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