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Therapy for Sleep Problems

What ages does the Center for CBT treat for sleep difficulties?

Kids and Teens

What might sleep problems in kids and teens look like?

Difficulty with sleep in childhood can include a variety of challenges. For some children and adolescents, it may be:

  • Difficulty falling asleep

  • Difficulty staying asleep

  • Needing a caregiver in order to fall asleep

  • Nighttime fears

  • Insomnia

  • Sleepwalking

  • Night terrors

​​At the Center for CBT, we treat a variety of sleep-related disorders for children that may be impacting their day-to-day and nighttime lives, as well as yours.

How do I know if my child may benefit from psychological treatment related to sleep?

Quality sleep is linked with improved memory, concentration, mood stability, executive functioning, and overall healthy development. As children go through their day, a neurotransmitter called serotonin that helps to stabilize mood and energy naturally depletes; sleep is one of the only natural remedies to replenish this serotonin! Therefore, your child may be showing behavioral concerns and difficulties throughout the day due to the depletion of this neurotransmitter. Some other signs may be:

  • Child is taking longer to fall asleep at night

  • Fear of going to sleep 

  • Avoiding sleep or bedtime routines

  • Heavy dependence on a parent or caregiver to sleep 

  • Night terrors

  • Waking up in the middle of night

What does treatment for sleep problems look like? 

  • The primary treatments used for sleep at the Center for CBT are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with parent management training skills (a fancy therapy word for teaching you the most effective parenting strategies). 

  • The first step to treatment at the Center for CBT will be to do a comprehensive sleep assessment. This assessment may include tracking your child’s sleep, as well as specific difficulties pertaining to sleep and bedtime.

    • We may collaborate with your medical provider for any necessary medical workup or treatment. 

  • The specific interventions will be tailored to your child’s specific sleeping difficulties, as well as their age and developmental abilities. Some examples include: 

    • Developing a regular bedtime routine

    • Creating coping strategies for your child

    • Improving their bedtime hygiene

    • Developing sleep independence and autonomy 

  • We will teach you (the parents) skills and tools to use with your child to assist them with sleep. 

  • CBT combined with parent management training has been shown to be the most effective treatment for children and teens with sleep difficulties.

  • Improvements you can expect to see include:

    • Restful sleep

    • A more positive mood

    • A greater quality of life for you and your child

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