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Melatonin for sleep problems with anxiety DD15 - any experience?

(30 Posts)
StaplesCorner Fri 08-Jun-18 10:09:20

Just that really - DD has developed severe anxiety and depression she has been accepted on the waiting list for CAMHS but in the meantime she is having to sleep with me and not managing to get to sleep till about 12-1am, then normally wakes with nausea and panic around 5am - she has to be up at 7.30 for school. I am at my wits end I've had so little sleep - I have left a message for GP asking if we could talk about a prescription but what - melatonin maybe, and does it work - or, as I have read, does it make anxiety worse?

(Have also posted in Mental health)

OP’s posts: |
SeaToSki Fri 08-Jun-18 10:14:28

Melatonin works really well for all of my dc. We have used it to help with jet lag, with general sleeplessness and also for anxiety based sleeplessness. We can buy it over the counter in the US and my sister buys it and ships it directly to the uk. My ds, aged 16 can take up to 3g and is asleep in about half an hour. I have spoken at length with several pediatricians and psychiatrists about it, and they all say it is one of the safest sleep aids for children as it is completely natural and has no side effects

StaplesCorner Fri 08-Jun-18 10:20:56

That's helpful thank you Sea but I have a feeling that there is an issue around parents giving minors melatonin without a prescription in this country - I might be wrong, I am on another site discussing this at the moment; I've put a call in to our doctor today and am waiting to see what she says. I am encouraged that your experience is that it is safe.

OP’s posts: |
SeaToSki Fri 08-Jun-18 10:46:07

I am sure its not straight forward given you need a prescription. I hope you can get something for your dc, and good luck with the fight against the anxiety. It is hard and a long road, but so worth it. My ds described it as like a ‘boss’ fight in his computer games with the anxiety as the boss.
Other things that have been helpful for him in getting to sleep, lavender, white noise (but only the wind sounds!) and a weighted blanket

MrsFamily Fri 08-Jun-18 10:55:37

My eldest DD (10yo) started a prescription for melatonin 3 weeks ago due to real difficulties falling asleep. It had a spectacular effect initially, although it has steadied now. I don't know what the longer term effects might be but do have some concerns about her believing she needs it to fall asleep even if she might not do.

Not sure if it would be the same for 15yo but we had to have a Paeds referral as GP wasn't permitted to prescribe it. We were lucky in that we'd been waiting for an appointment for other matters so could add it to that referral - she was offered it three years ago after a CAMHS referral (in fact, I think CAMHS might be able to prescribe, but don't quote me on that) - not sure what the wait would have been otherwise (had to wait 9 months for the referral in total).

I would say try it - if nothing else just to help your Dc gather their strength. I turned it down the first time it was offered and was all set to ask this time when it was offered anyway. Would prefer not to but have tried every strategy going (despite the well meaning advice of others on a daily basis)....

MrsFamily Fri 08-Jun-18 10:56:50

Oh, and DD also being treated for anxiety and it hasn't had any adverse impact on that.

lucysnowe Fri 08-Jun-18 10:59:54

Hi if you are on the waiting list for CAMHS you may find that the paed there has to prescribe it, so you may have to wait.

Do you know what's causing the anxiety - is it related to school for eg? some CBT type processes might also be good - this book may be a bit childish for her

StaplesCorner Fri 08-Jun-18 11:41:14

Thank you all. I am asking this on a USA site and someone there said to get 5HTP supplement as that is the same as melatonin. I will see what GP says later today but everything I have heard so far no one has had bad side effects etc

OP’s posts: |
Decanter Fri 08-Jun-18 11:48:18

OP I’ve no experience of melatonin (I did look into it for one of mumy DC) but was recommended the Headspace mindfulness app meantime, and can honestly say it worked and we’ve never had to follow up on the melatonin. Hope things improve flowers

