Melatonin And Promethazine Treating Insomnia


Studies suggest that sleep disorders are prevalent in children with neurodevelopmental delay and is approximately 80 percent [6] among them. Melatonin is an indoleamine hormone synthesized and secreted from the pineal gland. That is, the retinal photoreceptors transmit photic information to the pineal gland through the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus and the sympathetic nervous system Van et al [14]. During the day the photoreceptors cells are hyperpolarized hence inhibit melatonin secretion in contrast the receptors activate the retino-hypothalamic-pineal system and secrete melatonin, which induces sleep at night, hence contributes to the sleep-wake cycle of a normal person. On the other hand, Promethazine; an anti-histamine drug induces quicker sleep onset and improve sleep quality as a side-effect of its medicinal actions [4] [9] [10]. The anti-histamine blocks histamine H1 receptors in the brain and relax neurotransmitters thus enhance drowsiness [12]. In this regard, this paper appraises the prescription of these drugs in a case study, where a seven year old girl, Aurora, has an underlying neurodevelopmental delays and is also under treatment of epilepsy. The need for an appropriate treatment of her insomnia that does not make her epileptic treatment unstable and also does not worsen her neurodevelopment is very crucial. In this appraisal melatonin and promethazine have to be assed if they are suitable and better options offered if not.


Melatonin secretions occur primarily at night and relate to a decrease in core body temperature and increased sleepiness levels. Several studies have recommended oral administration of melatonin drugs to young children who experience sleep disorders [13] so as to help rectify their sleep-wake cycle. In addition, these research literatures have reported positive effects of melatonin administration like decreased sleep latency and increased sleep efficiency with doses ranging between 0.3mg to 75.0 mg while others have claimed little or no effect Bruni et al [1]. For instance, observed an increase in total sleep duration with no effect on sleep-onset latency in children aged 6-12 years with developmental disabilities [7]. Melatonin has also been reported to decrease epileptic seizure frequency with very few long term effects. Nevertheless, a meta-analysis on the effects of melatonin in sleep disorders for all age groups failed to document fundamental and clinical effects of exogenous melatonin on sleep latency, quality, and efficiency [8]. Melatonin has also proven to have a number of side effect such as daytime sleepiness, anxiety and dizziness which would not encourage neurological development.

Promethazine is a type of sedative that works very fast due to the ability of this antihistamine to cross the blood brain barrier and block histamine neurotransmitter quickly. Medical researchers tend to hypothesize the side effects of Promethazine like fatigue and drowsiness as treatments for patients with insomnia. However a study claims that 25mg dosage of Promethazine taken an hour before bedtime causes quicker sleep onset but lower sleep quality [4] [12] . Further research applies the Friedman non-parametric analysis of variance to determine sleep latency in children with disorders. This drug is also rarely prescribed especially to children due to its effect of reducing daytime behavior and increasing the probability of impairment in cognitive and psychomotor functions which still contributes to neurodevelopment delay. In conclusion, study literatures disapprove prescription of promethazine in treatment of sleep disorders due to its high prevalence in causing respiratory depressions, direct effects on the brain, and seizures in extreme cases [13], this is not compatible with and epileptic child and may lead to severe medical conditions.

Evidence Critique

Aurora’s case study is quite vague in relation to her diagnosis. Sleeping patterns in developing children with mental disorders requires crucial attention since various disabilities show varying types of sleep disorders [2]. Also, children with underlying neurological disorder may prove problematic to treat using the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD). Furthermore, Promethazine may increase incidences of seizures in cases of epilepsy [6]. Although melatonin s useful in reducing epileptic seizures, long term use suppresses neuronal activity and causes delayed puberty [3]. Aurora’s doctor hardly considers her young age and medical history and recommends the two drugs for her sleep disorder. In this essence, Aurora’s prescription is likely to affect her instead of increasing her sleep duration and sleep quality. To be able to come up with this paper, medical databases on clinical trials had to be used to gather information in sites such as NCBI. This was not as efficient because response to the drug was not well specified for each age bracket. Randomized control trials was also an option however most patients with epilepsy and neurodevelopment delay were not as cooperative to share information because they were shy.


The two drugs suggested by the doctor for treatment of insomnia may not be compatible with Aurora’s medical condition because Melatonin helps with epilepsy seizures but not neurodevelopment delay while promethazine is bad for both of her conditions. Medical scientists often recommend application of the behavioral sleep patterns especially in children with neurodevelopmental delay as in Aurora’s case study. The treatment involves understanding normal sleep designs and control of sleep through the homeostatic and circadian drive [5]. The time dependent homeostatic drive proves that the longer a child is awake the greater their tiredness and tendency to sleep [4] while the intrinsic circadian drive is biologically controlled [11].

