My 13yr old son has been t1d for almost 1 year. We are no longer in the honeymoon phase. Sleep has always been a problem for him, but we have used melatonin and it seems to help him sleep. I thought something was wrong with his pump last night, so we changed the site and tubing, and attempted to correct the number all night long. I googled and found that melatonin can increase insulin resistance. Does anyone know how to figure out what the insulin requirements could be when it’s used? Or does anyone have other ideas to help sleep. Melatonin is a great, natural sleep aid for him, but now I’m not sure that we should use it.

Hi Karen @katie6407, I do not have experience with Melatonin so I can’t advise directly on that - that question should be discussed directly with his endocrinologist.

I will mention that a proper amount of sleep is especially essential for everyone’s management of diabetes, and especially for the younger. Rather than giving him another chemical, melatonin, you and he, and maybe your son alone with his doctor, should discuss natural methods to promote a good night’s sleep with knowledgable professionals such as his/your doctors. Healthy, vigorous activity during the day [but not just before bedtime], a good diet and his effective diabetes management might help him sleep better. Possibly a reduction in his stress level, such as worry about school might help him develop a more comfortable positive attitude about himself.

I have used melatonin in the past and I don’t remember it causing blood sugar problems; but I do know for a fact that it’s a short term sleep aid because it will at some point start causing severe headaches. Things that help me sleep are ibuprofen, and black cherry juice (this has natural melatonin in it). I hope this is some help so he can get his very important sleep at night!

Hi Karen!

I have used melatonin for years and have not experienced any side effects from it. Like ur son it helps me sleep which is vital to glucose management as u already know. In my opinion the insulin resistance from not getting enough sleep is a greater problem than any insulin resistance you would get from melatonin.

Maybe he’s going thru a growth spurt or his body is ramping up to start a growth spurt. As I’m sure ur aware, all the changes a kid goes thru at his age can wreak havoc w his levels!! Maybe that’s the one of the causes of his higher levels at night??!! Does he experience “dawn phenomenon in the wee hours of the morning??

Hang in there!!! Ur doing a GREAT job and ur best is all that can be asked of u!! Let us know how it’s going as u guys progress w this disease!! HUGS!!!


Check with your doctor about the validity of the claim that melatonin causes insulin resistance. If he is recently over his honeymoon and is further into puberty, that could be the cause of your issues with insulin adjustments. We very recently went through a similar experience. My son is on Adderall and his numbers were very high. It was suggested more than once on this site that Adderall causes insulin resistance. The endo suggested it was more likely that it was puberty. The endo then adjusted the formula and his numbers are better. Dr. also said that there will likely be more adjustments in the opposite direction as puberty comes to an end. It’s probably worth it that we all research puberty a little more.

Good luck.

I also think this is a question for the endocrinologist.
I’m not familiar enough with Melatonin to comment on that part.

But just a thought that, 13 year olds are in the puberty stage and produce growth hormones at night. He may just need some basal adjustments If he is on a CGM, a couple of nights of data might show when the spikes start and be useful for your doctor or CDE ot help make some basal adjustments.

Hope this helps