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Tell me about your experiences with using melatonin, please?

(49 Posts)
dinosaur Mon 29-Jun-09 13:59:16

Hi all,

My DS3 is almost 5 and autistic.

His sleep has been increasingly poor - waking up in the small hours and not going back to sleep - so we have been prescribed melatonin.

It's not the slow release stuff as he wouldn't take a capsule, it's the liquid.

He woke up at 3.30 a.m. this morning and at 4.15 there was no sign of him going back to sleep so I tried giving him melatonin. It worked, and quite quickly, but he was very fast asleep this morning and we had great difficulty getting him awake and up for school.

I am wondering whether we should set a cut-off point in the evening - say 9.45 p.m. - to administer it if he is not asleep. If we do this, is he more/less likely to wake up around 3-4 a.m.?

All experiences/advice gratefully received!

lou031205 Mon 29-Jun-09 14:07:15

Hmm, I doubt the melatonin would cause the sleepiness this morning, because it has a very short half-life (about 45mins). DD1 has never woken later because she had a dose in the early hours envy

We always give DD1 (3.6 and 14.5kg) 2mls at around 6.15 p.m., but she does wake at around 3 a.m.

dinosaur Mon 29-Jun-09 14:08:58

Thanks lou. That's interesting. He looked so groggy and grumpy when I woke him up that I was sure it must be the melatonin.

Why do you give your DD1 her melatonin so early, if you don't mind me asking?

lou031205 Mon 29-Jun-09 15:02:59

She goes to bed at around 6.30-6.45. If we don't give it she isn't asleep by 9 or 10, and she is so little, she really needs her sleep. Regardless, she wakes in the early hours, so we need to get her sleep in somewhere.

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 15:10:51

it wont be the melatonin as its not a sedative more like its assisted hi to sleep deeper and his body was catching up

ds has melatonin at around 6 asleep by 6.15-30 later on if really not tired 7 latest

he does wake early hours and can be easily settled up from 4.30-5,or 6

6 if been awake hour plus of night

normal waking time is 5

i was told to give melatonin early to try and regulate body clock as melatonin is natural hormone found in us to regulate body clocks so night time we feel tired etc my ds has trouble falling asleep this is why he has it he would be up still at 3 am without it melatonin enables him to fall asleep at reasonable time and to try and set his body to a routine although it hasnt worked and still needs it to be able to fall asleep

it lasts 4 hrs so can be administered again but the main point is to try and get them down for reasonable time 7-8 to regulate there body clocks

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 15:13:29

it helps as ds needs a good amount of sleep and to finally be able to get him to sleep at reasonable time really helps behaviour even with waking in night its like having different child behaviour wise and i get to read book in peace i dont mind early morning as id have to get up anyway but having time to myself in the evening is what i need and his better for it

staryeyed Mon 29-Jun-09 15:25:48

We have been using melatonin for 2 weeks now woth DS1 (4). ALthough it does help DS1 get to sleep it hasnt regulated his body clock we give it at 9.30 everynight as he gets tired about 10.30 he can then wake up between 2 and 4am. He also naps at all hours in the day anything from 11 am to 7pm he is all over the place. We are going to continue for a while to give it a real go because it is still new but I think ,maybe slow releasing may work better. Also one night ds fell asleep early at 9pm before we could give him any so we kept some available in the night as he was likely to wake at 12-1am from previous experience. He actually woke up about 4am and DP gave it then [sigh] and DS1 was very tired and grumpy the next day.

I did notice a few times that when Ds1 had slept all through with the me melatonin that he was very miserable and teary the next day has this happened to anyoe else?

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 15:40:40

if i give it too late it does as his sleeping deeper and not wanting to get up leaves him tired if he doesn't wake up naturally

i will give it to him as soon as he wakes normally around 1-2 ish and then he will bounce out of bed at 6 no problem i never give from 4 o'clock i just put him to bed early that night

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 15:42:58

we were told to give to ds early to get him to bed earlier as he wasn't sleeping till 3 am paediatrician said start from 8 and then if needed work down from there it hasn't regulated body clock and doubt it will but we have it on repeat now so not too worried

we dont let him nap either we just do early bed then he wakes around 2 then up at 5 on a normal day works better for us then late nights he is better for it

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 15:46:22

stary i think the late naps could affect how he sleeps anyway i find ds needs that early bed as then the night wake isnt too late and can be set back off the later ds goes to bed the more he wakes in the night strange but true the earlier he goes we have 1 wake up

and i was told to stop naps and start with 8 pm bed maybe worth a try for you as it wont regulate body clock unless your trying to set a tie and if sleep is so irregular there is no routine to follow iyswim

thats why we were told 8pm earlier if needed and then body will get used to going off at that time no naps so well and truly ready for bed he goes at 6 as has no naps and is well ready by then i'll give at 6 if really tired 6.30 if not tired and he'll be asleep for 7

5inthebed Mon 29-Jun-09 15:46:33

I can't really help with this, because DS2 is on the slow release ones (took forever to get him to take a tablet), but it does take about 30 minutes to take effect if that helps?

dinosaur Mon 29-Jun-09 16:30:29

Ooh I'm confused now.