Decanter Fri 08-Jun-18 11:49:04

mumy = my blush

StaplesCorner Fri 08-Jun-18 12:01:56

will have a look at that Decanter thanks

OP’s posts: |
Toddlerteaplease Fri 08-Jun-18 15:06:02

My friend gave me some that he got in the US, I only use it when I know I'm going to have an issue. Post night shifts or if I'm away. It's amazing!

mrsreynolds Fri 08-Jun-18 15:09:17

You can but melatonin from biovea

Worked wonders for ds2

mrsreynolds Fri 08-Jun-18 15:09:43

got him through a difficult patch...not on it anymore

butterfly990 Fri 08-Jun-18 15:13:30

here are some available on line. If you google Melatonin Sundown tablets on Amazon US you can see reviews on the gummy bears.

Rikalaily Fri 08-Jun-18 15:50:41

Ds (16) has aspergers and was prescribed it when he was 13, it really healped and eventually we were able to take him off it as it helped regulate his sleeping so well!

nooka Fri 08-Jun-18 17:55:12

Melatonin is a bit odd, you can buy it very easily in North America where it is treated as a supplement (like a vitamin or mineral) but in the UK it is prescription only, in fact it may only be available through a consultant. Very different views about it's safety.

My dd has anxiety and sleep issues and we did try melatonin for her (I use it for jet lag and occasional insomnia, bought at an airport pharmacy) but she said it made her feel very muggy in the morning. Then she was told to take a large magnesium supplement as a preventative for migraines with the advice to take it at bedtime because it would also make her feel sleepy and it really helped. She's just weaning off to a much lower dose now (five years later) as she was a bit worried about dependency but I don't believe that there are any issues with long term use.

TwilightSparklePants Fri 08-Jun-18 18:03:58

Last year my then 10 year old got prescribed melatonin to help him sleep but it made his depression worse and he tried to kill him self twice and started self harming.

We stopped giving it to him with doctors advice and they couldn't help anymore, he just had to try and cope 😕

Roseau18 Fri 08-Jun-18 20:55:07

My daughter was prescribed it by a CAMHS psychiatrist and she took it for about six months. It made a significant difference to her ability to fall asleep (she was already on antidepressants) and there were no side -effects. The leaflet given to us by CAMHS didn't list any major side effecs (unlike for the antidepressants)

StaplesCorner Fri 08-Jun-18 23:25:36

OK I got a call back from our GP saying only psychiatrist can prescribe in this area, so I ordered some of the gummy bears 5mg and will proceed with caution. She starts mocks week after next so she can't go on like this with 5 hours a sleep a night. Neither can I sad

OP’s posts: |
TheThirdOfHerName Fri 08-Jun-18 23:29:57

DS1 took melatonin during his GCSEs. It was prescribed by a consultant.

Now he's doing his A-levels and the GP has given him zopliclone, which is only suitable for very short-term use. He took it for 3 nights this week, will take it for 4 nights next week, then that's it.

cyclotherapy Sun 10-Jun-18 20:55:34

Oops...posted on other thread and realise more helpful here...


DD15 who has ADHD finds melatonin very helpful - been using it for a year

Recnetly, with added anxiety, we've added - on the recommendatin of our pharmacist - Phenergan (an antihistamine) - recommended dose of 2-5 tablets for 10 years and up. She's taking 3 and says they really help. Its an over the counter one and doesn't conflict with her other meds.

StaplesCorner Sun 10-Jun-18 21:26:28

Thank you cyclo. I was at a support group meeting today and they were recommending canabis oil, which apparently you can buy OTC too? news to me, and there I was worrying about giving her a melatonin gummy bear!

OP’s posts: |
cyclotherapy Sun 10-Jun-18 23:43:17

I've been hearing more about cannabis stuff too which you can buy in Holland and Barrett.... !

Mamaryllis Sun 10-Jun-18 23:50:22

Dd2 takes amitriptyline to help her sleep (also anxiety disorder/ OCD). Prescribed by psych though, not GP. She’s almost 15.

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