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Parents of ADHD Children

Melatonin for Sleep

Has anyone used melatonin with their ADHD children to aid in their sleep?  The Dr suggested we try 1mg for my 7yo and work our way up.  I gave my daughter 1mg two nights in a row and both nights it KONKED her right out!  Last night she was very emotional, cried a little, said she didn’t “feel like herself” and fell asleep.  Wondering what other parents have experienced.  I guess it’s nice that she fell asleep right away… but I don’t want it to make her feel weird.


We started with Melatonin when our DD was 8, I think, with 3mgs. Never heard her say anything about feeling weird. One thing about Melatonin is that their body gets used to the dose so you have to increase it. It isn’t dangerous but yet you don’t want to over do it. Our neurologist ended up giving us an antihistamine for both falling asleep and to generate hunger. We do 3mgs of Melatonin plus the allergy pill. We haven’t had to increase.

He said that if we didn’t do the allergy med and we had to increase the Melatonin past 3mgs, we would need to stop with the Melatonin for a couple of weeks and then start it again. Something to consider if you continue to do it.

Posted by momodoodle on Apr 29, 2014 at 10:16pm

Melatonin shouldn’t be the cause of weird feelings unless it is way too much.  If you start with a small dose you shouldn’t have problems.

Posted by YellaRyan on Apr 29, 2014 at 11:53pm

1mg is a small dose compared to the more common 3mg dose of melatonin. It’s quite frequently a lifesaver for ADHD Kids/Adults. My son at that age used to beg for ‘sleep medicine’ but we’d no idea what to do at the time. Now we have an alarm clock set to go off at a certain time every night so he doesn’t forget to take it before bed. Otherwise his nights of sleep are pretty awful.

I’d wager that your daughter’s not feeling like herself wouldn’t have to do with just 1mg of Melatonin but something else. Maybe it’s being able to go to sleep at night that’s making her feel different! That’s a good thing.

Posted by Havebeenthere on Apr 29, 2014 at 11:59pm

My son is 11 and we started giving him 5mg on the advice of our psychiatrist.  It works.  In fact, it’s the only (of the Biphentin, Omega 3 and melatonin) “medication” that my son can tell is working and actually wants to take!  He finds not being able to fall asleep *so* frustrating, plus he’s got tics, so the longer he lays there waiting to sleep, the longer he’s cracking his ankles, etc.

Now that he can swallow pills, we give him the slow release type, because he was having a hard time in the middle of the night when he’d wake up and not be able to get back to sleep.  Those are 2mg each and just one wasn’t cutting it, so we’re giving him two now.

Our psychiatrist told us too much melatonin can give you really vivid dreams, but she didn’t say anything about reactions before sleep.  My son gets a little emotional before bed with or without the melatonin, so it could just be coincidence?

I’d keep trying it and see if things level out, or if she continues to be emotional.  We also do a heavy blanket, colder room, blackout curtains, no screen time an hour before bed, etc. but the only thing that seems to make a big impact is the melatonin.

Posted by Rai0414 on Apr 30, 2014 at 12:45am

momodoodle… was the stopping melatonin for a couple weeks to “reset” or “flush” the system or something?  I’ve never heard that, but I hope it’s true because I’m also slightly concerned about him being dependent on the stuff.

Posted by Rai0414 on Apr 30, 2014 at 12:47am

Well considering that small doses of stimulants seem to really affect her, I wouldn’t be suprised that 1mg melatonin would be a lot for her either. I will look for the droplets and try .5mg. Have you guys noticed that the bottles all seem to say “not for children” on them.?

Posted by Ljoe on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:10am

Melatonin was a life saver for my son. He doesnt need it anymore (new med makes him sleepy), but it never made him feel different.  We gave it to him 30 minutes before bed and it made a huge difference.

Posted by Sporty on Apr 30, 2014 at 3:22am

My son has been taking melatonin 1-2 hours before bed for 4 years. We started with the 3 mg tabs and he didn’t like to take it, said he didn’t like how it made him feel. At that point, I stopped giving it to him and he continued to struggle to fall asleep. Then I read that a lower dose might be effective, so I started halving them and he makes sure he takes it every night. grin So, your theory that it might be too much, could be spot on. We did have to bump up to 3 mg about a year ago.

There’s an article on about helping children with sleep issues and it mentions melatonin as well.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Apr 30, 2014 at 5:22pm

My son took melatonin for approximately 3 years, but only on the nights he felt restless.  On the days he had a lot of physical exercise (practice or games), that was usually enough to help him sleep.  About 6 months ago, we switched to valerian root.  The melatonin was actually giving him crazy dreams at times and he would wake in the morning feeling drained.  For him, the valerian root works much better. He wakes in the morning bouncing out of bed, ready to go.

Posted by Machelle B on Apr 30, 2014 at 5:31pm

We give my our four year old 1mg at bed time and he’s asleep in 20 minutes.  We’ve been doing this for about 6 months now and have not had to increase it It’s been a life savor for all of us. My son actually asks for it before bed, because he knows it helps!

Posted by lmark on May 01, 2014 at 4:13am

All of our kids (7, 7, 10) get 3mg melatonin each night (both ADHD and non). Asked the pedi and he said no concerns with it long term. Every now and then I will give them a break from it (weekends or vacation) just to reduce the need to increase the dose. I also take it (same dose) periodically when I am having trouble falling asleep.

Posted by FunTimes on May 03, 2014 at 1:51am

My son is 8 and I give him 1 mg of meletonine on the nights where it looks like he is having trouble falling asleep

Posted by mdasch on May 04, 2014 at 1:10am

There are some alternatives to melatonin as well. There are several “sleepy” teas on the market. Some are more powerful than others. We have tried a few with my son. He is SUPER sensitive to supplements, so a couple made him irritable and aggressive, but that would be a rare side effect. There are a couple that work well for him, when I can get him to drink tea…

That’s an option too.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on May 05, 2014 at 4:55pm

Thanks for all the responses, as they were very helpful. We actually started giving her only .25mg of melatonin and it has worked well so far. Just enough to mellow her out to fall asleep within 20minutes. Thanks!!

Posted by Ljoe on May 05, 2014 at 9:33pm

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