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Behavioral Sleep Medicine

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Problems sleeping can have a negative impact on a child’s health, mood and quality of life. A lack of sleep can also affect a child’s ability to pay attention, remember, learn, and control their emotions. Pediatric sleep psychologists are specialists trained to diagnose and treat a variety of sleep problems that are behaviorally or psychologically based.

Behavioral sleep medicine could help if your child has any of the following issues:

  • Problems falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early.
  • Difficulty sleeping in their own bed.
  • Issues going to bed or staying in bed.
  • Nighttime fears or anxiety.
  • Nightmares or sleep terrors.
  • Daytime sleepiness or difficulty waking.
  • Challenges adjusting to or using positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy for sleep apnea.
  • Sensitivities that may make it difficult to complete a needed sleep study.

Our Doctors/Providers


Jamie Travis, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Other Providers:

Cathleen Medlen, LPC

Mental Health Therapist

What to Expect

Behavioral sleep medicine is most effective when the child and family are ready for change and open to modifying sleep routines, habits and behaviors.

During the first appointment, you will share your concerns and discuss your child’s:

  • Current sleep patterns.
  • Sleep environment.
  • Behaviors and feelings that may create barriers to good sleep.
  • Daytime functioning.

Next, a treatment plan is developed, which may include:

  • Steps to take to help your child go to bed more easily or independently.
  • Skills to manage nighttime fears and anxiety.
  • Strategies to reduce nightmares.
  • A positive reinforcement system to increase your child’s motivation to change sleep behaviors.
  • Modifying current behaviors and thoughts that impact their ability to sleep.
  • Bright light therapy, to change sleep-wake schedules.
  • Methods to help your child adjust to and use PAP therapy.
  • Ways to prepare for an upcoming sleep study.
  • Coordination with sleep medicine providers to optimize treatment.

Treatment is usually 4-5 monthly sessions, with a booster session a few months later. The booster session is good way to make sure that gains are still present, address questions or concerns, and review and update recommendations.

If it is determined that other behavioral health concerns are impacting your child, our team will connect you with additional treatment resources.

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