(NaturalNews) Having children who develop problems at night can wreck havoc on the sleeping patterns. According to the Canadian Sleep Society, a massive 25 percent of young children have difficulties settling and falling asleep. When they are asked to sleep, they cause a lot disturbance. Research has shown that many parents, especially mothers, are at risk of getting long term insomnia. The worst part is that some of the remedies these parents apply are not as effective as they should. For those looking for a perfect gift for their young ones, scientists have discovered a new sleeping pill for children.
The melatonin magic pill
Melatonin is a drug that is marketed as a natural sleep aid, and has become an instant hit among many parents. Medically this drug has actually been classified as a hormone of darkness that forms part and parcel of the sleeping cycle, and has been used for over two decades. In fact, some articles in the Annals of Neurology in 1991 have shown that that this sleeping aid corrected the sleep-wake-up cycle of many blind children. When melatonin is consumed orally, it is not actually absorbed extensively. Additionally, the responses on different individual might vary.
Parents who have been looking for a sleeping pill for their young children can buy melatonin supplements at pharmacies or health stores. It will help in overcoming frequent insomnia. It is recommended that such parents get medical advise before purchasing the drug.
Long term use
However, long term use of this drug is not advisable. That is according to Judith Sleep, an expert who is also the director of sleep medicine at Children's National Medical Center in Washington. Its long term use has been found to have a number of negative health effects on children.
Effective among children with autism
Melatonin has also been proven to be an effective remedy for children who are having a problem falling asleep because of autism, or any kind of cerebral palsy. Combined with good behavioral strategies, this drug can make children fall asleep and that could be one the reasons why the demand for melatonin has risen sharply over the last few years. As a matter of fact, in 2012 alone, the sale of this sleeping aid was put at well over $200 million. This is an increase of over $150 million from the year 2007 that recorded $90 million. Quite a number of companies are marketing this supplement directly to children, providing some of the most flavored and low doses of the supplement.
Melatonin, regardless of its regulatory status in a number of countries, has proven to be modestly effective. In the US, one can get this drug over the counter. However, in the UK and many other European countries, a doctor's prescription is required.