I wonder if we started at about say 9.45 p.m. and gradually made it earlier would that work?

I find the idea of him going to sleep at 8 p.m. quite odd, God knows why as his brothers did at the same age!

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 16:51:20

start how you feel comfortable and then go earlier his waking will be earlier in night then melatonin wont make him sleep so deep so late leaving him not wanting to get up he is only nearly 5 after all lol he goes to bed later than me grin

my ds is just 4 and 8 o'clock was ideal but he was still angry next day so we had to trial and error we found anything from 5.30 on bad days to 7 pm on good days worked wonders with his behaviour and waking was less and much earlier if he does wake at 4 its normally on the 5.45 bed so its expected

usual routine is 6-30 and that leaves 11-12 wake and 5 am get up works fine as i say i love time to myself of an evening other wise i feel ive had no breathing space from him

im better for it and so is he , his sensitivities have lessoned he has more energy his jokey not moody now just works for us

do what works for you i was more concerned with school if he sleeps at 10 then up at 4 its not a lot of sleep to handle a day at school so wanted his body to be more rested and it really has worked for us

dinosaur Mon 29-Jun-09 17:04:46

thanks bubblagirl

he genuinely doesn't seem to need much sleep! envy as I do!

staryeyed Mon 29-Jun-09 17:07:48

I wish we could get Ds in bed for 8pm but he is not tired by 8pm even if he hasnt had a nap. Some days we have tried to keep him awake and then he has started to go to sleep at 6.30/7pm which is disasterous and no matter how hard we try we can not keep him awake once he goes for his day time nap. He has been known to sleep standing up even walking in the supermarket. Our plan is to set bedtimes gradually earlier everyday but he is so all over the place.

5inthebed- I take it they have to swallow the capsules whole?

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 17:13:33

how long does the melatonin take to work as sometimes ds doesn't seem so tired within half hour of melatonin he is desperate to sleep maybe cutting it down bit by bit will help

don't envy the no sleep any more we were surviving on 3 hrs a night and i was nearly dead on my feet was such a horrid time ds does need his sleep and functions better so thank lordy for melatonin lol

lou031205 Mon 29-Jun-09 18:38:41

Staryeyed, the melatonin is meant to help them feel tired. DD rarely seems tired before the melatonin, but is begging for bed within 15-20 minutes of taking it. She has 2mg(2mls).

pickyvic Mon 29-Jun-09 19:19:06

have to say melatonin for my DS was a godsend. maybe you need to play with the dose a little - it can be tricky to get right. ask the paed who prescribed to advise.

Phoenix4725 Mon 29-Jun-09 19:32:01

we tried melatonin and sadly seemed mad no differance to ds seems he is just nocturnal mind not that he sleeps in day either

bubblagirl Mon 29-Jun-09 20:41:40

i agree the melatonin is there so you can dictate bedtime if you want them dowm at 8 give at 7.30 they will be really tired and wanting to sleep you dont wait for them to get tired you give to make them tired

so you can have them asleep at reasonable time ds would never be tired he'd be up all night without it i give it to him and within half an hour his sleepy or already asleep ds is on 3ml 3mg

Phoenix4725 Mon 29-Jun-09 20:48:03

we tried it bu did not seem make one jt of differnace to ds hes just human dynmo runs on 3-4 hrs sleep

dinosaur Tue 30-Jun-09 13:47:20

Well last night was crap, gave him some melatonin at 9 p.m. and he then woke up at 2 a.m. and was awake until 5.30 a.m.

So I think we won't bother with it pre-bed, we will save it for wake-ups between about midnight and 3.30 a.m.

staryeyed Tue 30-Jun-09 14:18:11

Maybe we are getting the dose wrong. DS is 4 and taking 3mg but he is quite a big boy. We gave it yesterday at 9.30 as normal and he didn't fall asleep until after 12 which means its not really working is it?

lou031205 Tue 30-Jun-09 15:55:08

dinosaur, I still think 9pm is late to be giving it, tbh. Would you by choice have a 9.30 bed time for an almost 5 year old? I would think you would be better giving it earlier, then giving another dose if he wakes in the night.

Staryeyed, could he be overtired? For DD if we wait that late she is vastly overstimulated, so the melatonin 'message' has lots to compete with.

bubblagirl Tue 30-Jun-09 16:23:35

stary i found the later we gave it to ds it didnt work he was able to over ride it with being over tired give at 7.30 see how you go may be asleep for 8-9 if given earlier i find the effectiveness works faster not when over tired

my ds is 4 big for age has 3mg and needs it around 7 oclock before he gets too over worked and takes 15 mins and his lagging or asleep

on hot bothered days we give half 6 as is hot tired and at risk of becoming over tired is asleep for 7

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