Some research suggests that melatonin can help treat children with sleeping difficulties. However, it is best to try lifestyle changes or speak to a doctor before giving melatonin to a child.
Sleep plays an essential role in overall health and well-being. Sleep is especially important for children as their bodies and brains are still growing and developing.
Melatonin supplements are a popular treatment for children who have trouble falling asleep. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes melatonin as a dietary supplement rather than a medical drug.
The regulation of dietary supplements is less strict than for prescription or other-the-counter medications. This makes melatonin easier to access but also means that there are no clear dosage or safety guidelines in place.
Melatonin comes in several forms, including children-specific formulation, such as gummies and liquids. Because the FDA consider melatonin as a dietary supplement rather than a medication, there are no official dosage guidelines for either children or adults.
Speak to a doctor or pediatrician before giving melatonin to a child. A healthcare professional can advise on a whether children with sleeping difficulties may benefit from taking melatonin and other treatment options.
A doctor can also advise on a safe and effective dosage of melatonin for the child. They may suggest starting at a very low dose and adjusting as necessary. For treating sleeping problems, it is usually best for children to take melatonin 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
By Jamie Eske