Melatonin for sleep issues???

Kelly - posted on 11/04/2008 ( 58 moms have responded )

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Is anyone using melatonin for their children's sleep issues? My almost 4 year old has severe ADHD. She takes stim meds twice a day and she has real problems going to sleep at night. She doesn't have a problem going to bed but she will just lay in her bed playing for 2-3 hours at least. She stills gets up early in the morning too. Her doctor told me I could start giving her melatonin at night so I went and bought some. I have been giving her 3mg at night and it doesn't seem to be helping at all. Should I go up on the dose and how much? I know that taking to much can cause the reverse effect or it can cause nightmares, so I am not sure where to go from here. Any help from someone with knowledge about or experience with melatonin will be greatly appreciated. I just want to see my baby get a good nights sleep and not wake up in the mornings with dark circles under her eyes. :( Thanks in advance!

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Trish - posted on 07/05/2011

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Melatonin is not the answer. Seek a sleep doctor. A regular sleep hygiene schedule is the first thing I'd try....ie bath everynight before bed...read a book...no stimulating video games...computer..tv etc...if a regular bedtime and routine doesn't work...then see a sleep doc. I work in sleep research. Good luck.

[deleted account]

I wanted to update you on my daughter on melatonin - I actually just took her off of it because she was starting to wake up around 2:00am (when your natural melatonin is supposed to peak) and couldn't sleep the rest of the night.  I took her off it and she's sleeping great.  She had been on melatonin for half a year.  Keep that in mind if you're finding that the melatonin isn't working as well any more.  The kid may need a break to let the body's natural melatonin kick in as well.  Our neurologist says that there's no problem to being on it long-term but taking Gracie off it was the right thing for us right now. 

April - posted on 03/10/2009

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first of all my son was on the add meds for about 7 years the highest dose of concerta that you can get. I found the most amazing thing for his severe add and fetal alcohol syndrome. It is called Add by nutrisante. The web site in www.nutrisante.ca and then it is all in french. If you look to the right of the screen on the site you will see the ADD box in a box .. click on that and then at the top right of the screen it says english. and it will translate to english for you. there is a link to find it where you are start using that and the melatonin. Oh the ADD is herbal and it freaking works. I combine it with vitamin b complex and the melatonin at night just two of the pills and he sleeps very well. Melatonin is a god send. He has been using it in conjuction for the last year with the concerta but since I found this he has been responding well. No appetite fluctuations or anything and the school is pleased with his amazing progress inthe last two weeks. Use it my dear you will be impressed. Use both of them and you will be doubly impressed. Good luck oh ya i give my step son two of the melatonin. just after supper.

Kelly - posted on 01/10/2009

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I remember when my daughter was diagnosed. I felt the same way. I was so confused and didn't have a clue what I needed to do or not do to help her. I have probably read every ADHD book at Barnes and Noble. LOL Now I feel so much better about it all. If you ever need anything or just feel like you are going crazy and need to vent feel free to message me. It has really helped me finding other ladies online that I can tell I want to pull my hair out and hide in my room and they understand and don't think I am a bad mom.

Kelly - posted on 01/08/2009

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I have always heard and read that the only time the reverse action happens is when you give them too much melatonin. Have you tried a smaller dose?

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Jenny - posted on 07/05/2011

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On the nights when we do not give my daughter melatonin she is up most of the night and I end up having to sleep on the couch with her. Otherwise she is up in her bed screaming or crying. Like I said in my other post, melatonin is natural sleep aid and it is something that your body produces. Some people and children's bodies don't produce enough of it and need to take it.

Jenny - posted on 07/05/2011

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Melatonin is a natural sleep aid. My daughter takes it so she can sleep. She has Sensory Processing Disorder, PVL and CP. My friends son takes it also. He has Autism, he takes a larger dose than my daughter. She takes it in a liquid form and takes 1 tsp. My friends son takes 8 mg in pill form. They are both 7 years old. My daughter is very small for her age and her is big for his. I would try upping the dose a little for a few nights and if it still isn't working up it a little more until you find the dose that works for her.

Theresa - posted on 07/01/2011

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My children are 18 and 22 and both grew up with ADHD....Deal with it like a parent should! Don't drug your children to make them sleep just to make your life easier! What is wrong with you people?



With that said, I can understand if you have a child with major issues and it is in their best interest, health and well being to ensure they have the rest they otherwise would not get, but it should be a true physician that recommends this, not a friend. Melatonin is NOT approved by the FDA people and is definitely not approved for children under the age of 18.

