Sleeping: Hi my son has autism and is 12 years old he... - EFA


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Lisamo83 profile image

Hi my son has autism and is 12 years old he used to take 30mg of melatonin to help him sleep but I stopped it as he was no longer going to sleep any better while taking it he was ok at first going to sleep bout 11.00pm it has now changed to between 2.00-3.00am I have been told to try old style antihistamines as they make you drowsy as anyone heard this before thanks

4 Replies

Yes some of the older type antihistamines have a sedative effect on some people.

It must be difficult with a young lad coming up to teenage years. Some research suggests that bright lights, including from computers and i-phones in the evening can disrupt sleep patterns.

Don't use antihistamines to sleep. I have been using piriton daily as i have rhinitis and to sleep.. I'm horrified to read this shocking report that it raises your chances of getting Alzheimer's disease. Still this is an OTC, Over the counter drug to buy. 🤔

You can use benadryl -diphenhydramine- for sleep. It should be used with caution. Diphenhydramine has a very long half life. Even if you child gets 10 hours of sleep, some will still be in his system, and this often causes grogginess when trying to wake up. As for the melatonin, 30mg is way too much. If he was on that for awhile, he probably is no longer making much natural melatonin of his own. Keep him off it for while, maybe a month or so, then go back to much smaller doses. I would suggest no more than three milligrams. I would consult a pharmacists on the melatonine and the diphenhydramine. I don't have children and lack experience with pediatric dosages. If you decide to start right away, I'd give no more that 25mg (which is the most common pill size) and give it a couple of hours before his usual bedtime, to give him the best chance of eliminating as much of it as possiable before it is time for him to get up.

Hey, I know this is a bit late but I thought I'd leave a reply.

I'm 20 and also have autism. I've had the same issue with my sleeping pattern since I was very young. I've been prescribed almost everything from sedatives and benzodiazepines to antihistamines, yet none of them have seemed to work.

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleeping pattern. When you take melatonin it is supposed to help by making your body release these hormones at a certain time and therefore regulate your sleeping pattern.

I believe its trial and error in finding what drug works for your child to get them to sleep. It's hard to maintain a sleeping pattern if you have these issues and they normally go or even out over time but there's methods that can help you to achieve a better night sleep, such as exercising, reading before bed and avoiding bright lights and screens before bed.

Some antihistamines do help with sleep. For example, promethazine hydrochloride can be bought over the counter and is one of the active ingredients in night nurse. It has a sedating effect and can significantly help sleep in either 25mg or 50mg doses before bed. Other antihistamines with sedating effects include alimemazine, chlorophenamine, diphenhydramide and hydroxyzine (although I find promethazine to be one of the best).

I've worked in a pharmacy since I was 16, so I hope this information is all correct and helps with your sons sleep.


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