Melatonin as a sleep inductor for electroencephalogram recordings in children.

Clin Neurophysiol 2001;112:683-5.
Wassmer E, Quinn E, Whitehouse W, Seri S.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of melatonin in obtaining sleep electroencephalograms in children.

METHODS: Melatonin was used in 68 unselected children referred to the neurophysiology department for sleep electroencephalogram (EEG). A group of 68 children matched for age and sex who underwent EEGs after sleep deprivation in the same period was used as control. Sleep latency, as well as latency from stage 1 to stages 2, 3 and 4 were measured.

RESULTS: No difference in the number of children who went to sleep was seen. No significant difference is the macrostructure of sleep was seen, other than a reduced sleep latency for the melatonin group (P<0.01).

CONCLUSION: The study suggests that melatonin can reliably be used for obtaining sleep EEGs in children. Its use seems to provide a good alternative to pharmacological sedation and a complementary method to sleep deprivation.

Viene suggerito l’impiego della melatonina come ipnotico nei bambini da sottoporre ad elettroencefalogramma durante il sonno. Secondo gli Autori, la melatonina fornisce “una buona alternativa alla sedazione farmacologica”.

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