Raenon - posted on 03/16/2009

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we use Clonodine for one of our other children too...but as for the melatonin...we researched it through the neurology department at Cincinnati Children's. There are actually studies that have shown that melatonin works for children, especially those with sensory issues and ones like our little guy who produces no sleep waves. Basically, the body produces melatonin on it's own, that may be why your doctor said they don't need it...but for some of these children, they don't produce it or at least enough of it for regular sleepwaves...

Marcy - posted on 03/16/2009

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We used Melatonin with our son for about 1 year at the advise of our then psychiatrist who was treating our son for ADHD. It did not help. We are now seeing a new doc. and he has also been diagnosed with mild Aspergers Syndrome and an anxiety disorder. His sleep patterns are very irregular. His new doc. has started him on Trazedone which helps him sleep, and get to sleep much faster. He used to have trouble every single night getting settled and then he would have disturbing dreams and night terrors consistently, every night. Now he listens to the Curious George soundtrack and usually falls asleep right away and only rarely wakes up with bad dreams. He also takes Clonodine .1 mg and Vyvanse 40 mg. And on top of it all he super smart (he's 9 and in a gifted and talented program). His younger brother is bi-polar and has ODD and that can really throw him off. Oh, our new doc. and our new therapist told us that children cannot be helped by melatonin because it is something that can only help adults, something about the body not needing it at such a young age or something of that nature. I believe it because now I am seeing a positive change with the Trazedone and from what I have read it is a safe med. Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 03/15/2009

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kelly I have used this medication for sometime when my ADHD son was about 6-8 he's now13. I would only use it when I believe he needed it, he would sleep very good and sound for about 4 hours then wake up.

April - posted on 03/11/2009

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you can by dissovable melatonin it is a small pill which dissolves on the tonge. I suppose that you could put it in juice or milk.

Christian - posted on 03/10/2009

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i am so glad i saw this! I have read all the responces, and i am going to talk to my son's Ped tomarrow! i'm excited thanks!

April - posted on 01/21/2009

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OMG GIRL, MELATONIN IS A GOD SEND!!!!!! You can get dissolvable or small pill size. It relaxes their body and brain. MY oldest boy has adhdd and fetal alcohol syndrome. I actually started taking it myself for not being able to sleep properly. Then by accident i was like i wonder if this will work on him. And it did. One pill after supper and one pill an hour before bed. I talked with my doctor and he said it is harmless all it does is slow your brain down and give you the feeling of relaxed. We actually have that in our bodies anyway. That is why some people have no trouble falling asleep. QAnd others do because they don't have enough levels of it in their system. Honestly try it it is wonderful. Take a pill yourself. and see if you don't beleive me.

Demi - posted on 01/14/2009

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Hi there! I am a mom of 2 boys 8 & 7 both with ADHD and Autism. I will swear by the Melatonin!! We crush it up and give it to our boys in yogurt about 30 minutes before bed time. If one tablet is not working maybe just try to increase by a 1/2 tablet.

Melanie - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hi, I have 2 boys with autism and they are both on melatonin. They had 3mg a night but I got told from doc to increase to 6mg cause they wake during the night, This helps a lot. I was getting melatonin from chemist with a script but was really expensive. I then saw it the health food shop for a lot cheaper so I gave it ago but it didn't work. Then I got some off a friend who got hers from biomed doc and this melatonin comes from america. And it is brilliant, works better than health food shop and maybe a little bit better than script from doc.  You can get from internet www.kirkmanlabs.com You get 100 3mg tablets for $15us, it is well worth it.



I asked doc about health food shop melatonin and he said that aus has strict rules for health food shops and the melatonin that you but there has been filtered lots and it isn't as strong as what it says.



 



Hope this helps.



Good luck



Mel

Angela - posted on 01/13/2009

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I have 2 boys with PDD-NOS (age 6 and 3), both with sleep issues.  We use a melatonin spray from ReadiSorb (www.neurorelief.com) and it tastes like root beer with no bad ingredients.  He is still having sleep issues here and there, but we have been slowly increasing his dose by one more spray each night until we get to the magic number.  We have been okayed by his naturopathic physician to go up to almost 20 sprays if needed.  Currently we are at 7 and we'll see how it goes.  The 5-hydroxytryptophan is stronger than melatonin and can be considered for our kiddos that don't respond to melatonin. 

