Melatonin For Kids: Is It Safe?

20 Apr 2021

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The most vital essential in human life, sleep and its quantity and quality are even more important in childhood. A child should sleep at least 9-12 hours a night. 

Melatonin And Its Connection With Sleep Among Children

Melatonin is the hormone secreted by the pineal gland during late evenings that helps us fall asleep. It is empowered during the night and hindered during the day [1].

For a long time, melatonin has been used to help manage sleep and wake cycles. Primarily consumed as a dietary supplement.

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Yes, The Supplement Is Safe For Adults. But Is Melatonin Safe For Kids?

Let’s throw some light on that!

Commonly known as the sleep hormone, it is important for kids to ensure they get the rest they need for their growing bodies. Poor sleep can affect their mood, their ability to concentrate, think and learn, and to create. 

Parents consider giving their kids melatonin because they need enough sleep to grow. A child’s brain is most fragile since they are born till their teenage span. But if a child has not had a good amount of 9-12 hours sleep they tend to get into a poor mood. The lack of sleep affects their ability to concentrate, think, learn and most importantly creativity skills are affected too [2].

Lack of sleep in children also promotes other diseases like child obesity and early neurological conditions. A child’s most important years of growth are from infant year to 12 years. 

Poor sleep can also accelerate the onset of obesity, ADHD and other conditions. Children with ADHD, ADD and other neurological conditions can have a tough time falling asleep, and melatonin can help with short term insomnia.

Safety data suggests that selective and safely dosed melatonin use is safe for kids with no side effects. Still, it is always best to consult with your healthcare practitioner.

Melatonin also has other benefits such as; it reduces body temperature, a signal to the brain to fall asleep. It is also used to treat migraine headaches.

Melatonin and its usage have also attracted many myths and misconceptions given the lack of credible information. One such myth is that it causes drowsiness. Fear not as this is untrue. Melatonin does not actually cause immediate drowsiness. 

Remember – take melatonin at the right time, and dose it effectively. It may not work the same way for everyone.

References: 

  1. https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2019/11/melatonin#:~:text=For%20some%20children%20who%20need,comes%20in%20gummies%20for%20children
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-for-kids
  3. https://www.webmd.com/children/is-melatonin-safe-for-children

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