Melatonin is something that our bodies produce to regulate our sleep patterns. People who have autism often have insufficient levels of melatonin in their bodies. One of the first things that we did when our son was diagnosed with autism was put him on a nightly little dose of melatonin. When I finally got my hands on Changing the Course of Autism by Dr. Bryan Jepson, I saw that melatonin was one of the suggested biochemical intervention treatments. I thought, Oh good. We are already going something right.
We were both working at the time and my husband was going to school full time. We were desperate to solve the sleep disturbance issues that Eli had that went along with his condition. He was constantly getting up in the middle of the night and staying awake until the wee hours of the morning. We were so tired!
We got the idea of using the small dose of melatonin from my mother. My brother with autism has been using melatonin most of his life, and without it his sleep is very disregulated. We started with a quarter of a milligram dose and worked it up by small increments night by night until he was ready to go to bed half an hour after taking it, with his regular bedtime routine, of course. In the beginning I think he only took like one tablet each night, which was half a milligram.
Looking back, I realize that the smartest thing to do would have been to consult his doctor. The problem was that his pediatrician, who was really quite good, knew little about autism. He could not tell me what to do for Eli's diarrhea or other symptoms. He did know enough to recognize some of the autistic behaviors in children and send us to get a diagnosis, and for that we are ever so grateful.
We like the Nutrition Now Melatonin. We like it because:
-It is in a chewable peppermint tablet
-It is easy to split with a pill splitter
-It is in a half milligram dose, which makes it easy to give only the littlest dose needed.
-Nothing artificial and no gluten, milk, or soy
Nutrition Now used to sell their own products on a very nice site and with great service. Now it is only available through supplement distributing companies. The site I currently use is HerbsMD.
I am providing this link for some friends who have asked to have this address.Click here to go to the Nutrition Now Melatonin listing on HerbsMD.com
Disclaimer: As you may be aware, I am not a medical professional and I am not qualified to give medical advice of any kind. I am providing this information for my readers as a piece of our autism journey.