Melatonin Hype Dietary Supplement!

Published Date: 06.29.2024

Melatonin Hype!

Can I use melatonin to help my child sleep?

Melatonin is a natural, hormone-like substance produced by the brain. It is released naturally at night and tells the body it’s time to sleep. Melatonin is sold as a sleep aid. It can be found over the counter as a dietary supplement, which means you can buy it at the pharmacy or a health food store, without a prescription. However, this also means that it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is available in different formulations and dosages. There have been many reports of Melatonin poisoning in children as formulations can have dosages that vary.

While melatonin plays a role in sleep, it is NOT a sleeping pill, and it should only be used after a discussion with your pediatrician. I do not routinely recommend melatonin to help a child sleep.

Melatonin may help children with some neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Its use in these circumstances should be carefully monitored by your child’s pediatrician.

Good sleep habits are the best medicine to help your child sleep at night. Consistent routines starting at a young age will help your child establish good sleep hygiene.

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