Increasing in popularity is the OTC use of melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by our pituitary gland that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles. Parents hoping to help their children fall into a deep sleep may have been advised to turn to melatonin as a natural solution to help kids.
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A DR OR SUGGESTING I KNOW MORE THAN A PEDIATRICIAN. THESE ARE MY OWN PERSONAL OPINIONS. PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE BEFORE USING ANY OF MY SUGGESTIONS.
Here are my reasons and concerns as to why I will not give my children melatonin.
1. The long term effects of giving melatonin supplements in children are largely unknown.
2. Because melatonin is considered a dietary supplement, it is not controlled or regulated. Just because you buy something off the shelf, does not mean it is safe.
3. Melatonin is a hormone; supplementing with synthetic melatonin regularly could possibly cause the body to produce less over time and interfere with development.
4. It is rare that a child would need melatonin supplements unless diagnosed with a sleeping condition. The younger you are, the more melatonin you produce.
5. Although melatonin is considered 'natural', the version you purchase is synthetic and manmade.
Simple & Natural Alternatives
1. Foods that help natural melatonin production: pineapples, banana, oranges, oats, sweet corn, rice, tomatoes & barley
2. Structured bed time routines
3. Natural alternatives such as essential oils <click here for more information on essential oils
4. Eliminating technology & TV before bedtime
How Can Essential Oils (Safely) Help My Child?
Essential oils are made up of molecules and when inhaled through our nose (olfactory system), these tiny particles interact with the part of our brain called the limbic system. Our limbic system controls and helps regulate stress levels, hormones, blood pressure, breathing and heart rate. When essential oils are inhaled they can have a powerful effect!
I have found, over my years of using essential oils in various applications, that inhalation or diffusion has proven to be the most effective method concerning children in 99% of the issues they experience. My 3 children have never had any form of synthetic melatonin, instead I developed an aromatherapy sleep spray that I mist onto their beds and stuffed animals before sleep. All of my children sleep through the night, every night, for 12 hours. This aromatherapy spray has a calming and relaxing effect and has been a life saver for many parents. The spray contains only the highest quality of essential oils and pure ingredients with a 1% essential oil dilution rate (which is deemed safe essential oil application by the NAHA for infants and children).
Regular use of this aromatherapy spray will become the 'scent of sleep' for your child. This spray is also available in an ADULT FORMULA with a higher concentration of essential oils.
What do you do to help you fall asleep and stay asleep?
Thanks for reading!
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Sarah is a mom with a degree in Personal Training & is in love with all things balanced.