Neuropediatrics 2010; 41(4): 163-166
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1267920
Original Article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Melatonin: Experience in its Use for Recording Sleep EEG in Children and Review of the Literature

M. Eisermann1 , 3 , A. Kaminska1 , 3 , B. Berdougo2 , M. L. Brunet2
  • 1Department of Pediatric Clinical Neurophysiology APHP Cochin, Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital and René Descartes University, Paris, France
  • 2Department of Pharmacy APHP Cochin, Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital and René Descartes University, Paris, France
  • 3Inserm, U663, Paris, France; University Paris Descartes, France
Further Information

Publication History

received 16.02.2010

accepted 29.09.2010

Publication Date:
17 November 2010 (online)


Background: Sleep is known to improve the yield of EEG recording in children but is often difficult to obtain. In order to evaluate the efficacy and to test the practability of oral melatonin in obtaining sleep for EEG recording, we studied its use in 70 children.

Results: Sleep was obtained in 56 children (80%) with a mean sleep latency onset of 25±7.9 min (15–45) after melatonin administration, and a mean sleep duration of 17.1±8.6 min (5–55). 28 children (50%) woke up spontaneously after 13.2±7.9 min (5–40). Among 18 children with severe behaviour problems that made interpretable EEG recording in the awake state impossible, sleep was obtained in 13 (72%) children. The rare symtoms reported (4%) were not reliably related to the use of melatonin.

Conclusion: The study shows a very good efficacy in sleep induction for EEG recording, even in children with severe behaviour problems. Sleep duration was, however, short with a high proportion of spontaneous arousals but in all patients it was sufficient for an initial diagnosis or control of the evolution of epilepsy.


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Monika Eisermann

Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital

Clinical Neurophysiology

82 Avenue Denfert Rochereau

75015 Paris


Phone: +33/6/8930 4124

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