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More on Melatonin!!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Got this info from another MDC mama who has worked for a sleep doctor. (Apparently a pretty fancy and well-known guy!)

Link:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...8&postcount=13

Her OP:
Melatonin as a Sleep Aid
I used to work for the Dr. who "discovered" melatonin treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, at the Sleep and Mood Disorders Lab at our state's med school. When I left after having DS, we had been working the past several years on improving circadian rhythms in blind people using melatonin. (If someone is totally blind - can't see light - their body gets messed up and makes melatonin at the wrong time of day, and it messes up their sleep/wake cycles.)

Anyway, my point is, you might very well be taking your supplement at the wrong time, or in the wrong dosage. When do you take it and how much?

Ideally, you want to take melatonin about 3 hours before you plan to go to bed, and take it at the same time every day. Seriously, deviating by even 15 minutes or skipping one day can throw everything off. You also need a very low dose. If you take too much, you basically get "melatonin hangover", and will still be sleepy and confused all the next day. Try breaking your pills in half, or better yet quarters. I'm guessing you probably bought 1mg pills?

The goal is to set your circadian rhythm to train your body to get tired and sleep the same time every day. It's not meant to be used as a "sleeping pill".

Hope this is helpful to you.


The OP is Gottaknit and when I asked her if I could repost this here she replied yes (obviously!) and the following:

Sure thing. We did a lot of research on SN kids, too. There's something called Smith-McGinnis syndrome (caused by a chromosomal deletion), that is similar to Downs'. SG kids have all sorts of sleep problems and melatonin seemed to really help them.

Wait, "SN" means special needs, right? Just double-checking because my pregnant brain sometimes gets confused.

ETA: If anyone wants the MD/research lab's contact info, PM me. They are always looking for research subjects, or can just offer advice on melatonin. The MD is a serious ego maniac and just loves to feel important.


Our thread is here if anyone's interested in that:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=1#post9047558
post #2 of 18
Thanks for posting this. I'll jump over there with some questions.
But I'm just curious...I give my son melatonin and he is wanting to go to bed very quickly. I can't figure out the three hour thing. Once he got some (found a part of the pill I left on the counter) and fell asleep during the day and woke up about 2.5 hours later and I've used it sort of in the middle of the night before he wakes about 2.5 to 3 hours then too. So I'm confused by the advice to take it way before bed???
post #3 of 18
I'm in the same boat as sbgrace. I give my ds .5 mg no more than 30 minutes before bedtime. Usually in 15 he is asking me to put him to bed.
post #4 of 18
I give it to ds about 30 min. before bed. Any longer and he'd be asleep in the bath tub. :

I have heard about the lower dose is better, though.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, we tried it 2.5 hrs before bed tonight and it was successful. He calmed, he stayed in his bed, he didn't get up, he wasn't wiggly in bed. It was so unusual to see!

Previously we'd give it to him 15 min before bed, a 3 mg tablet, and he would go to bed just fine. This time we're using 1 mg extended release tabs and today was our first day using it.
post #6 of 18
Interesting...I will follow the other thread too.

For the record, when DS is given a small dose, he is asleep within 10-20 minutes max. I cannot imagine 2-3 hrs before.... or perhaps it means DS is really over-tired anyhow?
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CB73 View Post
Interesting...I will follow the other thread too.

For the record, when DS is given a small dose, he is asleep within 10-20 minutes max. I cannot imagine 2-3 hrs before.... or perhaps it means DS is really over-tired anyhow?
Possible. I suppose one could PM gottaknit and ask her what she knows?
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
To update: Max went to bed 2.5 hrs after his 1mg extended release melatonin tablet. He laid in bed during the bedtime routine of prayer, hugs, & kisses. He usually would find a way to get out of bed. Water, bathroom, he needs to get something, he needs to find this, he needs to look for that. None of which are pertinent to bedtime. (Water & bathroom are done before getting in bed.)

So, not only did he stay in bed during prayer & stuff, he also did not get up. At all. All night. He slept till 5:55 this morning. He NEVER gets up that early. It wasn't even time for them to be awake! ( I wake them at 6:15.) So we got up.

His mood was pleasant, he was happy, he got dressed (a few reminders, nothing major), he ate, he got breakfast for his sister voluntarily... I was amazed!
post #9 of 18
Yeah!!!

That sounds so calm, peaceful and just plain wonderful!
I hope you've hit onto something for Max!
post #10 of 18
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post #11 of 18
Hi there,

I was considering using melatonin for my son, but was told by our natural foods guy that there is some question as to whether it is habit-forming since it is a hormone the body produces. Anyone else worried about this?

Sally
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mskgandn View Post
Hi there,

I was considering using melatonin for my son, but was told by our natural foods guy that there is some question as to whether it is habit-forming since it is a hormone the body produces. Anyone else worried about this?

Sally
I've heard this. Honestly, I don't worry about it for my SN 5 yo because whether he develops tolerance to it or not, it's ALL better than the massive sleep struggles he's had all his life! That said, he's taken 1 mg every night for over 6 months now and it is just as effective now as it was the first night.

However, for my older two (not SN), who both inherited from me a tendency toward occasional insomnia, are allowed to take melatonin but they have to tell me when they're going to take it and I'm careful to make sure they don't take it too often.
post #13 of 18
Where do you find the 1mg pills? The only ones I can find (chewable) are the 3mg.
post #14 of 18
I got 1mg pills at GNC.

http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp...entPage=family

Here's their main page, search melatonin if that link times out:

http://www.gnc.com
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn View Post
Where do you find the 1mg pills? The only ones I can find (chewable) are the 3mg.
We bought NOW brand at Cost Plus Nutrition. They're also 2-hr release, I think it says? I don't have the bottle handy to look.
post #16 of 18
Just a slightly OT question: Finch, I know you had mentioned melatonin pills that also include magnesium and calcium. Any word on the hook-up for them?

As for us here, I think that about 30 min prior to lights out is what works. Earlier than that and DS is a weepy mess who should be asleep but still needs to get in PJs, etc. I'm interested, though, in learning more about this research.

And as for dependency, I've learned through folks here and experience that you need a break every once and a while from the melatonin. For DS it seems to be after about 6 weeks or 2 months. Then we take a few days to a week off. Then everything works well. At the end of his "cycle," the melatonin usually stops working, he wakes for LOOOOOOOOOONG stretches in the night, can't fall asleep, etc. So the break has worked for us!

Be well all,
megin
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mskgandn View Post
Hi there,

I was considering using melatonin for my son, but was told by our natural foods guy that there is some question as to whether it is habit-forming since it is a hormone the body produces. Anyone else worried about this?

Sally
I worried about this too. When we first started with it we gave .5 mg every evening about 15 minutes before bedtime. Once he started becoming more settled I would only give it on school nights. Now I only give it when he is really wound up at the end of the day, which works out to about 2-3 nights a week. I cannot say enough what a difference this small supplement is making in our family life. My ds is so much more rested. His tantrums are not nearly as often as they used to be. He is more reasonable and the house is so much more pleasant since we are not so on edge about setting him off.
post #18 of 18
Please help- my child has SMS and sleep disturbance is a big problem. I would like more information on melatonin treatment. Can I get in touch with this doctor?
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