Sleep anxiety

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Sleep anxiety

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Children who have anxiety when falling asleep at night are often extremely good at getting their parents to come into their room and cuddle with them and fall asleep in bed with them. That can really lead to some parental difficulties for parental functioning and for childhood functioning. One of the ways to disengage from that type of behavior, is to do it gradually. For example, if you are a parent who finds themselves sleeping in their child's bed night after night. One thing you can do is say, "Well, I won't sleep in the bed with you, but I will sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor right next to you." Then the next night you say, "I'm going to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag three feet away from you." The next night, ten feet away. The next night sit in a chair that's on the other side of your door. Do it as a very gradual thing. What we know about anxiety is that if we are exposed to it gradually, we know that our brains can actually help us to adapt to it. That's really what you want your child to do.

Watch Preetpal Sandhu, MD's video on Sleep anxiety...

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Preetpal Sandhu, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Sandhu is a UCLA-trained, Board Certified Psychiatrist who has practiced Psychiatry at UCLA and in Beverly Hills for several years. He did his undergraduate work at UCLA where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He then completed medical school at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and was named a Dean's scholar. He also received a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business where he was named to the Dean's list.

Dr. Sandhu then pursued training in Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Institute (now named the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior). While at UCLA completing his residency and fellowship he was named the Chief Fellow of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training program. He then proceeded to work at UCLA as part of the Attending Staff on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient unit. He is a member in good standing of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (AACAP) and has served as the Southern California Regional Organization’s President.

His areas of interest include attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and the roles coordinated psychiatry and psychotherapy can have in jointly improving outcomes.

Dr. Sandhu lives in the Los Angeles area with his family and is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents, and fellows at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding, basketball, golf, video games, and travel.

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