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Bubbla the melatonin has broken my child. What do I do?

(16 Posts)
staryeyed Mon 20-Jul-09 15:29:11

Ds4 ASDD has been on melatonin for a few weeks now with various results. We got his bed time down to 8 oclock which is great/ However he is waking up at 12.30, 4,40 or sometimes 6.30. We tried t get him to settle back to sleep. He definately needs the sleep- after a bad night he tries to catch up inthe morning and then through the day ( we dont let him have day time naps now). But last two nights he woke up at 12.30. On the first night Dp gave him 2ml of melatonin at 5am he then slept until 8.30. Last night he woke at 12.30 Dp gave him melatonin 2ml at 1am and he went nuts. For the next 3 hours he was like I have never seen him before he was bouncing of the walls, laughing hysterically and running round in circles. What did we do wrong?

SJisontheway Mon 20-Jul-09 18:14:35

Hi staryeyed. With dd (and a lot of parents I have spoken to have reported the same) the second dose just doesn't work. We have given up even trying, but still find it great for getting her off at night. I believe there a slow release option but that involves swallowing a tablet so not an option for us. Also have heard that if the dose is too high it can have the opposite effect and know of people who have had positive results by tweaking the dose down a bit.

saintlydamemrsturnip Mon 20-Jul-09 21:40:01

I think the behaviour you describe is linked to overtiredness. DS1 can be loopy in the night if he needs to sleep but can't

Could you use melatonin to get him to sleep around 9pm then see what happens?

staryeyed Mon 20-Jul-09 21:58:40

We did try 9 o'clock at first but cutting the day time naps (which he really seems to need) made him naturally fall into the 8pm routine. He wouldn't stay awake until 9pm with no day time naps. The thing is our major problem has always been the waking at night and/or ridiculous o'clock in the morning. The inability to settle to sleep in the first place only happens sometimes.

saintlydamemrsturnip Mon 20-Jul-09 22:27:50

I'd stop melatonin for a while and see what happens. Or only give for middle if the night wakings

jubee Tue 21-Jul-09 07:12:53

Hi staryeyed. Tried melatonin a few years ago, just didnt work at all for us, in fact just made him worse, so gave up!!!

SJisontheway Tue 21-Jul-09 09:15:18

That's a good idea by mrs turnip I think. If he can settle in the evening without it I would try just giving it in the middle of the night as needed. Worth a try anyway. Another thing you could try on a very bad night is phenergan. I think I've used it about twice ever, but it did work for us. It's an antihistamine that you get over the counter, with drowsiness as a side effect. We found it left her a bit groggy though so only used when deperate

saintlydamemrsturnip Tue 21-Jul-09 09:29:09

The only problem with giving it in the middle of the night is that if you give it too late (say 4am) then it makes them unable to get up in the morning! We've found it quite successful when given around midnight for a waking though.

cyberseraphim Tue 21-Jul-09 10:05:49

I don't have any experience of giving it to a child but I think the idea is that the melatonin helps to regulate the body's natural sleep rythms not to necessarily knock you out there and then so will probably only work if you are trying to reset a body clock to a more convenient time not as an emergency measure in the middle of the night.

cyberseraphim Tue 21-Jul-09 10:09:45

I used to use a lot myself for jetlag/insommina - but maybe the effects on a child are different ?

saintlydamemrsturnip Tue 21-Jul-09 10:11:17

cyber- melatonin normally knocks a child out within about 20 minutes or so at the doses it's given to autistic kids so it can work as a knock out. We've only ever used it for a few days at a time when the rhythm seems to come back anyway. IME it works best if given before 3am when ds1 will still wake up at a normal time, later than that and he's groggy in the morning.

saintlydamemrsturnip Tue 21-Jul-09 10:12:20

the jetlag stuff is at a much lower dose so it's effects are probably not as pronounced. Some OTC stuff from the States didn't work at all when I gave it to ds1 at their recommended dose.

Bigpants1 Tue 21-Jul-09 18:01:17

Hi. Weve used Melatonin for many years-ordinary and slow release-with varying results.
You say your ds seems to need a day-time nap.From what you describe the other night, it sounds like he is very overtired-it is not any side-effect from the Melatonin.
I would let him have one nap during the day and give him the Melatonin later in the evening. It means hes up later in evening, but if giving it later on,means the Melatonin holds him throughout the night, it will be worth it-for your sanity. If hes not over-tired cos of having a nap, the Melatonin may work better.
Try to give it to him the same time each evening. How old is he? How long has he been on it? Our ds1 has always needed higher-end doses, and as the dc grow and put on weight,often, doses of medication will need to be adjusted.
Finally, someone mentioned phennergan.It may work, but, take care, as one of the side effects is also hyperactivity-you certainly dont want that at 3am! Good Luck.

staryeyed Thu 23-Jul-09 17:19:32

DS is 4 he has been using only a couple of weeks. The pattern seems to be that he just goes through one or two sleep cycles at a time. When we put him to bed at 11pm he woke at 2.30am when we put him to bed and 9 he woke at 1.30 now at 8pm he wakes at 12.30. Is it true that melatonin effects the ability for them to produce their own becasue ds doesnt seem to be abke to get him self back to sleep at all after the first sleep cycle now.

BONKERZ Thu 23-Jul-09 17:25:19

my ds is about to start taking melatonin tonight. does it really knock them out??????? im unsure when to give it, he normally goes up to bed at 7.30 but doesnt get to sleep till gone 11pm most nights.
(sorry for hijack) am a little worried now!!!

Bigpants1 Thu 23-Jul-09 20:50:02

hi Bonkerz,
It is usual practise to give Melatonin 30mins-1hr before your ds goes to bed.It doesnt knock dc out per say, but when they first start taking it, you usually find the dc fall asleep quickly, and sleep for longer than they normally do-make the most of it!
Once his system adjusts to it, the effect is less "dramatic",but should hopefully settle him into a routine.
One of my ds,(HFA),is like your ds, in that it takes him a long time to fall asleep-the Melatonin has been useful in helping him to fall asleep quicker.Please be reasurred, that Melatonin has no harmful side-effects.
Staryeyed-as far as I know,taking synthetic Melatonin does not stop the natural production of Melatonin in the brain.Your ds sleep pattern is very disrupted. You could try stopping it for a few days, and then restarting it. Or, it might be worth asking your ds paeditrician for slow-release Melatonin-hopefully it comes in liquid form- as if the Melatonin is being released throughout the night,it may help your ds remain asleep longer.

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