Systematisk oversikt over melatonin som behandling for barn med funksjonshemninger med sovevansker

Systematic review of melatonin treatment in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and sleep impairment

Phillips, L. Appleton, R. E
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Sleep disturbances in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities are common and frequently difficult to treat with conventional pharmacological and behavioural methods. Melatonin is a pineal hormone known to be important in the regulation of the circadian rhythm, including the sleep-wake cycle. This systematic review of available evidence from randomized clinical trials assesses whether melatonin plays a beneficial role in these children and, in particular, its effect on total sleep time, time to sleep onset (sleep latency), and number of awakenings. We also looked at a parental view of the effect. Randomized clinical trials were identified where oral melatonin was compared with a placebo in children with any type of neurodevelopmental disability and associated sleep disturbance. Only three studies, reporting a total of 35 children, fulfilled the criteria for inclusion. The two studies that reported time to sleep onset showed a significant decrease (p<0.05) in this specific outcome where melatonin was compared with a placebo. There was no significant effect of melatonin compared with a placebo on the other outcome measures of total sleep time, night-time awakenings, and parental opinions. Despite the extremely limited randomized clinical trial data, melatonin appears to remain a commonly prescribed drug for disturbed sleep in children with neurodevelopmental abnormalities.

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Type of intervention

Treatment and Child Welfare Interventions


Mental Health Problems and Disorders

Other Problems

Sleep Disorders

Biological Risk Factors, Diseases and Symptoms

Mental/Physical Impairment


Alternative Treatment

Age group

Infants and Toddlers (0-2 years)

Preschool Aged Children (3-5 years)

School Aged Children (6-12 years)

Adolescents (13-18 years)

Age not specified

More information
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