Studies on Melatonin for Kids
Several studies have been conducted to test how the introduction of melatonin for kids could assist in improving their sleep patterns. There is good evidence that melatonin may indeed be beneficial.
Melatonin may induce sleep in the daytime when endogenous levels of melatonin are low. It does not, however, produce additional sleep-promoting effect when melatonin levels are normal or adequate.
A study in 2006 sought to examine the effectiveness of sleep hygiene and melatonin treatments for children with initial insomnia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In that study, the combination of sleep hygiene and melatonin proved safe and effective in treating initial insomnia for kids. Those children with ADHD were already taking stimulant medication and the improved sleep had no effect on their ADHD.
Meanwhile, a study published in 2008 introduced melatonin for insomniac children with autism spectrum disorders. After giving melatonin for kids, parents of 25% of the children no longer reported sleep concerns. The parents of 60% reported improved sleep although still with sleep concerns. Only 13% continued to report sleep problems as a major concern.
Fifteen children with Asperger disorder and suffering from sleep problems were given melatonin in a study published in 2004. The sleep patterns of all the children improved with half displaying excellent responses to melatonin. The study concluded that melatonin may provide an interesting treatment for children with Asperger disorder suffering from chronic insomnia.