Children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) often have trouble sleeping at night.Certain medications prescribed to treat this disorder can also trigger insomnia.Difficulty sleeping in children with ADHD is mainly due to decreased levels of melatonin in the body.Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland located in the brain. The pineal gland is responsible for regulating the sleep cycle.Disorders such as ADHD, epilepsy, and autism make melatonin levels below normal levels.This causes the child difficulty sleeping and make him drowsy during the day.In cases of difficulty sleeping, artificial melatonin can be given to the child to induce sleep.
Use of melatonin for toddlers: After conducting various studies, doctors concluded that melatonin may help ADHD children to sleep better, provided they are given in recommended doses.Difficulty sleeping makes the child feel weak and triggers various other neurological problems.Children are generally given about 0.3 mg or less of melatonin per day to treat sleep problems.Melatonin supplements should be given several hours before the child goes to sleep.Melatonin will also restore normal sleeping cycles and keep the child active during the day.
Side Effects due to Overdose.Melatonin taken over the recommended dose may cause some health problems.Long-term use of melatonin has the potential to make children feel anxious. This can affect concentration and make the child look confused.Some other side effects related to excessive use of melatonone and in the long term include:
• Uncomfortable stomach and pain
• Nightmare during sleep
• Mood swings
• Dizziness and headaches
• Irritability and aggressive behavior
• Abdominal heartburn or diarrhea
• Fatigue and weakness
• Loss of appetite
• Delayed puberty (seen in preteen children)
In general, however, melatonin supplements for ADHD children are considered safe, provided they are administered according to the physician’s instructions