Melatonin is a substance that is naturally produced in Our bodies that has bee associated with our sleeping rhythym. Autistic children usually have lower than normal levels of Melatonin, which may explain why they sometimes have difficulty falling asleep at night. Getting too little sleep can lead to other problems, such as additional unwanted behaviors, in an Autistic child. Also, when a child does not sleep well it usually means that the parent will not sleep either. As a result, both the child and the parents may become terribly grouchy. As we all know, an entire day can be ruined it we starting the day tired. A child who does not get enough sleep will probably not be very cooperative. On days when you have appointments with therapists or doctors, the result can be very unpleasant.
Melatonin supplements may help if your Autistic child is not sleeping enough at night. Most pharmacies an health food stores carry them. Using Melatonin suplements is usually considered to be safer than using prescription medications. Children may become dependant on prescription medications to enable them to sleep. Our bodies naturally produce Melatonin. Using supplements helps to ensure that the child’s body has enough Melatonin to allow him or her to fall asleep.
Melatonin is normally given about thirty minutes before time for bed. The lowest dosage that still is effective should be used. In most cases, one to three milligrams is all that is required for Autistic children do well. Be sure to start with a low dose. It can be hard to wake the child if the dose is too high. Also, to high a dose can cause the child to have nightmares. The child can still be tired and groggy the next day if given too much. This is the oposite of the desired effect which is for the child to be rested and feel energized.
Usually, Melatonin does not lose its effectiveness with continuous use. If it seems that it is losing its effectiveness, stop using it for a few days. The Melatonin should work fine when you start using it again.
Other benefits of Melatonin have been found for Autistic children. Not only are children more alert the next day after taking Melatonin, it also helps with anxiety and depression in some cases. This may make it possible to avoid using medications that potentially have harmful side effects.
Melatonin might be part of the answer if your Autistic child is having problems sleeping at night. You and your child need to be able to get a good night’s rest. However, if the child is taking any medications to help them sleep, you should talk with the doctor before trying Melatonin. Also, Melatonin should be given only once a day and it should be given before bed time. Do not give it in the middle of the night because that could interrupt the childs natural internal clock. Doing that might create more problems than not getting enough sleep.
If a sleeping medication is suggested by your doctor, ask him or her about using Melatonin. Using Melatonin will avoid the potential side effects of medications. Melatonin will not cause the child to become dependant on ot to help him or her sleep. Melatonin all natural, and is produced by our bodies. It may be that the child’s body just does not produce enough. The extra amount needed to fall asleep and get a good nights rest can be added by the Melatonin supplement.