Order Now


  • Bos T, Emsellem HA. Sleep Disorders: Evidence-Based Integrated Biopsychosocial Treatment of Insomnia. Cognitive Behavioral Psychopharmacology: The Clinical Practice of Evidence-Based Biopsychosocial Integration. 2017 Dec 18:167.
  • Bruni O, Alonso-Alconada D, Besag F, Biran V, Braam W, Cortese S, Moavero R, Parisi P, Smits M, Van der Heijden K, Curatolo P. Current role of melatonin in pediatric neurology: Clinical recommendations. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology. 2015 Mar 1;19(2):122-33.
  • Fejzo M, Kam A, Laguna A, MacGibbon K, Mullin P. Analysis of neurodevelopmental delay in children exposed in utero to hyperemesis gravidarum reveals increased reporting of autism spectrum disorder. Reproductive Toxicology. 2018 Dec 27.
  • Frase L, Nissen C, Riemann D, Spiegelhalder K. Making sleep easier: pharmacological interventions for insomnia. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2018 Sep 2;19(13):1465-73.
  • Goldberg-Stern H., Oren H., Peled N., Garty B. Z. . Effect of melatonin on seizure frequency in intractable epilepsy: a pilot study. 2012 December;27 (12):1524-8.
  • Guo F, Yu J, Jung HJ, Abruzzi KC, Luo W, Griffith LC, Rosbash M. Circadian neuron feedback controls the Drosophila sleep–activity profile. Nature. 2016 Aug;536(7616):292.
  • Heussler HS, Hiscock H. Sleep in children with neurodevelopmental difficulties. Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health. 2018 Oct;54(10):1142-7.
  • Jain SV, Horn PS, Simakajornboon N, Beebe DW, Holland K, Byars AW, Glauser TA. Melatonin improves sleep in children with epilepsy: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Sleep Medicine. 2015 May 1;16(5):637-44.
  • Maras A, Schroder CM, Malow BA, Findling RL, Breddy J, Nir T, Shahmoon S, Zisapel N, Gringras P. Long-term efficacy and safety of pediatric prolonged-release Melatonin for insomnia in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 2018 Dec 1; 28(10):699-710.
  • Mindell JA, Owens JA. A clinical guide to pediatric sleep: diagnosis and management of sleep problems. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015 May 4.
  • Robinson-Shelton A, Malow BA. Sleep disturbances in neurodevelopmental disorders. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2016 Jan 1; 18(1):6.
  • Sanchez-Barcelo EJ, Rueda N, Mediavilla MD, Martinez-Cue C, Reiter RJ. Clinical uses of melatonin in neurological diseases and mental and behavioral disorders. Curr. Med. Chem. 2017 Nov 20;24: 3851-78.
  • Wilson S, Selsick H. The Science and Art of Prescribing for Insomnia. In Sleep Disorders in Psychiatric Patients 2018 (pp. 121-148). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
  • Winkelman JW. Insomnia disorder. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015 Oct 8; 373(15):1437-44.
  • Van Maanen A, Meijer AM, Smits MG, van der Heijden KB, Oort FJ. Effects of melatonin and bright light treatment in childhood chronic sleep onset insomnia with late melatonin onset: A Randomized Controlled Study. Sleep. 2017 Feb 1; 40(2).
  • Xie Z, Chen F, Li WA, Geng X, Li C, Meng X, Feng Y, Liu W, Yu F. A review of sleep disorders and melatonin. Neurological research. 2017 Jun 3; 39(6):559-65.

Google Review

What Makes Us Unique

  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • 100% Customer Satisfaction
  • No Privacy Violation
  • Quick Services
  • Subject Experts

Research Proposal Samples

It is observed that students take pressure to complete their assignments, so in that case, they seek help from Assignment Help, who provides the best and highest-quality Dissertation Help along with the Thesis Help. All the Assignment Help Samples available are accessible to the students quickly and at a minimal cost. You can place your order and experience amazing services.

DISCLAIMER : The assignment help samples available on website are for review and are representative of the exceptional work provided by our assignment writers. These samples are intended to highlight and demonstrate the high level of proficiency and expertise exhibited by our assignment writers in crafting quality assignments. Feel free to use our assignment samples as a guiding resource to enhance your learning.

Live Chat with Humans
Dissertation Help Writing Service