W. David Brown, PhD
UTSW Physician Practicing at Children's Health
W. David Brown, Ph.D., is a sleep psychologist who practices behavioral sleep medicine at Children’s Health℠.
Dr. Brown treats children and teenagers who have insomnia (trouble sleeping). He also cares for young sleep apnea patients who have trouble using their CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) treatment devices.
“A good night’s sleep is critically important for a child’s health and well-being,” explains Dr. Brown. “When children don’t get enough sleep, it affects their attention, concentration, memory and mood. Some cases of hyperactivity in childhood can actually be attributed to a sleep disorder.”
Dr. Brown also has a special interest in how sleep deprivation affects the overall health of adolescents and teenagers – including mood, depression, anxiety, test scores and driving ability.
“Teens who are sleep-deprived are much more prone to accidents, particularly driving accidents,” says Dr. Brown. “We need to make sure they’re as rested as possible; we want them to be safe, healthy and perform to their full potential.”
Dr. Brown earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UT Southwestern Medical School in 1990. Prior to that, he completed a psychology internship at UT Southwestern in 1986. He also completed sleep training at the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas Sleep Evaluation Center.
Dr. Brown serves as an assistant professor in psychiatry at UT Southwestern. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is also certified in behavioral sleep medicine.
“The topic of sleep is fascinating. Most of what we’ve discovered about sleep medicine we’ve learned in the last 50-60 years,” says Dr. Brown. “I’ve watched it evolve since close to its birth.”
Dr. Brown has written numerous books about sleep – for children, adults and academic settings. He co-authored Snoozby and the Great Big Bedtime Battle, an entertaining story designed to help children understand how poor sleep affects their health and why it’s important to get adequate sleep.
In his spare time, Dr. Brown also enjoys spending time with his three children who, he says, “sleep very well.”
“It’s wonderful to help children get a good night’s sleep. By treating one child, you help the whole family,” says Dr. Brown. “You improve the parents’ and siblings’ sleep too.”