Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston - University of Houston
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Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston

SACH is a clinical research center in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston dedicated to understanding the connections between sleep, emotions and behaviors across the life span. We conduct clinical research with the ultimate goal of informing evidence-based practices, interventions and policy that improve sleep and overall health. SACH offers paid research opportunities as well as low-cost clinical services for in children, adolescents, and adults with various type of sleep and mental health complaints based on the latest scientific evidence.

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News & Events

  • Jan 2021: Dr. Alfano and graduate student, Christine So were award a UH Small Research Grant titled, “Sleep patterns and biomarkers of stress among women with a history of sexual abuse in childhood.”

  • June 2020: SACH Director, Dr. Candice Alfano, was named a Fellow of UH’s HEALTH Research Institute

  • Congratulation to SACH graduate student, Christine So, who was selected to receive a Trainee Merit Based Award from the Sleep Research Society to attend SLEEP 2018, the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies to be held in Baltimore, MD.

  • SACH graduate student, Michelle Clementi was awarded aa 2018 Travel Award from the Society of Pediatric Psychology Student Travel Award for research on psychological predictors of recovery trajectories in pediatric patients with acute musculoskeletal pain.
  • Congratulation to SACH Research Scientist, Dr. Cara Palmer, who was a 2017 MentorMentee Program award from the Sleep Research Society (SRS).

  • April 2017: Jennifer Cowie, SACH 5th year graduate student, was selected as the recipient of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine’s Student Dissertation Award for 2017. Jen is currently recruiting children ages 6 to 12 with a fear of dogs for her dissertation study. For more information please contact her at 713-743-8792 or

  • Feb 2017: Drs. Alfano, Bower, and Palmer were award a Research Project Grant from UH titled, “Emotional consequences of Sleep Deprivation in Adolescents”.

  • May 2016: SACH Director, Dr. Candice Alfano, was named as a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

  • SACH graduate student, Katie Reynolds, was selected for a 2016 Dissertation Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) for her dissertation project titled, Impact of Experimental Sleep Extension on Adolescent Social Emotion Regulation.

  • Congratulations to SACH graduate student, Jennifer Cowie, who received the 2015 Student Travel Award from the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) for her paper titled, "Parental Involvement in Infant Sleep Routines Predicts Differential Sleep Patterns in Children with and without Anxiety Disorders".

  • SACH graduate student Michelle Clementi received the 2015 Texas Psychological Foundation Graduate Research Proposal Award for her dissertation project, "Efficacy of an Integrated Sleep and Anxiety Intervention for Childhood Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial". Congratulations, Michelle!

  • Congratulations to SACH research assistant, Naomi Alphonso, who was awarded a Provost’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS) award for the Fall 2015 semester! Naomi is working with Drs. Alfano and Palmer studying the effects of sleep restriction on emotion in children.

  • SACH undergraduate research assistant, Julia Najm, was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) scholarship for summer 2015. Julia is working with Dr. Cara Palmer in examining how sleep restriction in school-aged children affects their interpretations and attributions in relation to ambiguous emotional information. Way to go Julia!

  • January 2015: Dr. Alfano was awarded a grant from NASA titled, "Characterization of Psychological Risk, Overlap with Physical Health, and Associated Performance in Isolated, Confined, Extreme Environments”. See the announcement here.

  • Congratulations to SACH research assistant, Amy Williams, whose research poster titled, Parental Anxiety, Parenting Behaviors, an Sleep Problems in Children with and without Generalized Anxiety Disorder, won the Best Poster Award at UH's Annual Education and Psychology Research Symposium on April 25, 2014! View Photos

  • Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Patriquin whose research poster won the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Special Interest Group's Best Poster Award at the 2014 meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) in Nashville, TN. Dr Patriquin's poster was based on study titled, Anticipatory heart rate during a worry task and pre-sleep arousal in children with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

  • Congratulations to SACH graduate student, Katie Reynolds, who was awarded a Lonestar LEND Fellowship for 2013-2014!

  • March, 2013. SACH volunteers assist the Houston Children’s Charity, “A Better Night’s Sleep”, a program that provides children from low-income families with beds and bedding. View Photos.