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Torbjörn Åkerstedt's research group


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.


Selected publications






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

Group members

Torbjörn Åkerstedt

Andreas Gerhardsson

Johanna Schwarz

Göran Kecklund

Helena Petersen

Paolo d'Onofrio