Sleep Psychology Program at Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s Sleep Center is one of the few in the nation with a dedicated, board-certified sleep psychologist, who works alongside our board-certified physicians to diagnose and treat children who have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Addressing the psychological and behavioral aspects of sleep-related problems improves the success and satisfaction of the children and families who are cared for in the sleep center. Children who sleep well do better in almost every aspect of their lives—and their families benefit, too!
Our Sleep Psychology Services
As the first step in treatment, your child will undergo a sleep evaluation. During the initial sleep evaluation, our psychologist will assess your child for both medical and behavioral sleep issues. If a medical sleep disorder is suspected, the appropriate testing—such as an overnight sleep study—will be ordered.
If a behavioral sleep disorder is diagnosed, such as insomnia or a circadian rhythm disorder, our psychologist addresses the behavioral and psychological factors that can interfere with sleep. These kinds of sleep problems often benefit significantly from the development of an individualized behavioral sleep plan. The most common sleep issue for children is behavioral insomnia of childhood; children with this diagnosis have difficulty falling asleep without parental assistance or have extended bedtime routines that result in loss of sleep. A behavioral sleep plan can also help reduce the sleep loss that can occur with parasomnias (sleep walking, sleep terrors, bed wetting, nightmares and so on) and reduce the frequency of these.
Our psychologist helps patients adjust to and manage any significant and new sleep diagnosis, such as narcolepsy, and works with children on the autism spectrum or those with sensory issues who may have difficulty tolerating the sensations necessary to obtain a quality sleep study. Some children also need help adjusting to positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, if necessary.