Melatonin use in children…is it safe? Effective? Necessary? You be the judge. This topic has been the subject of debate in the world of parenting for so many years. The lack of research on the long term effects it has on young children is my main concern. I will explain what exactly is the melatonin hormone, and what supplemental melatonin is meant to be used for. You can then decide for yourself how you feel about it!
When children don’t sleep well, we as parents of course want to do whatever it takes to help. Naturally, when you think you’ve tried it all, melatonin might not seem like such a bad idea! After all it’s all natural right? Sleep deprivation in my opinion is one of the worst forms for torture for both parents and children.? So why not give it a shot if that’s the last thing that hasn’t been tried yet? I encourage you to do your own reasearch, before making that decision.
Allthough I wish there was, there is no “magic pill” on the market to make sleep happen for children. ☄☄☄To willingly fall asleep at night, and stay peacefully asleep throughout the night, children need 1 thing and 1 thing only. ***To have learned the internal skill of sleeping fully independently*** ☄☄☄ This is a learned behavior, NOT a milestone. So what does that mean? Yes… YOU can actually teach your children how to sleep well without relying on anything but themselves!! How awesome is that?!! Every healthy baby, toddler or child on this planet is fully able do this. You just have to make the decision to teach them how, which also happens to be my passion!
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythms, and is produced by the brain’s pineal gland. Inactive during the day, the gland begins releasing melatonin as darkness sets in and increases production through the night, encouraging sleep. Melatonin levels dip towards sunup, signaling to the body that it is time to wake up. Artificial light can suppress melatonin production, depending on the wavelength. In this day and age, electronics play a huge part in why poor sleep has just become “the norm”! We prevent our own bodies from producing the melatonin levels it needs to sleep well by watching TV before bed, playing on our phones…and the list goes on.
Supplemental melatonin is useful when trying to trick the body into thinking it’s time to sleep. This is useful when dealing with jet lag, and travelling to different time zones. ??Our body’s are programmed to sleep and be awake at certain times on a 24hr clock (circadian rhythms). When you travel, and have to make a drastic change in sleep patterns, supplemental melatonin can assist in helping you fall asleep initially since you’re trying to fall asleep out of line with your body clock. ? When supplemental melatonin is given to children at bedtime, sure it might assist with initially falling asleep….but then what? The night wakings still occur as the supplemental melatonin wears off. In my opinion that means it wasn’t effective at all. What I help parents achieve is not only a permanent fix for bedtime battles, but also how to handle the subsequent night wakings to make them stop completely.
☇“The American Academy of Pediatrics and the NIH both discourage long-term melatonin use for children due to a lack of research into its safety and effectiveness. Children under 3 should not take it at all, and ages 3 to 5 only under a doctor’s close supervision” ☇Dr J. Mindell
Multiple animal studies have found that supplementary melatonin affects the reproductive, cardiovascular, immune, and metabolic systems, according to Babysleep.com, a website of the Pediatric Sleep Council, an organization of international sleep experts.
All that being said, if sleep has become a problem in your household, and you’re out of things to try… I would love to help. My job is to help parents by giving them a fully customized plan specific to their child’s needs and situation. Not sure if I can help? Let’s chat and then you can make that decision. Take advantage of my no obligation free 15 min evaluation call. This gives us a chance to talk about the issues you are having, and I can then explain how I would guide you and your family to a peaceful night’s rest! Follow this link to book your call with me today! https://www.timetrade.com/book/WBVGH