Parents have been taking melatonin supplements to help their children get more sleep. But it turns out there are other nutrients that can also help your child sleep better at night, and they're all very safe to use. I do not recommend prolonged use of Melatonin and I have discussed this in detail in this article.
In this blog, you'll find natural alternatives to melatonin — 5 supplements you can use instead of melatonin.
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There are a few great melatonin alternatives for your neurodivergent child's sleep.
Disclaimer: These are generally safe but this is not medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation starter with your child’s pediatrician, at your next appointment.
First, it's important to ensure that your child gets enough magnesium in their diet.
Magnesium is known to improve the levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps in relaxation and calming. Because of this, Magnesium has the potential to make falling asleep and staying asleep much easier by helping to reduce stress. Additionally, it can help provide an overall more relaxed state of mind which is ideal for getting a good night's rest, especially for neurodivergent kids.
Dairy, beans, greens, and grains are all excellent sources of magnesium. If you want to ensure your child is getting enough of this vital mineral in your diet, incorporate these into your meals on a regular basis.
Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium
Apart from dietary sources, Magnesium can also be taken as an over-the-counter supplement. Necessary for a variety of body processes like muscle power, nerve functioning, calcium assimilation, and bone health maintenance - its importance cannot be stressed enough.
This is the Magnesium supplement that I recommend
Magnesium has also been found to be beneficial in keeping gut flora healthy, which can have a positive impact on a child’s holistic mental well-being.
Sleep is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, many people struggle to get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night more so for our neurodivergent children.
Iron can be an effective alternative to melatonin for those suffering from insomnia, as it helps regulate the production of hormones important for quality sleep.
Iron can also help increase energy levels during the day, making it a great option for those
looking for alternatives to melatonin to get a good night's rest.
It is also important to note that Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which in turn disrupts sound, and restful sleep as well as causes damage to sleep cycles. As a result, it can have a negative impact on your health.
Tart cherry juice has been hailed as a superfood in recent years, providing numerous health benefits.
It's an excellent source of nutrients that can help with things:
proving better joint health
Reducing inflammation caused by gout and other forms of arthritis
Lowering blood pressure.
You can mix your Tart Cherry Juice with:
Tart cherries have an abundance of melatonin and tryptophan, boosting the body's natural ability to create more melatonin. This makes it a great option for aiding better and longer sleep. Furthermore, by having tart cherry juice you can also enjoy other health benefits from its high content of antioxidants.
This is the tart cherry juice I reccomend for your neurodivergent child:
Omega 3 fatty acids are emerging as a promising alternative to melatonin with regard to improving sleep quality.
Clinical studies have shown that Omega 3's can help regulate hormones and neurotransmitters that promote restful sleep while avoiding the side effects of melatonin.
“Emerging evidence suggests that adequate intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), which include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), might be associated with better sleep quality. - National Library of Medicine - National Center for Biotechnology Information”
In the western diet, Omega 3s are usually found in low concentrations, yet they are pivotal for brain health. These essential fatty acids help with cognitive development, cognitive performance, and cognitive protection.
These are the Omega 3's I recommend for your neurodivergent child:
Vitamin D3 has been gaining popularity as an alternative to melatonin for improving sleep
Studies show that low levels of Vitamin D are more common in children with ADHD.
It has been found to aid sleep and reduce stress levels.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D3 helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, increase melatonin production, and improve overall sleep quality.
“Growing evidence has demonstrated that vitamin D has a role in sleep regulation . Specifically, vitamin D deficiency (VDD) can increase the risk of sleep disorders and is associated with sleep difficulties, shorter sleep duration, and nocturnal awakenings in children and adults [13,14,15]. - National Library of Medicine - National Center for Biotechnology Information
Taking Vitamin D3 can be a powerful way to support your body's natural ability to get a good night's rest.
These are the vitamin D supplements I recommend for your neurodivergent child's sleep:
I hope you've found this helpful and have a better understanding of melatonin alternatives. Instead of using melatonin, try one of these natural ingredients, and see if your child can sleep better.
Get further support
At the Slumber Academy, we tailor sleep plans specifically for your child based on scientific evidence and research. These plans incorporate sensory integration, nutrition, relaxation activities, and arts & crafts to ensure your child gets enough sleep.
It is best to talk with a Certified Sleep Consultant who is more equipped to address your neurodivergent child’s sleep problems through natural methods and techniques.
You can also download some FREE Masterclass here 👇
FREE Masterclass “Stop the Sleepless Night's" for your Neurodivergent Child
This has also been a long battle that my kids and the whole family faced. My passion for helping my children and other children who suffer from sleep deprivation drove me to become a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant & Neurodivergent Sleep Specialist.