Profiles

Göran Kecklund

Göran Kecklund

Enhetschef, Professor

Visa sidan på svenska
Telephone 08-553 789 12
Email goran.kecklund@su.se
Visiting address Frescati Hagväg 16 A
Room 325
Postal address Stressforskningsinstitutet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Göran works as a sleep- and stress researcher and his research profile is working hours, health, safety and fatigue. He is also an accredited sleep specialist since 1 March 2009. Görans research has been focused on how shift work affects sleep and wakefulness ability and what possible consequences the disturbed sleep may have on health and safety. The applied research has its theoretical basis in sleep regulation and some recently published laboratory experiments have investigated how partial sleep deprivation affects sleepiness, performance and physiological quality of sleep. In recent years, the working time research has focused on working time models, which involves varying degrees of self-selected working hours. Another of his research fields is about how stress affects sleep and if sleep mediates the relationship between stress and health. He has also participated in several studies of fatigue in traffic. Görans teaching includes the psychology program at the Karolinska Institute, but he has also lectured at different working time seminars, e.g. for health care staff and police officers. He is an Associate Editor for the journal Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health and has been part of the organizing committee of several major scientific meetings and congresses. He has also been engaged as an expert by the National Accident Committee, LO-TCO Law Review, the National Police Board, SBU, and several trade unions. Göran is a director of the Swedish Traffic Medical Association.

Education: PhD in Psychology in 1997, Accredited sleep specialist 2009

Publications

A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • Helena Schiller (et al.).

    Purpose: Sleep disturbance is common in the working population, often associated with work stress, health complaints and impaired work performance. This study evaluated a group intervention at work, based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for insomnia, and the moderating effects of burnout scores at baseline.

    Methods: This is a randomized controlled intervention with a waiting-list control group. Participants were employees working at least 75% of full time, reporting self-perceived regular sleep problems. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention and at a three-month follow-up through diaries, wrist-actigraphy and questionnaires including the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ). Fifty-one participants (63% women) completed data collections.

    Results: A multilevel mixed model showed no significant differences between groups for sleep over time, while there was a significant effect on insomnia symptoms when excluding participants working shifts (N=11) from the analysis (p=0.044). Moreover, a moderating effect of baseline-levels of burnout scores was observed on insomnia symptoms (p=0.009). A post-hoc analysis showed that individuals in the intervention group with low burnout scores at baseline (SMBQ<3.75) displayed significantly reduced ISI scores at follow-up, compared to individuals with high burnout scores at baseline (p=0.005).

    Conclusions: Group CBT for insomnia given at the workplace did not reduce sleep problems looking at the group as a whole, while it was indicated that the intervention reduced insomnia in employees with regular daytime work. The results also suggest that workplace-based group CBT may improve sleep in employees with primary insomnia if not concomitant with high burnout scores. 

  • Helena Schiller (et al.).

    Objectives: A 25% reduction of weekly work hours for full-time employees has been shown to improve sleep and alertness and reduce stress during both workdays and days off. The aim of the present study was to investigate how employees use their time during such an intervention: does total workload (paid and non-paid work) decrease, and recovery time increase, when work hours are reduced?

    Methods: Full-time employees within the public sector (N=636; 75% women) were randomized into intervention group and control group. The intervention group (N=370) reduced worktime to 75% with preserved salary during 18 months. Data were collected at baseline, after 9 months and 18 months. Time-use was reported every half hour daily between 06 and 01 a.m. during one week at each data collection. Data were analyzed with multilevel mixed modeling.

    Results: Compared to the control group, the intervention group increased the time spent on domestic work and relaxing hobby activities during workdays when worktime was reduced (p≤0.001). On days off, more time was spent in free-time activities (p=0.003). Total workload decreased (-65 minutes) and time spent in recovery activities increased on workdays (+53 minutes). The pattern of findings was similar in subgroups defined by gender, family status and job situation.

    Conclusions: A worktime reduction of 25% for full-time workers resulted in decreased total workload and an increase of time spent in recovery activities, which is in line with the suggestion that worktime reduction may be beneficial for long-term health and stress.

