Melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced by the pineal gland located at the center of the brain just on top of the brainstem. When the sun sets, it is produced and released making it capable of regulating sleep. The synthetic form of melatonin is readily available as a supplement. According to the research at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, synthetic melatonin is beneficial for the treatment of sleep disorders and can decrease the amount of time for a person to fall asleep. Even if this is extensively sold in a tablet form, anyone can also avail of the liquid melatonin in the Internet, at drugstores as well as nutrition stores. This is good for individuals who find it difficult to swallow medications in tablet forms.
For children and adolescents, melatonin is used for the treatment of sleep problems and also chronic insomnia. Molecular Psychiatry research recommends that children suffering from certain developmental disorders can have deficiencies in melatonin production. In general, melatonin is not used for kids with garden variety of sleep problems. Instead, its usage is constrained to children having developmental disabilities, psychiatric issues or with neurological injury. Oftentimes, these kids have a hard times swallowing pills. Hence, flavored-liquid melatonin is typically the simplest method to lure the child to take melatonin.
Research regarding the efficacy of melatonin among children is basically focused on clinical populations. Since the problem of getting children to swallow medicine is existent everywhere, the research conducted in children generally utilizes the liquid form of melatonin. The research which was published at the National Institutes of Health and Pub Med about the use of melatonin in children states that melatonin enhances the amount of time for falling asleep, interruptions to sleep is decreased and duration of sleep increases. Moreover, the research suggests that daytime behavior, mood and cognition in children suffering from sleep disorders have improved after melatonin is used for treatment.
Side Effects for Children
Generally, studies have not discovered the side effects of melatonin for children when the doses are under 8mg each day. Side effects such as vivid dreams, headaches and morning drowsiness can be possible if larger doses are taken. Children who have seizure disorders could be at risk for dreadful seizures based on the study by S. H. Sheldon published at The Psychiatrist in 1998.
Melatonin should not be taken by children suffering from seizure disorders, immune system cancers, autoimmune diseases and severe allergies. Also, kids who do not suffer from neurological, developmental and psychiatric disturbances must not take melatonin since no research has been conducted on children without these problems. Healthy children are capable of producing melatonin and will not require a supplement.
Let a pediatrician evaluate your child for possible metabolic, hormonal, psychiatric and other medical factors which can contribute to the sleep problem. In order to improve the sleep habits of your child, try to explore behavioral and dietary strategies. For instance, do not allow your child to have caffeine intake after mid-afternoon, create routines for bedtimes and turn off video games and television at least one hour or so before going to bed.
Liquid melatonin can meddle with nifedipine and may have interactions with medications for blood-thinning, medicines for diabetes and immunosuppressants.
Administration of liquid melatonin should be thirty minutes to one hour before bedtime. Begin with 2.5mg and then increase to 5mg. The dosage can even be increased up to 7.5mg. Talk with the pediatrician before letting the child take melatonin.