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Children and melatonin help please
mylifemyjoy posted:
I am having behavior issues with my 5 year old (not to uncommon) but his are extreme. We have looked in to help for him and they want us to try kid's melatonin to help him stay a sleep we don't have problems getting him to bed, it is the staying asleep. He will sleep for two hours then wake up screaming, I console him and he goes back to bed with in 20min. but that's a lot of up and down for a an am kindergartner. Does anyone have helpful info on this or this drug?
Roy Benaroch, MD responded:
Melatonin can help with sleep onset, but isn't usually thought of as something that helps keep a child asleep.

Can your son fall asleep on his own, or are you staying in the room with him as he falls asleep?

There are a few threads around this site about sleep issues like night terrors and nightmares. One was started by Dr Altmann, and the top post of hers has an excellent summary of those two common issues. Does either of those sound like what your child is doing?

If you do decide to try melatonin, keep in mind that it isn't regulated like a drug, and there's no guarantee of purity, potency, or strength. When trying these kinds of things, buyer beware.
Lainey_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi mylifejoy,

Before using a pill, consider foods that do the same thing. Some foods are known to aid sleep, eat carbohydrates, bananas, peanuts, and figs, and warm milk-based drinks. These contain tryptophans, a precursor for creating melatonin.
Warm bath and mood lighting might help with your son feeling more comfortable too.
seeit2 replied to Lainey_WebMD_Staff's response:
You might also consider if his diet is keeping him up t night. (Sorry - my "A" key is very flakey). My DD would be up screming in pain every night when she was 18 months till about 2 yrs ...after putting her on an elimination diet we discovered she had wheat intolerance, it was giving her horrible gastro pain. Once we took her off of wheat she slept the night through no problem.

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