Malatonin has been talked about in ADHD circles for quite some time. Eventually every parent of an ADHD child will hear that melatonin can help their child go to sleep more easily and in some cases it will even help the child sleep through the night. doctors will tell you that melatonin is a dietary supplement and as such has not been tested or approved for use with the other medications that your child may be taking. In our case the doctor also suggested that we try it, but to keep a close eye on our son during the first few weeks to ensure that there were no adverse effects.
In our case melatonin helped for a while, but lost its effectiveness after about six months. At the time we were not aware that our son S. also had bipolar disorder. Once that diagnosis was made he was given medication to allow him to sleep more easily. this was a welcome relief, as S. would push himself for days without sleep, and at the end of those cycles he was suffering symptoms of extreme fatique and sleep deprivation.
So does melatonin work? It depends on the child. As always, consult a certified medical practitioner before attempting any treatment, including treatment with supplements.
To learn another parents perspective, see this article by Heather Shockney. heather talks about her experiences with melatonin and the effects it had on her daughter’s sleep patterns.