Many parents have the looming question of, “My child is not sleeping! What should I do? Are melatonin supplements safe?” The first thing all parents should do is consult with a pediatrician if their child is having trouble sleeping.
“Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, has studied melatonin and children. She said that the supplement appears to have a good safety record, not only with special needs children but with healthy children as well, when used for short periods with a pediatrician’s oversight.”
Quoted from the Wall Street Journal
There are some tips on using melatonin safely for children. These include avoiding overdose and extended use. Also monitor a child who is using melatonin supplements to see how his or her body processes it.
Many parents might ask, “Why is my child not sleeping?”
There are multiple answers to this question, it could be fears, wetting the bed, ADD, anxiety, over-activity at night etc.
To understand why your child is not sleeping speak with them. If they have fears help them overcome those fears. Talk with a pediatrician for issues with ADD or anxiety. If a child has over-activity, work to create a more calming bedtime routine. Avoid screens and active games that can disrupt the production of natural melatonin in the brain which can cause a child to be too hyper to want to fall asleep. Come up with quiet games or reading books when it is close to bedtime.
Other reasons a child could have trouble sleeping could be stress from homework or anxiety about tests the next day or physical stress from after-school programs.
Help a child with their homework, test etc. If they are too stressed from after-school activities think of alternatives.
With physical and mental distress, it becomes more and more difficult for the parent to put the child to bed and for the child or even teenager to actually fall asleep. This is when using melatonin for a short amount of time to get back into a schedule of good night sleep might be helpful.
We all need sleep! Children especially need at least eight hours of sleep each night.
With out a bedtime routine that helps the proper amount of melatonin to be produced a child’s brain will not function properly. Not having enough sleep can cause problems in a kid’s school and social life. Children need enough sleep to rejuvenate their bodies and minds.
There are many techniques to help children get a rejuvenating rest each night. Both natural and chemical. Natural include making sure there is no screen time two hours before bedtime. Parents can also make bedtime routine charts that can help elementary school children feel included in the bedtime checklist.
If these little tips do not work and your child is still truly struggling with sleeping speak with your pediatrician. If they suggest a short-term melatonin supplement check out World Wide Labs for a low dose all natural melatonin option.
Source – Insomniactive