Melatonin for Children: What You Need to Know

What is melatonin? 

More people are discovering the benefits of this sleep-promoting hormone. In fact, some studies have suggested that children and adults can benefit from low doses of melatonin, too. A good dosage range for children is between.5 and 1 mg, taken one to two hours before bed. Increase dosages every few days, if needed. For young adults and teenagers who experience a delayed sleep phase disorder, melatonin supplements may help. Despite this, melatonin is not recommended for a wide range of sleep disorders. In addition, a melatonin supplement may not help people suffering from jet lag, which is a sleep disorder caused by traveling across time zones.

What are the benefits of melatonin for children?

If you’re concerned that your child isn’t getting enough melatonin, you may want to consider giving them a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body in large quantities. When it is produced, it is known to help children fall asleep, allowing them to wake up refreshed and ready for the day. Taking melatonin supplements is a good idea, especially for young children. Many families struggle with bedtime, especially young children. Not getting enough sleep will affect their health, learning ability, and eating habits. A melatonin supplement may be just the solution you need to help your child sleep.

Are there any side effects of melatonin for children? 

While many studies have shown melatonin to be effective for reducing insomnia, it is important to discuss the proper dosage with a physician. The pediatrician will want to rule out any serious health problems before prescribing melatonin for children. The doctor will also help determine when to give the supplement to your child, since melatonin is best taken 90 minutes before bedtime. Although melatonin side effects in children have no known long-term effects, many studies conducted on it have only looked at short-term use. Therefore, taking it for a short period of time is safe.

How long should I give my child melatonin? 

You can start giving your child a single dose of one milligram 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. As your child gets older, you can gradually increase the dose by one milligram every five days or so. If your child has trouble falling asleep, you may try a lower dosage or even a morning dose to see if your child’s sleep onset issues improve. While melatonin may help your child sleep, it should not be your first choice for treating insomnia. It can interfere with other medications your child is taking, so it’s important to check with your child’s pediatrician before giving your child melatonin. 


There are several risks associated with melatonin for children. Children should not take melatonin on their own without first trying behavioral measures, such as delaying bedtime to coincide with their actual fall asleep time. Additionally, melatonin will not work if your child is using electronic devices before bed. Light-emitting devices will suppress the body’s natural release of melatonin.

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