View Full Version : Does melatonin really work with kids?

11-17-2011, 10:26 PM
I'm at my witts end. DS used to be the worlds best sleeper. Now that we have him on meds bedtime and going to sleep are an absolute nightmare. He is currently up screaming GA GA at the top of his lungs (for the last 30 minutes). He simply cannot function enough to stop. This is so new to us. We medicated him (ADHD) so he could function in school and in after school activities (everyone has told us how much more focused he is and that he stays on task and does not need nearly as much redirection). Meanwhile, bedtime is HORRIBLE. He normally would be in bed at 8 pm (he gets up at 6:30 to get to the bus). It's now 9:30 and he is WIDE awake (and he thinks it's funny to keep his sister up who is really tired). So, tomorrow I will have 2 very cranky kids b/c neither got the sleep they needed.

I want to start DS on melatonin to help him relax and fall asleep (actually I would prefer to give it to him right after bath to calm him enough so that he can get through teeth brushing and using the toilet without going through a wall or having a massive meltdown.

I feel like I traded 24 hours of out of control behavior for a few hours a day of behavior that makes his out of control behavior look like he was comatose. HELP

Dr C
11-17-2011, 10:29 PM
Definitely give melatonin a try. Doesn't work for everybody but it might help for you!

11-17-2011, 10:49 PM
Yes. Melatonin works wonders for my son to get to sleep. I give him 2 sublingual tablets (1mg each) about 20 minutes before bed. It helps him settle down and fall asleep. Otherwise DS would be up half the night singing and talking to himself or crying about not wanting to sleep.

Melatonin is great for getting him to sleep, but it does not keep him asleep. So we still have a lot of issues with DS waking up several times a night crying to be held. DS craves deep pressure, so I ordered him a weighted blanket and it just arrived today. We are hoping this helps DS stay asleep and provides the pressure input he needs.

11-17-2011, 10:55 PM
Definitely try it. Melatonin has saved my sanity at bedtime with my DD.

11-18-2011, 07:45 AM
I certainly hope so! I just ordered some liquid melatonin for DS1 since we are starting Wellbutrin next week. The last 2 anxiety meds we tried ( and failed at) gave him total insomnia even with him taking it in the morning. Good luck!

11-18-2011, 07:48 AM
Personally, I would not try melatonin without first speaking to his prescribing dr. He needs to know about the issue and perhaps some type of an adjustment can be made (ie. taking the med even earlier in the day so that it wears off before bedtime). This is what you are paying the dr for...to help figure out the med situation to your satisfaction.

11-18-2011, 02:10 PM
I agree with Gina--best to check in first. However, we have been using .25 mg (yes, just one-quarter of a tablet) with 4 y.o. DD beautifully. Helps her relax enough to fall asleep.

11-18-2011, 08:40 PM
Our developmental pediatrician recommended it, I am just skeptical that my DS will cooperate and actually take it.

11-19-2011, 01:39 AM
DD1 use to be a great sleeper too and then all of a sudden about a month before DS was born she started having trouble going to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up very erly. After about a year and some improvement but still crying and screaming at bedtime we decided to try it. It's been great. Wish I wouldn't have waited a year. We started with one, 1 mg pill. just in the past month went up to 2 pills because of the crying/screaming again. When we started it took a few weeks to see results.

11-19-2011, 02:00 AM
I suggest going through whoever is managing meds for your son first. I've sen it really help some kids. I take it, too. But it is a real med to be adding on top of the other things, even though it's unregulated. (it is unregulated, correct?). Anyway, your persciber might have strong opinions as to dose or brand. Or maybe want to adjust the other med timings/dose.

But I bet you've already considered these points - you seem like a very smart and thoughtful parent. Wow, its great that your boy is already seeing those other good improvements! That's huge.

11-19-2011, 04:40 PM
I emailed the devel ped yesterday. I should hear back by Tuesday as to what she recommeds we do. Thanks everyone.

11-21-2011, 02:14 PM
Just got the Ok for 1 mg melatonin 1 hr before bed. Going to try it tonight.

11-21-2011, 06:41 PM
Good luck!

11-22-2011, 03:45 PM
You should definitely clear melatonin use with your pediatrician, to make sure that it's okay interacting with the other medicine. Melatonin has worked wonders for my DS, who's now 4. We've been using it for about a year. However, be careful about OTC liquid melatonin since I believe it contains alcohol. We use a liquid one compounded at the local pharmacy that does not contain alcohol. I've heard good things about the sublinguals too.

DS used to stay up until 10-10:30pm before melatonin use. Makes for very tired, full-time working parents! The one thing I did notice is that after I give him melatonin (1 mg), it only takes about 30-45 minutes for him to fall asleep but often during that 30-45 minute period he actually gets more grumpy/irrational before he goes down. I think it just overttires him.

11-23-2011, 05:22 PM
I'm late to the thread, but just saw that you got the okay for the Melatonin.

If your DC is fussy about pills, they make a liquid version too. We buy ours (I think it's called "Natrol" at Fred Meyers/Kroger in the natural food section. It's vanilla flavored. Definitely as an aftertaste "kick" to it.

Be careful about giving it too early. It needs to be around 30 minutes before sleep is expected. It's okay to give it at bedtime (that's what we do--pajamas, teeth, water and melatonin pill, then prayers, hugs, and lights out). My sister gave it to her daughter at the beginning of a long bedtime routine (water and melatonin, shower, teeth, chapter in book, song, prayers, 12353 hugs, lights out), and she would get frustrated that the melatonin didn't work. Yet, when her daughter was here with me, the melatonin worked wonders... because I gave it to her on the way to bed, knew when it would take effect, and had her ready to go when the melatonin hit.

If you use it regularly, the body can build up a tolerance to it. My 7.5yo is now on 3mg. We've been using it for almost 3 years now.

11-30-2011, 09:15 PM
How is it going? We are dealing with this with DS1...

01-03-2012, 02:00 PM
DS is taking 1mg. of the GNC sublingual melatonin each night, with the blessing of his Ped. It works great! Otherwise, he's awake at full speed until 3am.