It is always tempting to help your child sleep better, and many parents turn to melatonin as a solution. However, the negative effects of such treatment often outweigh the positive ones. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what you should know about giving your children melatonin and why you shouldn’t give it to them at all.
Can melatonin harm a child?
Melatonin is a hormone, and giving it to children could have negative health effects. For example, if you give your child melatonin wellness products without being aware of this risk, they might suffer from seizures because the medication just isn’t right for them. On top of that, if you are unaware of how much to give them according to their weight or age, there’s an even bigger chance that your child will experience adverse reactions.
The problem with the timing: let your body produce its melatonin naturally.
Studies show that taking too much can lead to serious complications – but also, taking too little has been linked to sleep problems in kids. That means supplementation may prevent children who need it from getting enough natural production at key times in their lives.
And it’s not just the timing that matters – melatonin is released at different times depending on your age, so you can’t always take just one pill and plan to be asleep when it hits. It may affect us differently throughout our life span for all we know.
What are the cons of giving melatonin to children?
Melatonin is a hormone which means it can affect your child’s development, brain function and behaviour. It has been proven that melatonin affects the body of children differently than adults because their bodies are still developing.
And remember: there hasn’t been enough research on this topic yet to prove or disprove any long-term effects. As always, when trying something new – especially if you’re dealing with such an important part of your kid’s health – do what you think is best while being aware of all the possible consequences. After all, we don’t want our kids’ sleeping habits (or lack thereof) to ruin their lives later in life.
So what should I do if my child has sleep problems?
If your kid isn’t sleeping well night after night, don’t immediately turn to supplements- there are other ways to help them get their zzzs without risking dangerous side effects. For example, try building a relaxing bedtime routine instead: reading together every night before lights out or taking warm baths with lavender oil. You might also want to discuss any changes in behavior or personality with your paediatrician to see if there are other reasons that your child isn’t sleeping well.
So what should I do instead of giving my kid melatonin?
Rather than turning immediately to supplements, try changing daily habits one by one and seeing how it goes. For example, you could switch out caffeinated drinks for decaf ones or replace snack time with bedtime snacks, which can help kids naturally get tired when they hit the hay. You might also want to consider sleep training so that your child knows how to fall asleep on their own – this is especially helpful if they’ve started waking up in the middle of the night. Finally, if nothing seems to be working after a few days (or weeks), talk with your doctor about whether supplementing would be right for your child.
Don’t give up on getting a good night’s rest without trying to make some changes before reaching for supplements- and definitely do not use them long term. Sleep is incredibly important, so we shouldn’t take it lightly when our kids aren’t sleeping well – but there are better ways of helping.