Melatonin For Kids: What It Is & All You Need To Know!

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melatonin for kids

Melatonin is prescribed to kids who suffer from insomnia, or any other kind of sleeping disorder. Melatonin is also prescribed to children who are not able to sleep after jet lag. This article is all about melatonin for kids. In this article, we will see what is melatonin for kids. Is it effective? Is it safe? What else should a parent know about melatonin for kids? If you have these questions in mind, then do not worry because we have got you covered. Scroll down to find the answers to these questions.

What Is Melatonin for Kids?

Melatonin is nothing but a hormone supplement that can help with sleeping disorders, such as insomnia. Otherwise, if your kid is suffering from massive jet lag and they are not able to sleep for a couple of days, they ought to be prescribed melatonin. 

Melatonin is a synthetic drug that acts as the hormone of our body that helps us to fall asleep. That is, melatonin helps us to keep our circadian rhythm in check. You may be wondering, what is the circadian clock? Well, circadian rhythm is the 24-hour internal clock in our brain that regulates cycles of vigilance and lethargy by replying to light changes in our environment. Usually, in our body, melatonin is secreted during the evening and it becomes effective by night. In the morning, melatonin is neither secreted nor effective. 

In short, if your kid is having difficulty falling asleep, synthetic melatonin drugs can be quite useful. Synthetic melatonin drug acts as an artificial melatonin hormone and it induces a hypnotic effect in our central nervous system (brain). 

How Much Melatonin Supplement Should a Kid be Prescribed?

Melatonin should be consumed after a prescribed record from a medical practitioner or a doctor. Other than that, consuming melatonin should start from the lowest dosage. 80% of the children usually respond to very low doses (like 0.5 mg to 1.5 mg) when they are taken at least half an hour to one and a half hours before bedtime. In special cases, like if the kid suffers from ADHD, he should take 3 mg to 6 mg of melatonin. The best option is to get a prescription for the dose and timing of the melatonin supplement from a medical professional, such as a doctor or a pediatrician. 

Is Melatonin Really Effective for a Kid to Fall Asleep?

The short answer to this question is: Yes.

Melatonin can be quite helpful for children who have ADHD or are suffering from other sleeping disorders, such as insomnia. Melatonin is also useful for children going through jet lag. Melatonin for kids can be used for short-term effectiveness for children who cannot sleep. Various children are not able to sleep because of certain neurological disorders such as autism. But one thing you must keep in mind is that melatonin for kids is not beneficial for long-term use. 

Why Does a Kid Have Difficulty Falling Asleep?

A kid can have difficulty falling asleep due to various reasons such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome 
  • Anxiety
  • Neurological conditions such as autism 

There can be various other reasons as to why a child has difficulty falling asleep

Is Melatonin Actually Safe for Kids?

A parent is always worried about the effects and side effects of any kind of drug that is induced in their child. However, there are various mixed signals all over the web on whether melatonin is safe or not. So here the actual question is: Is melatonin actually safe for kids?

In short, melatonin should only be used after getting a proper prescription from a medical practitioner. Other than that, when used correctly (correct dosages in correct timings,) melatonin is likely to have fewer side effects. Side effects of melatonin supplement include:

  • Headache
  • Mood disturbances 
  • Increased wetting of bed for little children
  • Nightmares 
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings 
  • Irritated behavior in the morning

When Melatonin should not be Used?

A child can suffer from various conditions, in which the use of melatonin should be avoided at any cost. Let us see the various reasons for why melatonin should not be used in kids:

First and foremost, melatonin should not be given to children younger than three years of age. This is because at this age, the central nervous system, that is the brain of the baby, is still developing and it will not cope well with the drugs used. In short, melatonin will affect child development. Even if at that time the melatonin supplement does not show such side effects, it can also hamper development during puberty. 

If the child is suffering from a minor anxiety, for example, if he has a school test. And because of that he is getting insomniac, he should not be given melatonin because this type of anxiety is situational. That means it changes when the situations amplify, and the anxiety dissolves eventually.

If the child is suffering from short-term insomnia, for example, cannot sleep due to a stomach infection, at these times melatonin should be avoided at any cost. 

Some Well-known Melatonin for Kids

Choosing the right melatonin for kids can be confusing because you have to see the pros and cons too, before choosing a product. And since children are prone to various side effects, parents must be careful while buying the perfect melatonin for their kids. 

Nested Natural Luna Kids 

  • Dose: 0.2 mg
  • Type: chewable tablets 
  • Recommended age: 4 years and older 

Arguments pro:

  • Vegan 
  • Third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Very low dose
  • Non-GMO
  • No artificial sweetener (natural sweetened)

Cons:

Contains herbs that do not have much information about in the medical field

Not suitable for kids under the age of 4

It contains xylitol which causes upset in the stomach when consumed frequently

Vivanaturals Melatonin Gummies for kids 

  • Dose: 1 mg
  • Type: gummy candies 
  • Recommended age: 3 years of age and older 

Argument pro:

  • Vegan
  • Low-cost
  • Third-party tested
  • Gluten-free and certified
  • No artificial sweetener 
  • Non-GMO

Cons:

  • It contains a higher dose of melatonin unlike other drugs 

Nature’s Night Kid Plant-based Melatonin

  • Dose: 1 mg
  • Type: tablet
  • Recommended age: 3 years of age or more 

Argument pro:

  • Gluten-free
  • Free from various allergens 
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO
  • Sugarless 
  • Easy to avail 

Cons: 

  • It is not the third-party tested 
  • It is not suitable for kids under the age of 3
  • This drug contains mannitol, which is alcohol sugar. This can cause stomach upset if consumed in large amounts

Conclusive Insights 

We would like to conclude this blog by saying that melatonin for kids is not just basically candies that you can pop into your mouth if you cannot sleep. You should have a proper medical prescription from a registered medical practitioner before getting melatonin for your kid. We hope you found this article relevant to your search.

Thank you for reading! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is it safe to give my child melatonin?

Ans) Melatonin must be prescribed to patients above the age of 3.

Q2. Should a child take melatonin every night?

Ans) No, otherwise he will get used to it.

Q3. Does consuming melatonin make kids sleepy?

Ans) Undoubtedly yes. 

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