Melatonin, Sleep Enhancement, and ADHD
Melatonin is also a very powerful antioxidant. In one study, melatonin was 60 times more effective than Vitamin C or water-soluble Vitamin E in protecting DNA from damage. Preliminary evidence suggests that it may help strengthen the immune system.
There are numerous claims and theories concerning all the things that melatonin may do and as a result it has become one of the popular life extension and life enhancing supplements that are currently available on the market today.
Melatonin is purported to be one of those miracle substances that has a hand in everything. This may be due to the fact that during the height of the antioxidant craze, Melatonin was found to be a more powerful and more universal antioxidant than both vitamin C and vitamin E. Whatever the reason, Melatonin ostensibly plays a role in numerous health conditions.
Here is a partial list:
Since a lot of evidence for many of these claims is rather light and since I am not trying to sell you melatonin supplements, I am going to focus only on its role in sleep enhancement.
Melatonin may be able to help these children. Since it is the primary chemical in the body that helps to induce sleep, children who suffer from insomnia often find that Melatonin restores their normal sleep cycle and helps them to be more awake and alert during the day.
How to Take It
The best approach for any condition is to begin with very low doses and slowly add more until you get the effect that you are seeking.
In children, it is best to start with a dose of about 0.3 mg/day or less. Although current research suggests that even doses as high as 10 mg are perfectly safe, it is best to proceed with caution.
In adults, 3 mg is usually a safe starting dose and you can increase it or decrease it as you see fit.
The only consistent side effect of high doses has been drowsiness and a slower reaction time.
Other common complaints include:
These side effects were in healthy people. We also don't know how melatonin may affect people suffering from disease.
Possible Drug Interactions
If your child is taking any of these things, you should consult with his doctor before giving Melatonin.
Also, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can all diminish levels of melatonin in the body while cocaine and amphetamines may increase melatonin production.
Anthony Kane, MD
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Anthony Kane, MD is a physician and international lecturer. Get ADD ADHD Child Behavior and Treatment Help for your ADHD child, including child behavior advice, information on the latest ADD ADHD medication help, and help with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Sign up for the free ADD ADHD Advances online journal. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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