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Melatonin for Kids
February 28, 2013

Melatonin for Kids

Does your child have trouble winding down at night? Does it take him/her a while to fall asleep, which means less hours of total sleep and perhaps waking up sleep deprived? Rightly so, many parents are concerned about this night time wakefulness and wonder what they can do to "hurry" the child to sleep.

A fairly new phenomena among these concerned parents is to give their child melatonin before bedtime. In response to this there are many different companies that are now manufacturing these pills in chewable forms, liquid drops and in child-friendly doses.

But is it safe and is it wise to resort to pill taking for a good night's sleep?

Here is what Dr. Marc Weissbuth the author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

"Melatonin supplements should not be given to babies or young children to make them sleep better; there is no evidence that it is safe."

And Dr. Michael Breus, known as the Sleep Doctor and the author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health provides several cautions on taking melatonin and one is:

"It should never be used with children younger than 18."

That's not to say melatonin isn't important for healthy sleep, it's just that it is possible to help your child's body produce this hormone in response to certain daytime and night time activities. As a registered nurse, I see this mindset over and over .... what pill can I take for (any condition) quick relief. Taking a pill doesn't get to the root cause. In healthy children, a melatonin deficiency or ability to process it is not the problem. Find out what you can do as a parent to kick start your own child's production of this sleep hormone for a good night's sleep for your child and you.

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