This study evaluated the sleep-wake pattern, plasma melatonin levels and the urinary excretion of its metabolite, 6-sulphatoxy-melatonin among children with severe epileptic disorders, before and after a therapeutic trial with melatonin. Ten paediatric patients, suffering from severe epileptic disorders, were selected and given a nightly dose of 3 mg of a placebo, for 1 wk; for the next 3 months, the placebo was replaced with a nightly dose of 3 mg of melatonin. At the end of each treatment period, the urinary excretion of 6-sulphatoxy-melatonin (for the intervals 09.00 - 21:00 hr or 21:00-09:00 hr) and plasma levels of melatonin (recorded at 01:00, 05:00, 09:00, 13:00, 17:00 and 21:00 hr) were recorded, over a period of 24 hr; an actigraph record was also kept. Sleep efficiency among patients who received melatonin was significantly higher than among those given the placebo, with fewer night-time awakenings. Periodic plasma melatonin levels were regained and a better control gained of convulsive episodes, in that the number of seizures decreased. We conclude that melatonin is a good regulator of the sleep-wake cycle for paediatric patients suffering from severe epilepsy, moreover, it to a better control of convulsive episodes.