Melatonin treatment for sleep disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders: an observational study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002 May;44(5):339-44. doi: 10.1017/s0012162201002171.


The study aim was to quantify melatonin-associated improvement in sleep by means of a parent-completed sleep diary during routine outpatient activity. An investigation into sleep disturbance was made at neurology outpatient appointments. Those parents who identified a problem were asked to complete a sleep diary, after which treatment was initiated. The first week of the diary was completed before treatment, the second when established on the maximum dose of melatonin required. Forty-nine patients (26 males, 23 females) aged from one to 13 years, were treated between 1997 and 1998: 28 of these returned interpretable diaries. In a further 18 patients, an assessment could be made of the usefulness of the treatment. Patients were fairly typical of those attending a tertiary centre, the most common primary diagnosis being epilepsy (n=26). Only seven patients were visually impaired. Of the 46 patients who were assessed, 34 showed an improvement. No adverse effects were attributed to the treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Melatonin / therapeutic use*
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Outpatients
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Vision Disorders / complications


  • Melatonin