Torbjörn Åkerstedt's research group

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Sleep and fatigue

The main focus of Torbjörn Åkerstedt’s research group is causes of disturbed sleep (especially stress and work hours), the role of sleep in physciological and psychological recovery, measurement of sleep quality, effects of short/impired sleep, measurement of sleepiness/fatigue, the relation between sleep and health (dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes).

Torbjörn Åkerstedt’s group has a link to the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University and he is the director of Stockholm Stress Center (a center of excellence for research on work stress and health) which is a joint venture of Stockholm University and Karolinska institutet.

The research group has at its disposal (via the Stress Research Institute) a laboratory for sleep studies, including polysomnography, climate controlled and sound insulated sleep units.

Research projects

  • Women’s sleep quality, studied through polysomnography (EEG, EOG, EMG), reported sleep quality, reported helath, sleepiness and with a special focus on aging.
  • Differences between the sleep of men and women – why do women complain more about sleep problems?
  • Effects of aging on sleep and fatigue.
  • The sleepy brain - Sleepiness and brain imaging in relation to sleep reduction, sleep fragmentation, stress and exhaustion.
  • Day-to-day relations between sleep, stress, fatigue, and reported health.
  • The effect of stress on physiological and reported sleep quality.
  • Severe sleepiness at the wheel. Night time driving on the road and in simulators with focus on driving performance, EEG, EOG and reported sleepiness.
  • Exposure to shift work and health (cancer, dementia, and other diseases).
  • What constitutes ”good” and ”bad” work schedules?
  • The relation between work conditions and insomnia, disability pension, disease and mortality.

Material

Selected publications

Age affects sleep microstructure more than sleep macrostructure.
Schwarz J, Åkerstedt T, Lindberg E, Gruber G, Fischer H, Theorell-Haglöw J
J Sleep Res 2017 Jun;26(3):277-287

Association Between Sleep Characteristics and Incident Dementia Accounting for Baseline Cognitive Status: A Prospective Population-Based Study.
Bokenberger K, Ström P, Dahl Aslan A, Johansson A, Gatz M, Pedersen N, et al
J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2017 Jan;72(1):134-139

What work schedule characteristics constitute a problem to the individual? A representative study of Swedish shift workers.
Åkerstedt T, Kecklund G
Appl Ergon 2017 Mar;59(Pt A):320-325

The relation between polysomnography and subjective sleep and its dependence on age - poor sleep may become good sleep.
Åkerstedt T, Schwarz J, Gruber G, Lindberg E, Theorell-Haglöw J
J Sleep Res 2016 Oct;25(5):565-570

Subjective sleepiness is a sensitive indicator of insufficient sleep and impaired waking function.
Akerstedt T, Anund A, Axelsson J, Kecklund G
J Sleep Res 2014 Jun;23(3):240-52

(A list of all published articles between 2013 and 2017 can be found here.)

Group members

Andreas GerhardssonAssociated
Göran KecklundAssociated
Aleksander PerskiAssociated, Senior Lecturer
Helena PetersenGraduate Student
Johanna SchwarzAssociated
Torbjörn ÅkerstedtResearch team leader, Professor, senior

Psychology