Melatonin and Bed Time

Updated on July 26, 2011
R.C. asks from Dayton, OH
11 answers

Dear Moms,
My daughter is 4 years old and has started to wake up at night, sometimes several times a night. Up until recently she has been a good sleeper, nap time and at night. This summer we have been transitioning from a nap everyday. She is having more of a quiet time in her room on her bed, reading, playing with her dolls or watching a video... there are times she falls asleep, maybe once a week. She is active and we have been spending a lot of time at the pool in the early afternoons. She has a bed time routine that includes, bath, listening to music and then reading books before bed. We have been doing this for years with her and she has done well with bed time until the lat few weeks. Her reasons for being up are everything from she is hot, asking questions about the next day or last night she said there were ants in her bed...there were no ants in her bed. It is like her brain is not shutting down enough for her to go to sleep. I was wondering if melatonin would help her and if any of you moms have used melatonin to help your kids sleep. I have read about it but wanted to hear about your experiences using it first. Thanks. R.'

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from San Diego on

At bed time I would have a talk with her and ask her what she learned that day and if there are any questions that she has or is there something that she wants to talk about or doesn't understand. I would have a schedule in her room of the activities for the next day. She is growing up and believe it or not there are things that are going to stress her out or scare her. talk with her at bath time or before, so she gets everything out and can have a quiet mind before she goes to bed. Have her talk to an animal or tape recorder if she doesn't want to talk to you. But either way something is on her mind and this might help her. I would think hard and take everything into consideration before you put her on any medication or supplement. She is at an age where the world is a lot bigger than she thought. So just talk with her and maybe take a walk with her and talk.

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

I take melatonin to sleep, but I'm with Cheryl, it is totally addicting. Maybe it's not the melatonin itself that's addicting, but the type of sleep I get when I take it is. I can also second what Teenmom said; for me, it does help me fall asleep. It doesn't keep me asleep, however. After four or five hours I'm awake off and on again. For me, that's plenty incentive to take it. Without it I can't get more than an hour at a time, so four or five straight is great. Wow, I'm so hesitant to give things to little ones, but I completely get it when it comes to sleeping! Will she drink a little warm tea or something before bed? Maybe try that first?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I use melatonin for my son because he has sleep issues and will not sleep for days with out it. I think you may just have someone who needs more thinking and brain wearing out for a routine ... if you have been doing the same thing for years it may be getting old. How about adding a quiz about things into the routine before reading a book or during bathtime to drain her brain more and get her more relaxed? I think you are looking to melatonin too soon, it took us years to decide to do it and we are dependant upon it, I wish we could stop but that would mean much heavier medications.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I gave my 5 yr old a half tab of melatonin because he had stomach pains that wouldn't allow him to sleep. He fell aslepp quickly. I monitored him often through out the night. He woke up happy and healthy and cheery. Had a great big bowel movement and went on about his life. Had I not done that, we would've been up rubbing tummy and taking warm baths for hours. He just needed to relax and sleep for his body to be ready in the morning.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Melatonin can you help fall asleep but will not keep you asleep. My daughter was fine with melatonin (tiny amount by the way, not the 1 mg pill, we cut it into tiny pizza wedges like 1/16) but after a week she would have such vivid dreams that she felt they were nightmares. I have heard this from others, but then some folks take it nightly and are fine. Your daughter is probably just becoming more aware of her surroundings and perhaps scared, or has heard about a break-in, or thunder or the house creaking? I would discuss with your pediatrician before you start meds. My daughter has ADD and takes 2-3 hours to fall asleep so she is on prescription sleep meds. There are other meds if they can fall asleep but do not stay asleep. But first you will need to try all other methods, like a fan for white noise, a window alarm to give that safe feeling, perhaps ear plugs to eliminate those house noises, etc. Good luck, lack of sleep is the worst thing related to having kids in my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My 8 year old takes melatonin to help him fall asleep and he has no side effects from taking it. He can not fall asleep with out it. But from what I understand the drug does not stay in your body long enough to work if your daughter would wake up several times at night. My son can still wake up at night and go back to sleep by himself. But since it doesn't stay in the body long I would say it can't hurt to try it out. I would just start with a small dose at first. When my 4 1/2 year old can't shut his body down by himself I will give him about 1mg (cut from a larger pill) and it helps him wind down. I don't do this very often maybe 1-2x a month.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

My daughter is also 4 and does not nap anymore. She was waking in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep for over an hour (lots of tears!). We started 1 mg of melatonin before bed about 2 weeks ago and it has helped. She still wakes up but is able to fall back asleep very quickly and with little help. Good luck! Bed time struggles are the worst!


answers from Washington DC on

I have been taking melatonin - and while people say it's not addicting....I have found that I toss and turn if I don't take it - because my body is not producing the chemical itself....

It also sounds like she is stressing over something and making excuses...try talking to her and get a little bit more information from her...


answers from Cleveland on

My niece was on Melatonin and was fine for about three weeks, it really helped her sleep. Then the nightmares started, and it was torture for her to go to sleep. She started to fight it every night. The melatonin would make her super sleepy, but she was so scared of the nightmares that it was awful. They stopped giving it to her and she hasn't had a nightmare in months.


answers from Dallas on

Melatonin is a hormone that your body makes. If you supplement regularly, your body will stop producing it. Valerian is an adaptagen. It brings the body into balance. But I would not use either for a child without working with a pediatrician.
There was a post about this a couple of days ago. Go back and look at those responses.



answers from Cleveland on

I'm a horrible sleeper so use melatonin but I would really hesitate to start my kids on it. I know autistic children sometimes benefit bc at least some autistic children don't produce enough themselves naturally but unless a doctor says your daughter has an issue like that, I would stay away from it. It's rather addicting and I would worry it could cause the need for something stronger as time goes on. Likely as she gets older, she's just more excited about things and also, it may be a phase that passes. I think lots of kids go through these phases as they get older and more aware in a way of the control they have over bedtime.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions