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Melatonin for sleep problems in children with neurodevelopmental disorders


Children with neurodevelopmental disorders are at risk of sleep problems, typically difficulty getting to sleep, sleep/wake rhythm disturbances and reduced duration of sleep (insomnia).1,2 This may be associated with abnormally timed or inadequate secretion of melatonin, a naturally-occurring hormone involved in coordinating the body's sleep-wake cycle.1,3 Previously, we reviewed the use of a melatonin product licensed for primary insomnia in adults aged over 55 years.4 Here we review off-label and unlicensed use of melatonin in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorder or related neurodevelopmental disorders.

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