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 supplements were proven safe and effective in treating initial insomnia for kids. Those children with ADHD were already taking stimulant medication as part of their treatment regimen and the improved sleep had no effect on their ADHD.
Meanwhile, a study published in 2008 introduced melatonin supplements for children with autism spectrum disorders who were experiencing insomnia. 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 supplementation. The study concluded that melatonin may provide an interesting treatment for children with Asperger disorder suffering from chronic insomnia.
With sleep disorders affecting both adults and children for different reasons, doctors and researchers are always looking for solutions. The naturally produced hormone melatonin is one of those solutions.
Nearly a quarter of preschool and school-aged children are dealing with sleeping disorders. Studying the applications of melatonin supplements for kids is an ongoing process, but the results are encouraging. If you are considering giving melatonin to your children, it’s best to consult your doctor’s advice.
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