Can Melatonin be Used to Counter Sleep Disorders in Autistic Children?
A recent study has shown that melatonin, prescribed in small doses, can be used to treat insomnia in children who suffer from ASD (autism spectrum disorders). From these tests, it was observed that the effect of the melatonin doses on children were very much positive, and the improvements were visible both when they were asleep and they were awake. The success of melatonin in the treatment of sleep disorders in autistic children were acknowledged by all the researchers present. However, they also agreed that the initial study was a small-scale one, and it required more experimentation and observation based on larger-scale implementations.
The findings of this study were presented at SLEEP 2009: 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, and they were lauded greatly.
However, whether the small-dosage melatonin treatments are having any negative side-effects on the children are yet to be seen, but so far, none have been observed. Melatonin is often combined with other additive substances such as vitamins and antihistamines in order to be more effective in certain specialized scenarios (which often acts as a double-edged sword for doctors). It is held in favour by many people due to the fact that unlike prescription or over-the-counter drugs, it is a natural hormone.
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