Helen - posted on 01/11/2009

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Hi, we have tried it and had no success with it. Although it has been known to work really well with some kids. My daughter too has adhd attached to her unknown chromosonal disorder and found that even with  an increased dose it didnt have any effects. My daughter has been on catapres of an evening which is a blood pressure table but with special needs kids seems to have a calming relaxing effect. You could check with the dr if he thinks its worth uping the dose of melatonin your on and give it a shot or see if there is something that will suit your child. I hope for you it does work or that you find something that helps her sleep. We struggled for years with my daughters sleep as she would stay up all night. We got to the point that we had to put locks on her door so she wouldnt leave the house just so we could get a few hours sleep. We ended up putting a tv in her room which kept her busy then finally a dr came up with the catapress. We started that on a low dose of 1/4 tablet and slowly increased it up to 1 tablet which we now find works well. We give it about 1/2-1hr before bed and it relaxes the mind enough to allow her to sleep. I wish you all the best in finding the best for your daughter. As much as i hate giving my daughter medications for our sanity it was well worth it.

Karen - posted on 01/10/2009

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Hi, my son is autistic and goes through the same sleep patterns, excepting he does sleep in a bit I was offered medication but never took at as our doctor made the comment that kids will always catch up on their sleep when they need it we get some late nights, but over time he has gotten better (he is 8 now), I know that probably doesn't help a heap... but it's another opinion.

Michelle - posted on 01/09/2009

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OMG WOW, I just joined this group tonight... My Son Ethan was just diagnosed with Extreme  ADHA and Mild MR, and its soooo nice to see Im not alone in the things we do, Im just learning and am sooo new to all this I have no clue what to do and  thought I was alone, I know sounds stupid...BUT I do the same thing with Ethan he is so wound up by bed time, he takes 5 to calm down and sleep... If I didnt the child would never sleep, seriously if I dont give it to him he is up till 5 am :(



 



*HUGS*



Chell

Ursula - posted on 01/09/2009

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Hello Kelly!  I am a teacher  as well as a mother of 4, it was ironic to see your posting since one of my student's moms was just telling me about using melatonin for sleep problems.  She has 5 children, one is autistic, 2 have ADHD, and she gives it to all of her children at night.  She says it has changed their life.  I am not sure of her dosage, but she said to me she just gives them each one little pill at night and off the sleep they go.  I will check and see what her dosage is for the kids (they 3 are all in elementary school).  I was thinking of trying it with my children, my oldest has special needs and we struggle with sleep every night.  I am glad to hear your doctor recommended it because I wasn't sure if this parent had just decided on her own to do it, she is a bit like that, or if her doctor recommended it.



I wish you luck-a good nights rest is sooo important to happy days and success at school.

Laura - posted on 01/09/2009

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I tried the melatonin thing as well and had no success with it. My  Dr decided to give my son 0.1mg Clonidine and OMG he sleeps. He usually is asleep within 15min, 30 mins tops.



 



 

Trisha - posted on 01/08/2009

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Hi, my daughter also was taking melatonin- we had to take her off- b/c she had the opposite reaction as well. I hope there is something else for these kids. My daughter has HIE and wakes up about 6-8 times a night. It has been frustrating. I know how you feel. Your baby doesn't get enough sleep/ either do we!!!! TTYL  Trisha

Kelly - posted on 01/08/2009

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Oh yes, that would be much harder. They have to understand what you want them to do with it.

Gabriella - posted on 01/08/2009

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oh wow that is lucky. But Timmy is cognitively betwee 9-13 months so I cant explain it to him

Kelly - posted on 01/08/2009

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My daughter started taking pills at about 3 years 3 months. I asked him to put an M&M in her mouth, take a drink and swallow it. She did it with no problems and after that I started giving her her pills whole. She's never had any trouble with it. I got lucky!

Gabriella - posted on 01/08/2009

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i wish my son would take pills bc he would do better on the extended release melatonin

Kelly - posted on 01/08/2009

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My daughter takes 6mg now. The doctor approved that but I believe that is the highest dose recommended. Not only for kids but also for adults

Gabriella - posted on 01/07/2009

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I am thinking of getting one of them for Timmy. my friend gave me some links to ones that don't have beans in them so I can wash them. he is a cloth chewer so I have to be careful of him chewing through too!

Terri - posted on 01/07/2009

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IT did not work for my son.. HE was HYPER like he was HIGH on it!!!!



The only thing that helps us is a WEIGHTED BLANKET!



GOD BLESS who ever made them!!! I made several for my son.. HE sleeps with a 15 lb and I have one other I made at 17 lbs.. sometimes he wants both....



