Melatonin info?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Marguerite, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Has anyone tried melatonin? How did you find it?

    I mentioned to the psychiatrist about difficult child 3 being increasingly late to bed then sleeping in late and being difficult to get moving - out of character. I realise some of this may be typical teen stuff coming in, but I need to find some way to 'switch' difficult child 3 into getting to bed early enough to get a good night'd sleep. Besides which, he doesn't have the discipline to stay up after we do, he still needs some direction from us and if we go to bed first, he can 'lose his way' a bit with time, with his routine, etc. But if I stay up and chivvy him into bed, I end up losing sleep.

    So the doctor suggested melatonin. For us in Australia, it has to be privately made up and is expensive. So I don't want to use it if it's not going to work.

    difficult child 3 has been taking one melatonin tablet at night, about 10 pm. I hoped it would help switch his brain towards sleep mode, but without sedating him. But he still seems to try to stay up just as late, and still sleeps in every morning. So am I giving it to him at the wrong time?

    Also he's been started on oxytocin nasal spray, morning and evening. It's supposed to help boost his brain's ability to recognise information (including face recognisiotn and body language). There should be no interaction.

    It's 11 pm here now, I need to be in bed because I'll have less than 8 hours as it is. But difficult child 3 is on his computer and will be there for as long as he can get away with, there's always "just one more thing".

    I need something that will help. If melatonin isn't it, then I need to save the money and cancel the order.

    So those of you with experience - all suggestions welcome!

  2. miche

    miche New Member

    We used melatonin with our difficult child, but gave it about an hour before bedtime. It did work for her.
  3. therese005us

    therese005us New Member

    I want to know more about the melatonin too. I did hear it was banned from Australia - and only available if brought in from the US where I understand you can get it over teh counter.

    I have used clary sage drops with good success. Either in the bath water or a few drops on a hanky.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Herbal options - lavender or rose oil shouldwork. Levender ischeaper and not so girly, I might make up a lvender bath oil for difficult child 3 and make him have a nightly bath. Every bit of help...

    Trish, it's not banned from Australia but it isn't available through any drug company. We get ours from a compounding pharmacist made into a long-acting form. It costs us A$74 for 100 tablets. It has to be prescribed, there is a prescription number on the label but because it's been compounded, there is no TGA number on the label.

    You may be able to get a short-acting form more cheaply, but go carefully. Make sure it has either a pharmacy label on it (from a pharmacy you know and trust, as we trust ours) or a TGA number on it somewhere. ALL drugs as well as alternative remedies sold in Australia have to have a TGA number. Anything which has a thearpeutic claim must by law have a TGA "R" number (R= Registered) while alternative treatments have a TGA "L" number (L = Listed; ie TGA knows about it, but allows its sale providing no therapeutic claims are made since there has not been any recognised testing).

    The trouble with anybody ordering drugs etc from another country, even a reputable country like Australia, NZ or the US - the person sending it out of his country does not have to actually put any active ingredient in his bottles because you have zero recourse across country borders. And few people have any way to KNOW if what is claimed to be in the bottle, really is. You might order melatonin and get powdered talc instead. Or melatonin, but 1/10 the claimed strength. Even if it has the same drug company label as availabe in its home country - counterfeit drugs are more widely available than the real things and more enthusiastically promoted. It's easier to get the wrong thing than the right one, but in the same country a company can get prosecuted for pulling a stunt like that.

    I think I'll bring difficult child 3's dosage forward.

    by the way, he went to bed half an hour ago. He began heading for bed at 11 pm, but it took him the next half hour to tell me all the thoughts buzzing around in his head that he just HAD to tell me...

    I'm tired...

  5. midwestdad

    midwestdad Lost

    Melatonin saved our lives with the guys. We had the same issue, that we just couldn't get them to bed. We've been using it for maybe 5 years. In the US, it's available at most health food stores.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Melatonin is available in the US at pharmacies, grocery stores and health food stores. It is a sold over the counter and is in the vitamin or supplement aisle at our stores. Our doctor recommended it to me years ago and it has helped both my difficult child and easy child. It comes in 1mg and 3mg strength, although the 1 mg strength didn't help much, the 3 mg was great.

  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    As others have said, Melatonin is widely available over the counter in the US.

    While Melatonin helped us fall asleep easily, it didn't work longterm for either me or my daughter A. Both of us woke during the night, in spite of increasing the dose, and felt "hung over" in the morning. We each had to turn to prescription medications for sleep help.

