Sleep for children

For children

Occasional sleeplessness in children is common and often challenging to manage. It has a significant impact on quality of life in children and their families.1 Ask about your patients’ sleep routines, and recommend these healthy sleep habits.

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Parent counseling tips

Signs of sleep disruptions

As children grow up, they go through changes that can affect their sleep. Consider these opportunities to probe for sleep disruptions:

Developmental changes

  • Eliminating naps
  • Onset of puberty
  • Circadian rhythm shift in older adolescents

Schedule changes

  • Transitioning back to school after vacation
  • Intensification of extracurricular activities
  • Daylight Saving Time

Household changes

  • Arrival of a new sibling
  • Moving
  • Changing schools
  • Divorce or remarriage

Sleep hygiene tips

Alarm clock icon
  • Build a bedtime routine: Keep the same bedtime and wake-up time every day
  • Limit screen time: Turn all screens off at least 1 to 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine: Don’t allow your child to consume caffeine, especially 3 to 4 hours before bedtime
  • Try melatonin for occasional sleeplessness: An age-appropriate dose of melatonin can promote peaceful sleep*

Zarbee’s® Sleep Hygiene Tips

Good to know

Melatonin safety and efficacy

Recent short- and long-term safety evaluations have demonstrated melatonin’s favorable safety profile for children. Multiple studies have also shown that melatonin improves sleep onset latency and sleep duration among children and adults.1

Exogenous melatonin does not diminish the body’s ability to produce melatonin naturally.2 With a half-life of 35 to 50 minutes, exogenous melatonin reaches peak plasma concentrations after 60 minutes of administration, and 90% of it is cleared in a single passage through the liver.3,4 A small amount is excreted in urine, and a small amount is found in saliva.4

Featured resources

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

REFERENCES: 1. Goldman RD, Bongiorno PB, Olcese JM, Witt-Enderby PA, Shatkin JP. Myths and evidence regarding melatonin supplementation for occasional sleeplessness in the pediatric population. Pediatr Ann. 2021;50(9):e391-e395. 2. Wright J, Aldhous M, Franey C, English J, Arendt J. The effects of exogenous melatonin on endocrine function in man. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1986;24(4):375-382. 3. Melatonin. DrugBank. Accessed July 7, 2021. 4. Tordjman S, Chokron S, Delorme R, et al. Melatonin: pharmacology, functions and therapeutic benefits. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2017;15(3):434-443.