Sleep and sleepiness in relation to stress and displaced work hours

Physiol Behav. 2007 Sep 10;92(1-2):250-5. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.05.044. Epub 2007 May 21.


Sleep is an important factor in relation to accidents, long-term health and mortality. Our group has had a long-term commitment to research on sleep regulation and its consequences. Over the years we have demonstrated pronounced effects of night work on sleep and alertness, including electroencephalographically determined sleep during work. We have also demonstrated that experimental displacement of sleep will result in short sleep at daytime and increased physiological sleepiness at night and developed mathematical models for prediction of sleep duration, as well as of sleepiness and risk of sleep-related accidents. We have also looked at the concept of sleep quality and found it dependent on sleep duration, sleep continuity and content of sleep stages 3 and 4. Sleep is also clearly disturbed in patients on long-term sick leave for burnout or in non-patients with high burnout scores, in particular sleep fragmentation is increased and sleep efficiency and sleep stages 3 and 4 (SWS--deep sleep) decreased. The fragmentation in turn seems related to endocrine changes. Present work is focused on bringing this work together, connecting the links from stress to sleep to metabolic changes to disease and long-term sickness absence.

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*