NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WYTV) – Melatonin is a hormone in our body that naturally helps regulate our sleep. Adults take it easily, but can you give it to your children?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking the use of melatonin in children for the past 10 years and reports that it is being used more.

“Overall, over the years, it’s been available — I think 20 years — it’s been shown to be fairly safe. It is considered like a vitamin supplement,” said pediatrician Dr. Manuel Spirtos.

The supplement packages offer suggestions on dosages, but the Food and Drug Administration has never had a solid recommendation.

“Usually, for most kids, it’s 0.5 milligrams as a starting dose and increasing to 1 milligram, and typically between 1 and 4 milligrams for most school-age kids,” Dr. Spirtos said.

Pediatricians say most sleep problems can be solved in a behavioral way, but if you’d like to try melatonin on say, a 4- or 5-year-old, give a half of a milligram about a half hour before they go to bed.