Researchers have identified children with sleep disturbances in a big pediatric neurology clinic and have offered melatonin for treating their condition. 49 mothers permitted their children to have melatonin and kept diaries as well as records of the variations melatonin has created in the sleep patterns of the children. The children who are under 5 years old were administered with 2.5 mg of melatonin every night while those who are more than 5 years old were given 5 mg. If necessary the dose was increased to 7.5 mg maximum in children under two years of age and 10 mg when more than two years old. Children having sleep problems experience also epilepsy, learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders or the Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Only about 7 kids were suffering from impairment of vision.
It was determined that melatonin significantly improved nearly all the aspects of sleep in majority of the children and approximately 93% recorded essential benefits. The average number of hours of sleep which the children have for every week has increased to ten percent beginning with 54 hours/week before the intake of melatonin to 66 hours/week while using melatonin. The number of interruptions to sleep every week has decreased by fifty percent starting with 7 interruptions every week prior to the intake of melatonin to 3.5 interruptions while melatonin is being used. Furthermore, the number of hours of sleep that is interrupted can also decrease by forty five percent, from 9 hours of being awake every week while a sleep interruption before melatonin to 5 hours each week while still taking melatonin.
So far, no major side effects from the medication in any of the kids and most importantly, no change in the severity and frequency of seizures in children suffering from epilepsy. Boys and girls were most likely to respond well to melatonin. Children with visual impairments were likely to obtain success with melatonin. However, approximately ¾ of children with full sight tend to respond very well as well.