I didn't know what it was and am not keen on the thought of medicating him, so she suggested that I go away and do some research and then come to a decision.

So consider yourselves to be researched! Do any of your DCs take melatonin to help with sleep? What can you tell me about it?

I'm going to do some wider reading to, but its always good to hear directly from other parents, as t'internet can be unreliable!

Calally Wed 03-Aug-11 12:43:46

ds is 6 and started on melatonin in feb. he gets 4mg a night. he takes it half an hour before bed, and falls asleep bout 10-15 mins after he gets into bed. ds started taking it as it was taking ages for him to relax and go to sleep, hours sometimes. so far its all been good. think theres 2 types tho, 1 to help them get to sleep, and 1 to keep them asleep.

davidsotherhalf Wed 03-Aug-11 12:51:42

melatonin was and is a life saver in our house,dd wouldn't sleep for more than 30 mins a night, we went years without sleep and every part of dd life was affected as she couldn't concentrate on anything as she was too tired but still couldn't sleep. we tried all different types of melatonin and found the only one that works for her was kidnaps liquid melatonin,

farming4 Wed 03-Aug-11 13:02:49

ds 4 has been on Melatonin liquid 2ml for about 18mths now and like the poster above it has been a life saver. Ds would sleep for about 2hrs (broken) a night and would wander round the house, helping himself to stuff from the cupboards, getting out all the stuff he wasn't allowed during the day or going into his db and ds and waking them up to play. Dh and I used to stay awake on alternate nights to keep an eye on him. Not good when you have 3 other dcs to look after and work to do. Sleep never felt so good once he started on his "sleepy bye medicine"

nenevomito Wed 03-Aug-11 14:17:40

Thanks all. It sounds promising and it would certainly help on school nights.

Think I need to give it a bit more thought though.

ouryve Wed 03-Aug-11 14:24:19

Melatonin is a hormone which we produce naturally and which, amongst other things, regulates our circadian rhythms and helps to bring on sleepiness at night. DS1 is currently taking it, since he struggles to get to sleep in the summer. It's only supposed to be taken short term - he's on a 3 month course of the lowest dose, which he has to take at the same time every night. This should hopefully see him through to Mid September when his sleep problems start to subside thanks to longer, darker nights and being tired out by school and in the meantime, supposedly re-train his natural sleep cycle.

It was absolutely great for the first month, while he was still at school, but now he's off school, he's back to fighting sleep. Literally. You can tell it makes him tired within half an hour of taking it, though, since he exhibits a lot of tired behaviour. DS1's tired behaviour is not cute and cuddly, like DS2. It's bouncy and destructive and extremely sensory seeking.

ArthurPewty Wed 03-Aug-11 14:26:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

graciousenid Wed 03-Aug-11 14:34:21

it saved our lives/sanity/marriage etc etc ds is on a pretty low dose (1.5ml) & it works incredibly well at getting him to sleep (7:15pm every night), not so good at keeping him asleep (we've tried inc dose but also had problems with vivid dreams) - he looks forward to bedtime now smile

Before we started melatonin he was being investigated for epilepsy, since starting it (9 months ago) we have had one episode & that was when he was v. unwell (40oC+ temperature) whereas before it was 3-4 times a day. It also coincided with a language explosion & improved attention - I think all due to getting 7+ hours solid sleep rather than 4-5 broken hours each night.

nenevomito Wed 03-Aug-11 14:34:24

DS1's tired behaviour is not cute and cuddly, like DS2. It's bouncy and destructive and extremely sensory seeking.

Thats my DS to a T. I know he's tired when he starts climbing up and jumping down over and over again.

nocake Wed 03-Aug-11 14:37:40

Melatonin is produced naturally by your body, by the pineal gland, so taking extra melatonin is simply topping up what you're already producing. In the US it's classed as a natural substance so is available without prescription, which indicates that they consider it to be a minimal risk.

ouryve Wed 03-Aug-11 14:43:13

babyheave - when he was having his ADHD assessed and we we discussing his end of the day wall climbing, we had all the usual questions about have we tried tiring him out or letting him stay up later - I think the look of horror on our faces at the prospect of putting up with more of this tired behaviour more than adequately got across why staying up later wasn't an option - specially when we emphasised how he's even worse when he's more tired!

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