Is there anything worse than a child who can’t get to sleep? Okay, maybe a relentlessly crying kid whose having a temper tantrum in public. But for parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who can’t fall asleep easily, there could be a new solution: melatonin.
A new study published recently analyzed reams of data on the efficacy and safety of melatonin for treating insomnia in children with ADHD and the authors indicate it can be a safe and helpful way to improve the falling-asleep process for these young insomniacs. Here is what they found:
But hold on: There were several things about this study that would make me not just jump on the bandwagon to try Melatonin in kids:
While this research is very important in our understanding of ADHD and sleep, I would not consider placing a child on Melatonin without working with both a sleep specialist and the child’s pediatrician.
There’s a lot to be said for instilling good sleep hygiene habits in your kids early on. They should be adhering to a pretty strict routine every night that has them:
(winding down, getting ready for bed, brushing teeth, being read to or reading on their own, etc.).
If your kids don’t currently keep a regular bedtime routine, start there. The best prescription for a good night’s sleep could be in your children’s habits—regardless of any other condition like ADHD. Besides, who wants their children to have trouble sleeping before they even reach the throes of those oft sleep-deprived teen years? They need all the sleep they can get.