Melatonin supplements are readily available as a single ingredient sleep aid supplement or as part of a combination of different ingredients.
Turning to sleep aid medication - whether it is prescription, over the counter or considered a "natural" sleep aid - is all very tempting after just a few nights of restless sleep, let alone several weeks, months or years of troubled sleep.
Melatonin benefits our sleep wake cycle and helps to induce sleep when the sun goes down. It known as the "sleep hormone" because the body naturally produces it in response to darkness or dim light.
Light enters the eye which then provides a the signal of light to your brain, specifically the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus then sends signals to the pineal gland to release the hormone melatonin.
Melatonin safety is still being debated. As with any drug or supplement, it is better to have the body make the amount of melatonin that is needed for good sleep.
Just because it is considered "natural" does not mean it is safe. It is a hormone and in fact this sleep aid supplement is not even available over the counter in Europe.
Because it is not considered a drug in the United States it is not under the regulation of the Food and Drug Administration. Melatonin Safety
If your child is having trouble sleeping or experiencing insomnia, you may be tempted to buy melatonin supplements as a sleep aid. Indeed there are children who do have true medical sleep disorders and taking any type of sleep medication should be discussed with their pediatrician or specialist.
However, sleep should come natural for children and when it does not, it is better to discover the cause(s) of the sleep problem. Taking melatonin or any other sleep aid is only treating the symptom without finding out or dealing with what is contributing to the child's inability to fall asleep.
Sometimes it can be as simple as cutting out all sodas with caffeine or removing all electronic devices from the bedroom that will help your child sleep sound. Perhaps the child is picking up on stress at home or relationship problems with parents.
Find out more about Melatonin for Children
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