Our bodies naturally produce Melatonin. In Autistic children the amount of Melatonin produced is not enough. They have problems falling asleep at night. Night after night of too little sleep can really take a toll on an Autistic child. They can have more unwanted behaviors. If a child is not sleeping, most of the time the parent is not sleeping either. This can make for a terribly grouchy child and parent. Starting out the day tired can ruin the entire day. The child will not want to cooperate with you or anyone else. This can make therapy or doctors appointments very unpleasant.
If your Autistic child is having problems sleeping you might want to try giving them Melatonin supplements. They can be found at most pharmacies or health food stores. Melatonin is a safer approach than using prescription medication. Prescription medications can make the child dependant on them to sleep. Melatonin is naturally produced in our bodies. The supplement just helps to make sure the body has enough to allow the child to fall asleep.
Melatonin should be given to the child about thirty minutes before their bedtime. The dosage should be the lowest that still is effective. Most Autistic children do well on a dose of one to three milligrams. Always start with the lowest dose. Too high of a dose can make waking the child hard. It can also give the child nightmares. If too high a dose is given the child can still be tired and groggy the next day. This is not the desired effect. You want the child to feel rested and energized.
Melatonin usually does not lose its effectiveness. Melatonin should not stop working with continuous use. If by some slight chance it does stop taking it for a few days, or a week. Then when you restart the Melatonin it should work fine. Melatonin taken in Autistic kids is found to have other benefits as well. The children who take Melatonin are found to be more alert the next day. Melatonin has also been found to help with some anxiety and depression. This can be a way to avoid medications that sometimes have harmful side effects.
If your Autistic child is having a problem sleeping Melatonin might be the answer. Your child needs a good night’s rest. If they are on any medications to help them sleep consult the doctor before trying Melatonin. Melatonin should only be given to the child once a day before bedtime. If given in the middle of the night it could interrupt the child’s internal clock. This could cause more problems than a lack of sleep.
If your doctor suggests a sleeping medication be used for your Autistic child consider using Melatonin. It does not have any side effects. The child will not become dependant on the Melatonin to help them sleep. It is all-natural, and our bodies produce the Melatonin. Some times our bodies just do not produce enough. The Melatonin supplement adds the extra amount needed to fall asleep, and stay asleep for a good nights rest.