Been There, Tried it: Melatonin

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Disclaimer: Been There, Tried it is based upon personal experiences of those who have tried a particular intervention. It is NOT medical advice, nor a substitute for medical advice. It is neither an endorsement or opposition to any intervention. This is an opinion piece.

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Sleep problems were a fact of life for us – starting when Natalie was just months old.  “Colic,” the pediatrician told me, “She’ll grow out of it.”  Fast forward to age 8 and she had not grown out of it.

When I say ‘sleep problems’ I mean sleep deprivation.  Many nights we did not get to sleep until close to midnight, only to be awake for the day by 3 or 4 am.  Our entire family was sleep deprived.

The same doctor who told me that she’ll grow out it, was quick to share with us the norms — how much a child Natalie’s age should be sleeping, as though it was our fault as parents that our child wouldn’t sleep.

We tried what the experts told us:  Establish a routine; limit TV, electronics and don’t use them prior to bedtime; positive reinforcement; use lavender; draw a bath; read.  It didn’t help.

With Natalie the trouble was two-fold, getting to sleep and staying asleep.  On a doctor’s advice, we used Melatonin.

In our experience, it helped Natalie get to sleep, it did not help keep her asleep.  We also tried time-released melatonin with similar results. (We ordered ours through Pure Formulas because we did not want dyes and other additives.)

Melatonin isn’t an expensive intervention, which is a plus.  Some parents swear by it – so it does work for some people.  In the end, we discontinued use.

sleep-deprived-lady

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