    But as you well know, your miles will vary.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Melatonin didn't work for my daughter, either. She has moved on to prescription sleep medications.

    husband uses Benadryl and possibly melatonin for sleep.
  9. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    We use melatonin and for Little Bear it's our wonder drug. I bought it over the counter at a local drug store and he only takes 1.5mg. I give it about an hour before bed also which does the trick. Before we started using it he would stay up very late or wake up at 3am and stay up until the next night.
  10. Jungleland

    Jungleland Welcome to my jungle!

    We use Melatonin as well, have for about 5 years. The thing is, it is really important to go to bed within 45 minutes of taking it. If not, it will actually keep you from sleeping. We try to give our bodies time off of it as well, take it for about 2 weeks then take several nights off. This gives the body a chance to fall into a possible normal sleep pattern.

    Just my 2 cents ;)
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Every doctor we have seen has recommended it for us. It makes it easier to fall asleep, and we don't wake as easily in the night. But Wiz and I DO wake up in the night. husband, Jess and thank you do not wake in the night. None of us is groggy the next day.

    I have a product I buy through a company called Vitamin World. Here they are online and have their own shops in malls. We LOVE Calm Tabs! They can be taken as pills or dissolved into a tea. They help calm the mind when it just won't stop running in circles. We use 3-4 tabs for night time sleep and 1 tab for daytime when we are spinning our wheels like Wiley Coyote.

    The Calm Tabs contain Valerian Root, Passiflora Flower, Celery Seed, Catnip Leaf, Hops Flower,and Dried Orange Peel. They can provide a standardized and premeasured amount of these things for tea. As a tea I find it to be disgusting, but as tablets they are great.

    I also use Tension Tamer Tea by Celestial Seasonings. I don't know if you have that brand available or not. All of us like it.

    When thank you was an infant we would give him an evening bottle of formula (I nursed him but always wanted him to take a bottle because if he didn't and something happened to me it would be very traumatic). When colic hit I spoke with an herbalist I trusted and she said that catnip tea would help. We had already tried the anti-gas drops, benadryl, and even that hideous paregoric with no success. The pediatrician said that catnip tea would not hurt him, so we tried it. Instead of 4 oz water we used 2 oz water and 2 oz catnip tea (steeped for 5 mins). It was like we found the "OFF" switch!

    Another online forum I visit suggests Tazo Tea in Calm (chammomile, rose petals and other herbs) for help with sleeping and even with that daytime "frazzled" feeling. It is available at Starbucks here (by the cup) and in grocery stores by the box.

    I have found Calm Tabs and tension Tamer tea to be more helpful than melatonin for me but not for the kids.

    Those might be things that help.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Another way to use lavender is to mix it with uncooked rice. You use this to fill "hot packs" as my kids call them. Just a small pillow filled with rice and herbs that you microwave for a minute or two until it is as warm as you want it. It can be put on your neck, back, really any place that heat will fell good on. It releases the scent of the lavender and is very calming. It also lasts over and over. I make the bags in all different sizes. In a pinch I just put the rice into a mateless man's sock and tie the end closed. I sewed a bunch of Christmas fabric into bags about 3 inches by 5 or 6 inches. I used a mint blend with the rice and sent them in pairs to work with husband. They make GREAT wrist supports for on the computer, esp if carpal tunnel is a problem.

    Anywho, the lavender rice bag on the back of his neck might be nicer than a warm bath - esp if he hates baths.
  13. ML

    ML Guest

    They do work for the short term but I haven't had luck with them working for more than an occasional night here and there. Currently manster is taking clonidine for tics, a miniscule amount actually and he is now sleeping regularly.

    I would also recommend trying a calcium/magnesium supplement. Don't try the cal without the mag though or he might constipate.

    I also like the stuff Susie mentioned.

    I sure do hope you find something that works for him. That's really hard.

    Hugs, ML
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I forgot to mention this. Wiz takes trazodone for his insomnia. The psychiatrist said it would help a lot. He actually gets tired enough to sleep with it. And he wakes up with a lot less fuss each day. As we started to use it daily his morning anger has settled into a few Eeyore like statements.

    Just a thought.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We have used Melatonin and Benadryl with success. If you have a difficult child, however, who does not want to go to sleep...I don't think it helps much. It is an aid but not a sedativeDDD
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We checked last night - difficult child 3 is taking 4 mg sustained release. I think it's so he gets an initial burst but not too strong, and it continues for half the night as well. This would be more in keeping with natural hormone levels (as they should be).

    I think it is helping a bit.