(HealthDay News) — Melatonin might improve sleep patterns for children with atopic dermatitis (AD), according to research published online Nov. 16 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Yung-Sen Chang, M.D., M.P.H., an attending physician in pediatrics at Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch in Taiwan, and colleagues studied 48 children, about 22 months to 18 years old, who had AD. The children received treatment with either an inactive placebo or a 3-mg daily dose of melatonin at bedtime for four weeks. Thirty-eight participants then took the alternate treatment (melatonin or placebo) for another four weeks.
When the children took melatonin, the severity of AD dipped slightly, possibly because melatonin’s anti-inflammatory effect improved the skin condition, Chang told HealthDay. Also, children taking melatonin fell asleep about 21 minutes sooner than those taking the placebo. No adverse effects were reported.
“Melatonin supplementation is a safe and effective way to improve the sleep-onset latency and disease severity in children with AD,” the authors conclude.