A photo of Kelly C. Byars.

Kelly C. Byars, PsyD, ABPP, DBSM

  • Pediatric Psychologist, Clinical, Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
I practice family-centered care and offer practical and effective treatment guided by patient and caregiver goals. My team and I work to strengthen the connection between your body’s natural sleep rhythm, environment, and unique habits, practices, beliefs and daily routines.



As a pediatric sleep psychologist, my clinical and research programs focus on helping pediatric patients and their families get the sleep they need to stay healthy. I work closely with other medical subspecialties, including pulmonary medicine, neurology and otolaryngology, to evaluate and treat pediatric sleep disorders. These include insomnia, hypersomnia (excessive sleep), parasomnia (disruptive disorders that occur during sleep) and sleep-disordered breathing.

Getting adequate sleep is critical to a healthy life. When I was training as a pediatric psychologist, it was evident to me that many children and families living with medical and behavioral health concerns also had trouble getting enough sleep. During my fellowship training at Cincinnati Children’s, I decided to pursue a professional career dedicated to improving sleep in children with health conditions that compromise sleep.

I am board certified in behavioral sleep medicine and in child and adolescent psychology. I direct Cincinnati Children’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program. Under my direction, this program is committed to providing treatments for sleep disorders that are guided by research findings and adapted to the unique needs of each patient and family.

In my clinic, I practice family-centered care and offer practical and effective treatment guided by patient and caregiver goals. My team and I work to strengthen the connection between your body’s natural sleep rhythm, environment, and unique habits, practices, beliefs and daily routines. Behavioral sleep medicine treatment is usually effective within one to two months of starting.

My current research efforts are closely tied to my clinical practice. They are focused in the following key areas:

  • Optimizing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for pediatric insomnia
  • Helping children and families overcome barriers to using positive airway pressure therapy for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea
  • Developing standards of behavioral sleep medicine care for youth with hypersomnia
  • Better understanding the relationship between chronic pain and sleep in youth

I’m pleased to be recognized as a fellow by the American Psychological Association, an honor that acknowledges my clinical care, applied clinical research and training for outstanding contributions to the field of professional psychology. I am also proud to direct one of only a few pediatric behavioral sleep medicine training programs in the U.S. that has accreditation by the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Lastly, board certification by the American Board of Professional Psychology and the Board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine are markers of my specialized training and competence in pediatric psychology and pediatric behavioral sleep medicine.

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, attending my three children’s many extracurricular activities and following my favorite sports teams. I also enjoy cooking and baking, reading, biking, walking our dogs and trips to the beach.

Insurance Information

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Adolescent sleep myths: identifying false beliefs that impact adolescent sleep and well-being. Robbins, R; Beebe, DW; Byars, KC; Grandner, M; Hale, L; Tapia, IE; Wolfson, AR; Owens, JA. Sleep Health. 2022.

Impact of a Behavioral Sleep Intervention in Adolescents With ADHD: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Effectiveness From a Pilot Open Trial. Becker, SP; Duraccio, KM; Sidol, CA; Fershtman, CE M; Byars, KC; Harvey, AG. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2022; 26:1051-1066.

Relationship of overweight and obesity to insomnia severity, sleep quality, and insomnia improvement in a clinically referred pediatric sample. Duraccio, KM R; Simmons, DM; Beebe, DW; Byars, KC. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2022; 18:1083-1091.

Randomized Behavioral Sleep Clinical Trial to Improve Outcomes in Children With Down Syndrome. Esbensen, AJ; Hoffman, EK; Beebe, DW; Byars, K; Carle, AC; Epstein, JN; Johnson, C. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 2022; 127:149-164.

Prevalence of somatic and pain complaints and associations with sleep disturbance in adolescents with insomnia presenting to a behavioral sleep medicine clinic. Van Dyk, TR; Krietsch, KN; King, CD; Byars, KC. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2022; 18:151-160.

Improvements in Sleep Correlate With Improvements in Clinical Outcomes Among Adolescents Undergoing Intensive Interdisciplinary Pain Treatment. Boggero, IA; Krietsch, KN; Pickerill, HM; Byars, KC; Homan, KJ; Williams, SE; King, CD. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2021; 37:443-453.

Validation and confirmatory factor analysis of the pediatric Adherence Barriers to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Questionnaire. Carmody, JK; Simon, SL; Mara, CA; Byars, KC. Sleep Medicine. 2020; 74:1-8.

Sleep disturbance and sleep insufficiency in primary caregivers and their children with cystic fibrosis. Byars, KC; Chini, B; Hente, E; Amin, R; Boat, T. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. 2020; 19:777-782.

0408 Myths About Infant, Child, and Adolescent Sleep: Addressing False Beliefs That Hinder Sleep Health During These Crucial Developmental Stages. Robbins, R; Hale, L; Beebe, D; Wolfson, AR; Grandner, MA; Mindell, JA; Owens, J; Tapia, I; Byars, KC; Gruber, R; et al. Sleep. 2020; 43:a156-a156.

0924 Adolescent Perceptions of Insomnia Treatment. Simon, SL; Meltzer, LJ; Williamson, AA; Graef, DM; Byars, KC; Honaker, SM. Sleep. 2020; 43:a351-a351.

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