HE is only 28 lbs  himself!!!



HE has MAJOR MAJOR sensory intergration Disorder and a bit of Autism...

Michele - posted on 11/17/2008

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We've used melatonin on our 5 and 7 year old boys for about 6 months with wonderful results. We buy sublingual cherry-flavored ones. We were told that our 7yo could tolerate up to 7mgs a night, but he's only taking 1.5 now. I'd talk to a neurologist before playing with the dosage too much though. You don't want to be taking things into your own hands without knowing what range you're supposed to be in.

Amy - posted on 11/12/2008

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yes we have used it... not sure how much it helped with my guy but he has other issues. Talk to the doc about how high you can go on it. Sleep issues are very common in people with ADD/ADHD (my son slept 4 hours out of 24 in 15 minute increments until we finally put him on meds when he was 3. stymulants often work in reverse for these kids (and adults too) anything you give her may have side effects.



Amy

Megan - posted on 11/12/2008

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That's awesome. I am glad it's working because believe me I know how tiring and frustrating it can be since my son wouldn't sleep without it either.

Kelly - posted on 11/12/2008

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Thanks for all the comments!! My daughter is doing so good now on the melatonin. She's taking 4.5mgs and she is asleep by 8:30 or 9 every night and she sleeps until 7:30 or 8 the next morning. She finally looks well rested again. Her attitude and everything has been a lot better as well.

Bobbie - posted on 11/12/2008

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Hello-

My 5 year old started on 1mg of melatonin when she was two years old. We worked her up to 3mg and I left it at that dosage. She has Sensory Intergration Disorder which her OT says plays a hand in her inablity to sleep. We combined that with therapy, and would give her lavender baths at night with scented candles. I must sound crazy, but I swear it worked for her. She went from sleeping 3 hours a night w/no naps during the day, to sleeping 5 or 6 hours a night and having about 1-2 hour day naps.

I hope this helps.

Gabriella - posted on 11/11/2008

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just be careful with the benedryl - the dye that makes it pink - like many dyes- are so bad for our kids and can make them hyper.



My doctor says on other prescription meds - to scrape off the coloring or wash it off.

Deniese - posted on 11/11/2008

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Hello Kelly, I also deal with a son who is ADHD and he had a hard time sleeping at night and our doctor told us to give him Benadry before bed and it works well. I know at that age your daughter is it would be safe for her. Just make sure if that is an option from your doctor. I as an adult have to take tylenol pm to sleep for my ADHD. My son also takes that if we run out of the benedryl. He just takes a small dose. I don't know if this helps, but I know it can be a struggle. Good luck to you and your little one.

Michelle - posted on 11/11/2008

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Yes we have two boys with ASD here and we give them either 6mg or 9mg melatonin sublingual. We'll give it for two weeks and then stop and see what happens. My pharmacist said to not give it for more than a month at a time. I've heard kids with ASD don't produce enough Melatonin so it's like replacing what's missing. I haven't read that myself so it's heresay but it does seem to make a huge difference.

Vanessa - posted on 11/11/2008

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My son is 5 and has PDD NOS with hyperactivity. His doctor has us give him 2 mg of melatonin (we have to crush it in applesauce) and 25 mg of Benedryl at night. It has worked wonders and I love it. He was asleep last night at 8:30 when he used to be up until midnight or later.

Megan - posted on 11/11/2008

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They sell pill crushers at like Happy Harry's or Rite Aid so I would use that or what I used to do is I had like a bowl and I would just take the bottom of a baby food jar and crush it with that and it gets it crushed up pretty good it looks like powder. So I would assume you could use any small jar and then just put some of the yogurt/pudding in the melatonin and gave that to him first so I made sure he got all of the melatonin and then finished feeding him the rest of his snack.

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2008

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Thanks Megan! Some nights she sleeps fine. Others it is like a party is going on in her room. What did you use to crush them up fine enough to not be detected?

Megan - posted on 11/11/2008

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Yes. When my son took Melatonin I had to crush them up because he didn't know how to take them and swallow them. We would put the crushed up pills in yogurt, pudding or anything smooth. I just don't think you should get the time released ones if you are going to crush them up. But we were told by the dr. it's ok to crush them up.

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2008

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My daughter will not take drops nor chew up pills. Has anyone crushed the pills and put into a liquid?

[deleted account]

we give 3mg of melatonin right before bedtime to our neartly 5 year old who gets insomnia from her lamictal - love it!

