Helena Petersen

Helena Petersen


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Telephone 08-553 789 31
Visiting address Frescati Hagväg 16 A
Room 337
Postal address Stressforskningsinstitutet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Helenas research aims to identify and increase knowledge about the effects of stress on sleep and sleep quality and to study how physiological sleep variables relate to other indications of sleep quality. She has primarily studied how different levels of naturally occurring work stress affect sleep.

Education: Registered nurse with a bachelor's degree in medical sciences and a master's degree in stress prevention. Is currently a Phd-student at the Institute for Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Helena Petersen (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 26 (5), 567-571

    The weekend is usually seen as a window of recovery. Thus, sleep before a day off may be less impaired than that before a workday. However, very few polysomnographical studies have investigated this hypothesis. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare sleep before a workday with that before a weekend. Seventeen teachers participated. Sleep was recorded with polysomnography on one weekday night during the workweek, and on a workday (Friday) followed by a day off. Sleep diaries and actigraphs were also used. Weekend sleep showed delayed bedtime and time of rising, a longer total sleep time (45 min), increased N3 and N1, and decreased N2 and REM. Sleep spindles were reduced. The results remained after truncation to the shortest common sleep duration (5 h). The increase in N3 from weekday sleep to Friday night sleep was positively correlated with N1 change (r = 0.853, P <= 0.001), and negatively correlated with N2 change (r = -0.614, P <= 0.001). Subjective ratings showed that weekend sleep was associated with less awakening problems and lower subjective arousal during the day. The authors concluded that weekend sleep was longer, and showed increased N3 and N1. The authors suggest that the N3 increase before the day off is a result of lower stress, while the N1 increase may be an effect of sleep spindle suppression via the increase of N3 (which would suppress sleep spindles), thus reducing N2 and enhancing N1.

  • 2014. Helena Petersen (et al.).
  • 2014. Helena Petersen (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 23 (Suppl. 1)
Show all publications by Helena Petersen at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 15, 2019

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