Skip to main content

Melatonin - Sleep Cycle

Melatonin and the sleep cycle. www.wilddunkcamping.co.uk

Melatonin

In humans, melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland located in the center of the brain but outside the blood-brain barrier. The melatonin signal forms part of the system that regulates the sleep-wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature, but it is the central nervous system (specifically the suprachiasmatic nuclei, or SCN) that controls the daily cycle in most components of the paracrine and endocrine systems rather than the melatonin signal (as was once postulated).

Infants' melatonin levels become regular in about the third month after birth, with the highest levels measured between midnight and 8:00 AM.

In humans, 90% of melatonin is cleared in a single passage through the liver, a small amount is excreted in urine and a small amount is found in saliva.

Human melatonin production decreases as a person ages. Also, as children become teenagers, the nightly schedule of melatonin release is delayed, leading to later sleeping and waking times.

Sleep Cycle

Ryan has never required much sleep which you can imagine was very hard on us when he was little. I cannot give enough respect to single parents that have to battle this alone. There is no way I would have coped without support from Dadi Skilts taking shifts.  As soon as Ryan was diagnosed with Autism the Paediatrician offered us Melatonin on prescription. I had never heard of this and went away to do some research first, but felt from what I had read that is was worth a try.  Well, what a difference almost instantaneously from the first night. He SLEPT. Yes slept for his first ever full night.

He took 4mg a night, this proved highly successful and oh wow if we forgot to give it to him.  My hubby and I were invited to a very rare night out and my best friend agreed to have Ryan overnight, unfortunately, we forgot to pack his Melatonin and at 11pm she rang me in tears because “she had never seen him like this before”, he was becoming violent because he couldn’t settle and her husband vowed never to have Ryan ever again.

Fortunately, we are all still friends and Ryan does still spend time with them. He gets on really well with her boys and they are a superb family. Jo is my best friend and rock. You need to surround yourself with a good strong support network. My family and in-laws are all amazing and have all helped Ryan to get where he is today.

Melatonin www.wilddunkcamping.co.uk

Medication

Just to say though in the UK it is only available on prescription from the Paediatrician, not even our doctor would prescribe it, so I had to make a phone call every single month as I only got a 30-day script each time, but it was so worth it for us.  It, unfortunately, won’t work for every child, but by all means, give it a try. It is naturally produced by us anyway; it is just that children on the spectrum don’t seem to produce enough of it. 

As Ryan has matured the tablets no longer work for him. He still does not sleep well but has learned techniques to amuse himself. He reads or listens to his mp3 player.  He knows the rules of no electronics after 9pm and as he has now started puberty his sleep patterns are going all to pot anyway.




Comments

Popular Posts

Missing Education due to Illness

The Importance of Attendance If you read any news articles on education, correspondence from your child’s school, or are simply clued up on parenting then you will know the importance of school attendance. Schools place a great deal of focus on targets and will often offer incentives and competitions to encourage and increase attendance figures, but what if your child has a serious illness. What happens if they really are not well enough to attend school. What happens then? Attendance targets at Ryan's school are currently set at 95% attendance for the school year. Therefore realistically your child can only miss 10 school days due to illness. Medical appointments such as GP or Dentist do not count, but you are encouraged to make these appointments outside of the school day where feasibly possible. If your child consistently misses school, even if it is only one day a week, that equates to 39 days over the school year. Even missing one day in a week results in pressure on the

Questions to ask after Cancer diagnosis

Cancer Sucks I have shared with you Ryan's lymphoma journey where we have talked about the ups, the downs, the protocols for drugs, the side effects, but I realised recently I have never shared the questions. This post is all about what to ask when you receive a diagnosis of cancer. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is never ever going to be seen as good news. It can never be dressed up or made pretty. It is devastating, it is gut-wrenching, it is life-changing. There is so much information to process you will not think of the questions you need to ask or you will have hundreds of questions you want to ask all at once. These are just some of the questions you can ask once you have processed the news, in order to gain a better understanding of your fight ahead. General Information What type of cancer do I have? Where is it located? What are the risk factors for this disease? Is this type of cancer caused by genetic factors? Are other members of my family at risk? What lifestyle c

Chemotherapy Cycle 5

What is Normal? With this being our penultimate cycle of chemotherapy I have had several family and friends comment to me “oh I bet you can't wait to get back to normal”. This has really thrown and upset me because it seems to come across that they have failed to comprehend the fact that we have 2-3 years of maintenance ahead and at least two more general anaesthetic surgeries. Not to mention physiotherapy as it is expected Ryan will take 12+ months to heal from the effects of being poisoned from the inside out. Normal is long way off yet. While everyone else appears to all be getting excited that Ryan is coming to an end of his chemotherapy protocol treatment, Ryan himself is becoming more and more tired with the cumulative effect of the onslaught of the chemotherapy drugs and is spending long periods of time in hospital after each cycle with infections due to his impaired immune system now as a result. Ryan is far from excited. Ryan is exhausted. We still have one more cycle t

Worrying About the Future

  Worrying About the Future. Ryan said to me recently. "Childhood gave me Autism. My teens gave me cancer. What will adulthood bring?" Big worries for someone so young. So much pressure and conditioning are placed upon us about the importance of education and the set path that the majority of us will take through the system to university and/or the job market. What happens if you do not follow that path or miss so much education that the path is no longer open to you. How do you plan for the future? What options are there available to you? Ryan was excluded from his primary school in year 2 and I home schooled him for a year while we worked with the Educational Psychologist to find a placement that would suit his complex needs at the time. Due to his speech, language and communication difficulties the decision was made to withdraw him from Welsh-medium education and focus on English only which meant our choices were limited in the area of Wales that we call home. We

Peritonitis

Emergency Surgery On the morning of 25 October 2016 Ryan was complaining that his PEG feeding tube was unbearably painful. He was due for a review anyway that day at Velindre Cancer Centre and a PEG specialist nurse came for to look at Ryan. She said the site was a bit weepy and raw, she thinks he possibly caught or pulled it in the night. She is confident that it is fine and she also gave it another good clean.  A week on and we are back to square one. The district nurse came out on Monday 31 October 2016 to advance (turn) the PEG tube as is needed each week after the first month. The nurse was unable to move the disc and caused Ryan an incredible amount of pain. We ended up having to go to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward in Cardiff, where two gastro nurses met us and spent the best part of an hour, torturing Ryan while they 'forced' the PEG to move, which they eventually did. Or so they thought.  The following week, 7 November 2016, the district Nurse came again to the h