  • 2018. Helena Schiller (et al.). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 91 (4), 413-424

    Sleep disturbance is common in the working population, often associated with work stress, health complaints and impaired work performance. This study evaluated a group intervention at work, based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia, and the moderating effects of burnout scores at baseline. This is a randomized controlled intervention with a waiting list control group. Participants were employees working at least 75% of full time, reporting self-perceived regular sleep problems. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention and at a 3-month follow-up through diaries, wrist-actigraphy and questionnaires including the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ). Fifty-one participants (63% women) completed data collections. A multilevel mixed model showed no significant differences between groups for sleep over time, while there was a significant effect on insomnia symptoms when excluding participants working shifts (N = 11) from the analysis (p = 0.044). Moreover, a moderating effect of baseline-levels of burnout scores was observed on insomnia symptoms (p = 0.009). A post-hoc analysis showed that individuals in the intervention group with low burnout scores at baseline (SMBQ < 3.75) displayed significantly reduced ISI scores at follow-up, compared to individuals with high burnout scores at baseline (p = 0.005). Group CBT for insomnia given at the workplace did not reduce sleep problems looking at the group as a whole, while it was indicated that the intervention reduced insomnia in employees with regular daytime work. The results also suggest that workplace-based group CBT may improve sleep in employees with primary insomnia if not concomitant with high burnout scores.

  • 2018. Anna Anund (et al.). Accident Analysis and Prevention 114, 71-76

    Bus drivers often work irregular hours or split shifts and their work involves high levels of stress. These factors can lead to severe sleepiness and dangerous driving. This study examined how split shift working affects sleepiness and performance during afternoon driving. An experiment was conducted on a real road with a specially equipped regular bus driven by professional bus drivers. The study had a within-subject design and involved 18 professional bus drivers (9 males and 9 females) who drove on two afternoons; one on a day in which they had driven early in the morning (split shift situation) and one on a day when they had been off duty until the test (afternoon shift situation). The hypothesis tested was that split shifts contribute to sleepiness during afternoon, which can increase the safety risks. The overall results supported this hypothesis. In total, five of the 18 drivers reached levels of severe sleepiness (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale 8) with an average increase in KSS of 1.94 when driving in the afternoon after working a morning shift compared with being off duty in the morning. This increase corresponded to differences observed between shift workers starting and ending a night shift. The Psychomotor Vigilance Task showed significantly increased response time with split shift working (afternoon: 0.337 s; split shift 0.347 s), as did the EEG-based Karolinska Drowsiness Score mean/max. Blink duration also increased, although the difference was not significant. One driver fell asleep during the drive. In addition, 12 of the 18 bus drivers reported that in their daily work they have to fight to stay awake while driving at least 2-4 times per month. While there were strong individual differences, the study clearly showed that shift working bus drivers struggle to stay awake and thus countermeasures are needed in order to guarantee safe driving with split shift schedules.

  • 2018. Johanna Schwarz (et al.). Psychoneuroendocrinology 96, 155-165

    Sleep loss and psychosocial stress often co-occur in today’s society, but there is limited knowledge on the combined effects. Therefore, this experimental study investigated whether one night of sleep deprivation affects the response to a psychosocial challenge. A second aim was to examine if older adults, who may be less affected by both sleep deprivation and stress, react differently than young adults. 124 young (18–30 years) and 94 older (60–72 years) healthy adults participated in one of four conditions: i. normal night sleep & Placebo-Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), ii. normal night sleep & Trier Social Stress Test, iii. sleep deprivation & Placebo-TSST, iv. sleep deprivation & TSST. Subjective stress ratings, heart rate variability (HRV), salivary alpha amylase (sAA) and cortisol were measured throughout the protocol. At the baseline pre-stress measurement, salivary cortisol and subjective stress values were higher in sleep deprived than in rested participants. However, the reactivity to and recovery from the TSST was not significantly different after sleep deprivation for any of the outcome measures. Older adults showed higher subjective stress, higher sAA and lower HRV at baseline, indicating increased basal autonomic activity. Cortisol trajectories and HRV slightly differed in older adults compared with younger adults (regardless of the TSST). Moreover, age did not moderate the effect of sleep deprivation. Taken together, the results show increased stress levels after sleep deprivation, but do not confirm the assumption that one night of sleep deprivation increases the responsivity to an acute psychosocial challenge.

Show all publications by Göran Kecklund at Stockholm University

Last updated: January 18, 2019

Bookmark and share Tell a friend