Baby Serenity UK

03/10/2020

Melatonin

Did you know?

  • Melatonin is a natural hormone made by the body's pineal gland. This gland is only tiny and about the size of a pea              
  • It is located just above the middle of the brain . During the day the gland is inactive and when it starts to become darker and the sun goes down, the gland is switched on and starts to produce melatonin. The melatonin is released into the bloodstream                                                                                                                                                                       
  • When the darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, this signals the body to prepare for sleep. The main job of melatonin is to regulate the day and night cycles                                                                                                             
  • Melatonin levels have a seasonal rhythm where there are higher levels in the winter and autumn, when nights are longer      
  • Melatonin secretion starts during the third or fourth months of life and coincides with the consolidation of night time sleep    
  • Melatonin  production decreases with age                                                                                                                        
  • Although melatonin is not essential for human sleep, we do tend to sleep better during the time that melatonin is secreted                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Melatonin levels stay high for approximately twelve hours and they start to fall once it becomes lighter and daylight appears                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Light inhibits the release of melatonin. This is not just natural sunlight, but also light indoors for different sources                
  • Melatonin supplements are sometimes prescribed to some infants and children, but it is important that this is done under the close supervision of a GP or paediatrician. These supplements may be helpful for children with sleep-onset delay and the doctor will look at the correct dosage for your child. However, there are currently no long term studies of melatonin use in children                                                                                                                                                                      

 There are a few things that we can do to assist our little ones with going to sleep. Aim for a predictable routine prior to them being settled in their cot or bed. Avoid television, mobile phones or other devices before settling. Spend some time with them reading or having some form of quiet time. Close the curtains or blinds and ensure the room is darker and quieter. Blackout blinds are sometimes worth considering. 

                                    

 

 

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