Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
For a few years now I have heard through the autism community that Melatonin is used as a sleep-aid for children. I never really considered it, thus I did not follow the conversations entirely surrounding this supplement. Over a year ago my non-verbal son started taking antipsychotic medications with great results for his behaviors and the sleep routine was cut to nil. Prior to medication it would take almost two hours for him to fall asleep.
A few months ago I noticed sleep problems in my now nine-year old son, who is also on the autism spectrum. He shows many signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and I considered medication for him as well, until we got stuck with insurance issues and finding a child psychiatrist.
I did some research and decided to take the plunge on the Kirkman Chewable Melatonin 1 mg chewable tablets. The bottle contains 100 pea-sized tablets. The expiration date is listed on the white label on the bottle, which is 03/06. The white lid is child proof, with the open and push down option. A tablet should be taken one hour before bedtime. I give my nine-year old his tablet about thirty minutes before and he is ready for bed quickly.
The first time he took a tablet he went to sleep fifteen minutes earlier than usual. The 3 mg bottle containing 100 tablets as well is available for $14.00. The 1 mg container we have was purchased at $7.00. I store the bottle in a cool, dry place and out of reach of children. This can be taken under the tongue as well to dissolve or just chew it as my son does.
Each capsule contains one mg of Melatonin. Other ingredients include sorbitol, mannitol, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate and natural menthol flavor. Kirkman Chewable Melatonin 1 mg chewable tablets do not contain sugar, soy, acacia, wheat, milk, yeast, casein, gliadin, gluten or artificial colorings or flavorings.
This is suited for a child on the gfcf diet and the feingold diet. The recommended dosage is one tablet for both children and adults, unless advised differently by a Physician. I did let our Pediatrician know that my son was taking the Melatonin so she could mark it on her chart and get her feedback. She said it was fine for him to be taking to promote sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted in the human body by the pineal gland. It is manufactured in that gland from seratonin. It is believed that manufacturing and secreting melatonin is the sole function of the pineal gland.
My son has no qualms about chewing the Kirkman Chewable Melatonin 1 mg chewable tablets. He was taking one tablet Sunday through Thursday nights, with a break on Friday and Saturday, but has since gone back to taking this nightly.
He says they kind of taste like medicine, but he does not need to down the tablet with water immediately. He much prefers the Melatonin over other choices. This is a child that enjoys drinking the pink antibiotic medicine for kids that needs to be refrigerated.
Several months ago my non-verbal son grabbed one as I was giving it to his brother. He chewed the tablet and continued wanting one each night for several weeks. He stopped requesting the tablets as suddenly as he started taking them. There were no ill effects with his regular medication of Geodon. He still went to sleep at the usual time with no change in his wakeup time.
I have shopped at various Vitamin stores located at Shopping Malls in search of Chewable Melatonin to no avail. One day when asked while shopping at Trader Joe's if I needed help with finding anything, I decided to ask about Chewable Melatonin. Turns out they sell it - so you can check for your nearest Trader Joe's location. The places to find Chewable Melatonin online are at Kirkman Labs or ebay They are now available at amazon for a cheaper price.
The bottle states these are peppermint flavored.
Melatonin Info from Wellfx.com
USA Today article on Melatonin - March 3, 2008
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.