How much melatonin is safe to give to kids?

The melatonin selection at Mayo Pharmacy
The melatonin selection at Mayo Pharmacy(KFYR-TV)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Parents who are struggling to get their kids back on a normal sleep schedule might be considering giving their children the sleep supplement melatonin.

Dr. Arveity Setty, who practices sleep medicine at CHI St. Alexius, talks about how much melatonin is safe to give to kids who need a little extra help going to sleep.

He said it’s a question parents ask him often, and the answer is one-half or one milligram.

Dr. Setty advises parents to only purchase melatonin from USP-verified sellers. He said if you buy non-USP verified melatonin, you run the risk of getting tablets that have half the dose or four times the dose advertised on the bottle.

Dr. Setty also said it’s more important to make sure you address the underlying issue of your child’s restlessness.

“In most cases, the sleep hygiene itself is not appropriate. If the sleep hygiene is not appropriate, how could they expect the melatonin to start working for you? So what I mean is their bedtime is different every night, their wake up time is different every morning, there is a significant amount of blue light exposure,” Dr. Setty said.

Dr. Setty said while melatonin is helpful in certain cases, it’s important to consult with your child’s primary care provider if you’re thinking about giving your child melatonin.