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Melatonin May Help ADHD Sleep Problems in Children

A recent review of the literature on sleep-onset insomnia in children with ADHD published in the December issue of the Annals of Pharmacotherapy found that Melatonin may be helpful to children with ADHD who have difficulty falling asleep.  This is good news as the problem is quite common in ADHD children and may be a symptom of the disorder and/or related to the use of stimulants for treatment of the disorder.

While their are few studies on this subject and the studies that exist have some research methodology limitations, the author of the study concluded that Melatonin along with behavior modification and good sleep hygiene can be beneficial to children and teens with this problem.

Melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain regulates circadian rhythm sleep disorders such as sleep-onset insomnia, is often prescribed for various sleep disorders.  The article concluded, when given at doses ranging from 3 to 6 mg within a few hours of a scheduled bedtime, melatonin was associated with improvement in sleep onset and sleep latency in 4 studies in children aged 6-14 years with ADHD and insomnia. Adverse events were transient and mild in all studies.

Parents should discuss this solution to sleep with their child’s physician.  For more tips see Healthy Sleep Tips from Akron Children’s Hospital

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3 comments
rachel dunn
rachel dunn

I have a 6 year old daughter with ADHD and she also has a problem with falling asleep. Has been on a few medications to help with it but none has worked. Has also been on a medication for bedwetting and was told it would help as well with the sleeping, but as others hasn't worked for either reason. Not sure what else would work. Please inform me of what I can do or ask the Dr. about Thank you Rachel Mother of child with ADHD

whitney Nadene Fletcher
whitney Nadene Fletcher

I'm 17 years of age and i have sleeping problems but im no t sure i have adhd.do I? How can I ifnd out?

Dr Bob
Dr Bob

Sleeping problems do not necessarily mean you have ADHD. You should discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician and go from there.