Melatonin gains momentum as sleep aid for people with autism

Most people with autism have problems falling and staying asleep. And poor sleep can exacerbate behavioral problems, leaving these individuals — and their families — exhausted.

The hormone melatonin, sold in the United States as an over-the-counter supplement, is a popular sleep aid. A string of studies over the past decade suggest it also improves sleep in some children with autism. And a new formulation of melatonin seems to be particularly effective for children on the spectrum.

Melatonin is naturally produced by the body to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Its levels begin to rise shortly after nightfall, promoting sleep.

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10th November 2017