4 things that you should know about melatonin for kids

Being an adult, staying awake through the night entails partying with friends, or grinding for a side hustle you got going beside your day job or simply having a “netflix and chill” night with your other half but an all-nighter for kids is never okay.

Sleep is a perk that goes away as you grow up. If your kid isn’t sleeping peacefully through the night, it's time you start looking into it as a problem and most of the time the culprit is: Melatonin.

While more parents have grown aware of the connection, here are 4 things that you should know about melatonin for kids:

1. Melatonin is not the only sleep problem alleviator

Melatonin is actually a hormone that the brain releases naturally, to aid in getting sleep. When that release fails to happen on time, melatonin supplements could prove to be useful. In children who are suffering from chronic insomnia due to a “sleep initiation” problem, melatonin could be useful. Thus, kids can go to sleep at a proper time, and not take more than half an hour to fall asleep. This problem can often be resolved with excellent bedtime schedule and parents setting proper limits consistently around sleep. In a few cases, however, such kinds of strategies are not effective, and melatonin proves to be useful in these situations.

2. Melatonin could be useful for children with autism and ADHD

Children with such health problems often suffer from sleep issues that can be resolved with melatonin. Also, medication used for curing ADHD could result in problems in falling asleep. Kids taking a small dose of melatonin could get them to sleep, and stay asleep for the better part of the night.

3. There is small study-based evidence on safety of melatonin for children

Melatonin being a hormone, concerns are there, about how it could impact the development and growth of kids, especially while puberty. The feedback about the products seems to be extremely positive. However, a very small number of studies and subjects are there, which can prove the safety of melatonin products for children.

4. Natural melatonin release can be stimulated in your kid

As part of the circadian rhythm, the pineal glands release Melatonin when it is dark. You can do a few things that can aid the sleep cycle of your child to get restored to normalcy, and ensure that there is a release of natural melatonin when it is time to sleep. Melatonin release can be promoted naturally and sleep can happen organically when you limit the intake of snacks before bed, reduce the use of digital devices, TV etc before bedtime, enforcing a consistent sleep-wake schedule and introducing a dark environment for proper sleep.