Kids can have a hard time sleeping — just like adults. But unlike adults, sleeping supplements like melatonin aren’t always recommended. Melatonin can work for some kids, but alternatives might be a better choice. Here’s everything you need to know.
Melatonin is a hormone released in response to darkness. Some people call it the “sleep hormone” since it plays a major role in the human sleep cycle. Typically, our brains release melatonin when the sun sets to help us fall asleep. But things like computer screens and indoor lighting can disrupt the release. As a result, falling asleep is really difficult. Some people choose to take melatonin supplements to compensate for the natural hormone.
Melatonin can be safe and effective for some kids. Research shows that taking the supplement 2 hours before bed can help people fall asleep faster and support a healthy sleep schedule. However, experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine warn that the FDA does not regulate melatonin. Without oversight, the amount of melatonin in over-the-counter supplements can vary significantly, and improper doses are a risk.
Melatonin overdoses aren’t generally life-threatening but could cause headaches, nausea, and excessive sleepiness. Melatonin may also be unsafe when taken alongside certain medications. Experts also warn that supplements may contain other chemicals that are potentially harmful to children.
Ultimately, parents should consult a pediatrician before their child uses melatonin. The supplement can be part of healthy sleep habits, but potential risks should be discussed with a medical professional.
Melatonin may not be the best sleep aid for kids — but there are very effective alternatives.
Sleep glasses can help kids wind down and fall asleep quickly. But how do they work? And should kids use sleep glasses instead of melatonin?
Just like adults, kids have a natural sleep/wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. Sunlight has the biggest influence on this cycle. When people see daylight, blue wavelengths from the sun stimulate retinal cells, telling the brain to wake up. The brain then releases cortisol and other chemicals that boost energy and alertness. The opposite happens in the dark, with the release of melatonin triggering sleepiness. Unfortunately, indoor lighting and computer screens can trick the brain. As a result, kids (and adults) may have a hard time falling asleep if they’re exposed to light after sunset.
Sleep glasses are an ideal solution. By filtering stimulating light waves, sleep glasses protect children’s circadian rhythm. This allows the brain to release melatonin naturally at night, ending the need for supplements. Wearing sleep glasses before bed can be safer than melatonin for kids. Instead of relying on melatonin gummies or pills, sleep glasses can help children maintain a healthy, long-term sleep schedule that’s completely natural. Experts recommend wearing sleep glasses starting 2 hours before bedtime. That gives the brain enough time to recognize the time of day and release melatonin. Children should combine sleep glasses with other healthy nighttime habits for the best results.
Melatonin might work for some kids, but sleep glasses are an effective and natural alternative.
At Ocusafe, we make children’s sleep glasses for healthier sleep. Our doctor-made lenses block the full range of stimulating light to help kids sleep easier. Order affordable sleep glasses for better sleep in 2 weeks, guaranteed.