Melatonin for Kids with ADHD: Is It Safe?-It is not a secret that kids with ADHD may have sleep problem as well. The thing is, kids need a lot of sleep. If they didn’t get enough sleep, many problems can arise. One of the ways to cope with sleep problem is to take melatonin. The questions are, can we use melatonin for kids with ADHD? Also, is it safe for kids?
Answer: Some of the children with ADHD have different sleep disorders, and melatonin is a very good idea. In the sleep cycle until natural awakening, melatonin production increases in the afternoon, this happens just before going to sleep. It’s very natural for that to happen because of the response to changes during the day to your child.
What Is Melatonin?
Before we go further, let’s get to know about melatonin first. It is always a good idea to be informed about the medication before using them. In this case, we will inform you about what it is, how it works and its availability.
Let’s start with what it is. Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. This hormone is what prepares our body to sleep. It works by setting our body’s internal clock known as the circadian rhythm.
Now, how it works. The level of melatonin rises in the evening, which tells our body that it is time to get to bed. Likewise, the level of melatonin declines just a few hours before we wake up. To put it simply, the level of melatonin produced decides when we go to sleep and wake up.
Next is availability. In the U.S., melatonin is readily available as an over-the-counter supplement that can be taken without prescription. In many other parts of the world such as many European countries, Australia and New Zealand, melatonin requires a prescription.
Does Melatonin Help Kids with ADHD?
Now that you know what melatonin is and how it works, let’s move on to another question: Can we use melatonin for kids with ADHD? Is there evidence that indicates melatonin can help kids with disorders, including ADHD?
The answer will be yes. It does help children to fall asleep. Not only that, there are many studies which indicate that melatonin may help children, especially children with ADHD, to fall asleep. Many studies have shown that children, healthy and with disorders, who take melatonin supplement not just fall asleep faster but also sleep longer.
What parents need to keep in mind is that they shouldn’t give their children melatonin without consulting a doctor first. Sleep problem has many causes. ADHD is just one of these causes. That is why it is best to consult with a doctor first before giving medication to a child.
Is It Safe?
Finally, is it safe to use melatonin for kids with ADHD? According to most studies, short-term usage of melatonin for kids showed little to no side effects. While melatonin is safe to use in a short-term, it does have side effects. For example, symptoms like headaches, dizziness, bed wetting, morning grogginess, nausea, stomach pains, and excessive sweating may be experienced by some children.
At the moment, the effects of long-term usage of melatonin haven’t been known as there is no long-term study for it yet. For now, the best and safest way to handle sleep problem in kids with ADHD is to see a doctor. There are still many things that can treat sleep problem in kids with ADHD.
I hope this helps you in overcoming your children’s problems with insomnia, you can also visit other articles about melatonin for children with ADHD.