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Wessel van Leeuwen

Wessel van Leeuwen

Forskningsassistent

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Telephone 08-553 789 17
Email wessel.vleeuwen@su.se
Visiting address Frescati Hagväg 16 A
Room 337
Postal address Stressforskningsinstitutet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Wessel van Leeuwen (MSc in Neuroscience from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) is a research assistant within the unit for sleep and wake research. His research projects have their focus on sleep, sleepiness, fatigue and stress in people working in the transport sector, involving both simulator and field studies. He has collaborated and collaborates with Warsash Maritime Academy in the UK, Dalian Maritime University in China and the University of Southern Denmark. More information about Wessel can be found on his LinkedIn profile and Twitter account.

Teaching

Wessel is course leader for the master course Psychobiological Processes, Stress and Health within the master programme Population health: Societal and individual perspectives at the Department of Public Health Sciences.

Publications

A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2013. Wessel M A van Leeuwen (et al.). Chronobiology International 30 (9), 1108-1115

    Seafarer sleepiness jeopardizes safety at sea and has been documented as a direct or contributing factor in many maritime accidents. This study investigates sleep, sleepiness, and neurobehavioral performance in a simulated 4 h on/8 h off watch system as well as the effects of a single free watch disturbance, simulating a condition of overtime work, resulting in 16 h of work in a row and a missed sleep opportunity. Thirty bridge officers (age 30 ± 6 yrs; 29 men) participated in bridge simulator trials on an identical 1-wk voyage in the North Sea and English Channel. The three watch teams started respectively with the 00-04, the 04-08, and the 08-12 watches. Participants rated their sleepiness every hour (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale [KSS]) and carried out a 5-min psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) test at the start and end of every watch. Polysomnography (PSG) was recorded during 6 watches in the first and the second half of the week. KSS was higher during the first (mean ± SD: 4.0 ± 0.2) compared with the second (3.3 ± 0.2) watch of the day (p < 0.001). In addition, it increased with hours on watch (p < 0.001), peaking at the end of watch (4.1 ± 0.2). The free watch disturbance increased KSS profoundly (p < 0.001): from 4.2 ± 0.2 to 6.5 ± 0.3. PVT reaction times were slower during the first (290 ± 6 ms) compared with the second (280 ± 6 ms) watch of the day (p < 0.001) as well as at the end of the watch (289 ± 6 ms) compared with the start (281 ± 6 ms; p = 0.001). The free watch disturbance increased reaction times (p < 0.001) from 283 ± 5 to 306 ± 7 ms. Similar effects were observed for PVT lapses. One third of all participants slept during at least one of the PSG watches. Sleep on watch was most abundant in the team working 00-04 and it increased following the free watch disturbance. This study reveals that-within a 4 h on/8 h off shift system-subjective and objective sleepiness peak during the night and early morning watches, coinciding with a time frame in which relatively many maritime accidents occur. In addition, we showed that overtime work strongly increases sleepiness. Finally, a striking amount of participants fell asleep while on duty.

  • 2015. Jørgen Riis Jepsen, Zhiwei Zhao, Wessel M. A. van Leeuwen. International Maritime Health 66 (2), 106-117

    Background: The consequences of fatigue for the health and safety of seafarers has caused concern in the industry and among academics, and indicates the importance of further research into risk factors and preventive interventions at sea. This review gives an overview of the key issues relating to seafarer fatigue.

    Materials and methods: A literature study was conducted aiming to collect publications that address risk factors for fatigue, short-term and long-term consequences for health and safety, and options for fatigue mitigation at sea. Due to the limited number of publications that deals with seafarers, experiences from other populations sharing the same exposures (e.g. shift work) were also included when appropriate.

    Results: Work at sea involves multiple risk factors for fatigue, which in addition to acute effects (e.g., impaired cognition, accidents) contributes through autonomic, immunologic and metabolic pathways to the development of chronic diseases that are particularly prevalent in seafarers.

    Conclusions: Taking into account the frequency of seafarer fatigue and the severity of its consequences, one should look into the efficacy of the current legislative framework and the industry’s compliance, the manning of the international merchant fleet, and optimised working, living and sleeping conditions at sea. Considering circumstances at sea, e.g. working in shifts and crossing time zones, that cannot be altered, further assessment of the potentials of preventive interventions including fatigue prediction tools and individual fatigue mitigation management systems is recommended. 

  • 2015. Anna Anund (et al.).
  • 2017. Margareta Lutzhoft (et al.). Simulators for Transportation Human Factors

    Simulation continues to be a growth area in transportation human factors. From empirical studies in the laboratory to the latest training techniques in the field, simulators offer myriad benefits for the experimenter and the practitioner. This book draws together current trends in research and training simulators for the road, rail, air and sea sectors to inform the reader how to maximize both validity and cost-effectiveness in each case. Simulators for Transportation Human Factors provides a valuable resource for both researchers and practitioners in transportation human factors on the use of simulators, giving readers concrete examples and case studies of how simulators have been developed and used in empirical research as well as training applications. It offers useful and usable information on the functional requirements of simulators without the need for any background knowledge on the technical aspects, focusing on the state of the art of research and applications in transport simulators rather than the state of the art of simulation technology. The book covers simulators in operational terms instead of task simulation/modelling and provides a useful balance between a bottom-up, academic approach and a top-down, practical perspective.

  • 2017. Jørgen Riis Jepsen (et al.). Maritime Psychology, 127-150

    The consequences of fatigue for the health and safety of seafarers have caused concern in the industry and among academics, and indicates the importance of further research into risk factors and preventive interventions at sea. This chapter gives an overview of the key issues relating to seafarer fatigue. A literature study was conducted aimed at collecting publications that address risk factors for fatigue, short-term and long-term consequences for health and safety, and options for fatigue mitigation at sea. Due to the limited number of publications that deal with seafarers, experiences from other populations sharing the same exposures (e.g. shift work) were also included when appropriate. Work at sea involves multiple risk factors for fatigue, which in addition to acute effects (e.g. impaired cognition, accidents) contributes through autonomic, immunologic and metabolic pathways to the development of chronic diseases that are particularly prevalent in seafarers. Taking into account the frequency of seafarer fatigue and the severity of its consequences, the efficacy of the current legislative framework and the industry’s compliance, the manning of the international merchant fleet, and optimized working, living and sleeping conditions at sea all need serious reconsideration. Given the circumstances at sea which cannot be altered, e.g. working in shifts and crossing time zones, further assessment of the potentials of preventive interventions including fatigue prediction tools and individual Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) is recommended.

Show all publications by Wessel van Leeuwen at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 13, 2018

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