Carolyn - posted on 11/10/2008

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we've been trying melatonin as well for my 2.5 y o with ASD & epilepsy. It helps her fall asleep, and gives us a few hours of quiet seep. Otherwise, it's several hours to fall asleep & night wakings of 2-4 hours thru the night. It does however create a tolerance very quickly, the dr says we may have to cycle thru several meds on a rotational basis to help her sleep. She's a much happier child, and we're much happier parents when it does work.

Gabriella - posted on 11/10/2008

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hi. my son has autism and adhd and autism have lots of similarities-- doctor said this -- Sleep – give melatonin ½ mg each night. You can increase to 1 mg.



BUT -- try epsom salts and baking soda too -- try before and then in conjuction



Amount to put in the Bath---

Start 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons baking soda in the regular bath before bed. Can go up to 2 cups Epsom salts + 1 cup baking soda, but if you have too much wakefulness or get diarrhea, back down to the last amount before that happened.



and below is a Very short clip from the article I can email you:



What are Epsom Salts?

Epsom Salts are the same thing as Magnesium Sulfate, which is a salt made of only magnesium and sulphate (and maybe a little bit of water). Magnesium is a positively charged ion, and it binds to sulfate, which is a negatively charged ion. Sulfate is a sulphur atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms.



What is the anticipated effect from an Epsom Salt bath?

Epsom Salts have long been used to stimulate detoxification, reduce inflammation to sore muscles, promote healthy circulation, and help with relaxation and normalizing sleep patterns.



Most children respond to an ES bath by appearing happier, more relaxed. Some parents report that their children are more responsive, more “with it”. Some parents who give the bath in the evenings report that their children are able to get to sleep easier, and have a more normal sleep pattern.



Given over time, the ES baths may help reduce sensory integration symptoms. Some of this effect may occur due to benefits of detoxification, but it is much more likely to come from direct effects on the nervous system.



But how does this produce neurological improvements?

Detoxification is only a little part of sulfate's job. Most of the body's sulfate is used to form huge molecules that govern chemical traffic at the cell surface. Many of these sulfated molecules find their more enduring home in the area immediately around the cell called the extracellular matrix. [Extracellular = outside the cell] These sulfated molecules function in all cell types. However, in the brain, this type of molecule has a very special role, providing modulation, or something like a volume control. It does this by forming a geometric net outside particular types of neurons.



The sulfate in these molecules is no longer in an ionic form, like you see in epsom salts in the bathtub, but is part of highly organized structures that will attract, bind and regulate many of the ions that are involved in cell signalling before those ions even get to the surface of neurons or to ion channels.

Jen - posted on 11/10/2008

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My dd is on 20mg Adderall XR. She also is taking 6mg of melatonin at night. She too had no results with the 3mg, so they said to try the 6. She finally goes to sleep in 30 minutes of laying down, rather than the 4+ hours it used to take. She's still up by 7 every morning. The other night her cousins were over and we spaced out giving her the melatonin. She woke up in a bad mood and said she just didn't sleep well. So I know it's doing her good!

Kelly - posted on 11/05/2008

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It's 9:15 and my daughter is asleep! We gave her 4.5mg today and it worked! I cannot even remember the last time she was asleep this early. It's been at least a year. I am so happy. My baby is finally going to get a good nights sleep. Thanks for all the responses, information and support!

Jennifer - posted on 11/05/2008

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We give a sublingual (sp)?? dose of melatonin to my 2 and a half year old daughter with Autism almost every night. She chews up the 1 mg pill about 30 minutes before bed and it seems to help. The melatonin drops did nothing for her, she would still lie there for 2 hours or more. Read about melatonin on wik and you will see it has many benefits and few side effects. One note... when we gave here more than one mg, she had night terrors and was half awake anyway...

[deleted account]

Sorry! I just read the other posts (I'm new to all this stuff!) Melatonin does come in liquid form as well. And also different concentrations. We order ours from a website called myvitanet.com. We also found out that with a doctors note you can be reimbursed if you have a medical reimbursement account.

[deleted account]

I'm not sure I'll be any help. We use melatonin for our son who has a chromosome abnormality and a seizurre disorder. He takes 1.5ml about 20 min before we want him to go to sleep. It has been extremely helpful. This is our second go round with it however. The first time we tried it helped him fall asleep, but not stay asleep. Then it did start to have the opposite effect. I was quite relieved to have our neurologist tell us this is one of the few treatments that is effective without negative side affects. Maybe taking a break for awile? I wish I could be more helpful. Good luck! I know how frustrating sleep issues can be.

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