Johanna Schwarz

Johanna Schwarz


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Arbetar vid Psykologiska institutionen
Telefon 08-553 789 32
Besöksadress Frescati Hagväg 16 A
Rum 337
Postadress Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Johanna är forskare vid Stressforskningsinstitutet, Stockholms universitet och tog sin doktorsexamen 2012 vid institutionen för psykologi vid universitetet i Regensburg, Tyskland. Johannas huvudforskningsområden handlar om åldersskillnader på sömn samt effekter av sömnbrist på dagstidsfunktion (kognitiva funktioner & emotionell reglering) och stresskänslighet hos unga och äldre vuxna.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2019. Andreas Gerhardsson (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 28 (1)

    The emotional dysregulation and impaired working memory found after sleep loss can have severe implications for our daily functioning. Considering the intertwined relationship between emotion and cognition in stimuli processing, there could be further implications of sleep deprivation in high‐complex emotional situations. Although studied separately, this interaction between emotion and cognitive processes has been neglected in sleep research. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 1 night of sleep deprivation on emotional working memory. Sixty‐one healthy participants (mean age: 23.4 years) were either sleep deprived for 1 night (n = 30) or had a normal night’s sleep (n = 31). They performed an N‐back task with two levels of working memory load (1‐back and 3‐back) using positive, neutral and negative picture scenes. Sleep deprivation, compared with full night sleep, impaired emotional working memory accuracy, but not reaction times. The sleep‐deprived participants, but not the controls, responded faster to positive than to negative and neutral pictures. The effect of sleep deprivation was similar for both high and low working memory loads. The results showed that although detrimental in terms of accuracy, sleep deprivation did not impair working memory speed. In fact, our findings indicate that positive stimuli may facilitate working memory processing speed after sleep deprivation.

  • 2019. Tina Sundelin (et al.). Scientific Reports 9

    Several studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects risky decision making. However, most of these are confounded by feedback given after each decision, indicating that decisions may be based on suboptimal feedback-learning rather than risk evaluation. Furthermore, few studies have investigated the effect of sleep loss on aspects of prospect theory, specifically the framing effect and probability distortion. In this within-subjects design, 25 people had (i) two nights of an 8 h sleep opportunity, and (ii) two nights of a 4 h sleep opportunity, in a counter-balanced order. Following the two nights, they performed a gambling task with no immediate feedback; for each round, they could either gamble for a full amount, or take a settlement framed as a gain or a loss for part of the amount. Sleep restriction did not significantly affect the tendency to gamble, the framing effect, or probability distortion, as compared to normal sleep. These results indicate that two nights of sleep restriction affects neither general gambling tendency, nor two of the main predictions of prospect theory. This resilience may be due to a less extreme sleep loss than in previous studies, but also indicates that learning components and risk biases should be separated when assessing the effect of sleep loss on risky behaviour.

  • 2019. Johanna Schwarz (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 28 (4)

    Sleep deprivation commonly impairs affective regulation and causes worse mood. However, the majority of previous research concerns young adults. Because susceptibility to sleep deprivation and emotion regulation change distinctively across adult age, we tested here the hypothesis that the effect of sleep deprivation on mood is stronger in young than in older adults. In an experimental design, young (18–30 years) and older adults (60–72 years) participated in either a sleep control (young, n = 63; older, n = 47) or a total sleep deprivation condition (young, n = 61; older, n = 47). Sleepiness, mood and common symptoms of sleep deprivation were measured using established questionnaires and ratings. Sleep‐deprived participants felt more sleepy, stressed and cold, and reported lower vigour and positive affect, regardless of age. All the other outcome measures (negative affect, depression, confusion, tension, anger, fatigue, total mood disturbance, hunger, cognitive attenuation, irritability) showed a weaker response to sleep deprivation in the older group, as indicated by age*sleep deprivation interactions (ps < 0.05). The results show that older adults are emotionally less affected by sleep deprivation than young adults. This tolerance was mainly related to an attenuated increase in negative mood. This could possibly be related to the well‐known positivity effect, which suggests that older adults prioritize regulating their emotions to optimize well‐being. The results also highlight that caution is warranted when generalizing results from sleep deprivation studies across the adult lifespan.

  • 2019. Andreas Gerhardsson (et al.). Frontiers in Psychology 10

    Background: Older adults perform better in tasks which include positive stimuli, referred to as the positivity effect. However, recent research suggests that the positivity effect could be attenuated when additional challenges such as stress or cognitive demands are introduced. Moreover, it is well established that older adults are relatively resilient to many of the adverse effects of sleep deprivation. Our aim was to investigate if the positivity effect in older adults is affected by one night of total sleep deprivation using an emotional working memory task.

    Methods: A healthy sample of 48 older adults (60-72 years) was either sleep deprived for one night (n = 24) or had a normal night's sleep (n = 24). They performed an emotional working memory n-back (n = 1 and 3) task containing positive, negative and neutral pictures.

    Results: Performance in terms of accuracy and reaction times was best for positive stimuli and worst for negative stimuli. This positivity effect was not altered by sleep deprivation. Results also showed that, despite significantly increased sleepiness, there was no effect of sleep deprivation on working memory performance. A working memory load x valence interaction on the reaction times revealed that the beneficial effect of positive stimuli was only present in the 1-back condition.

    Conclusion: While the positivity effect and general working memory abilities in older adults are intact after one night of sleep deprivation, increased cognitive demand attenuates the positivity effect on working memory speed.

  • 2019. Torbjorn Åkerstedt (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 28 (4)

    There is a lack of studies on the association between total sleep time (TST) and other polysomnographical parameters. A key question is whether a short sleep is an expression of habitual short sleep, or whether it reflects temporary impairment. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between TST and amount of sleep stages and sleep continuity measures, in a large population-based sample of women (n = 385), sleeping at home in a normal daily life setting. The results show that sleep efficiency, N1 (min), N2 (min), REM (min), REM% and proportion of long sleep segments, increased with increasing TST, whereas the number of awakenings/hr, the number of arousals/hr, N1% and REM intensity decreased. In addition, longer sleep was more associated with TST being perceived as of usual duration and with better subjective sleep quality. TST was not associated with habitual reported sleep duration. It was concluded that short TST of a recorded sleep in a real-life context may be an indicator of poor objective sleep quality for that particular sleep episode. Because individuals clearly perceived this reduction, it appears that self-reports of poor sleep quality often may be seen as indicators of poor sleep quality. It is also concluded that PSG-recorded sleep duration does not reflect habitual reported sleep duration in the present real-life context.

  • 2019. Sandra Tamm (et al.). Royal Society Open Science 6 (3)

    Sleep restriction has been proposed to cause impaired emotional processing and emotional regulation by inhibiting top-down control from prefrontal cortex to amygdala. Intentional emotional regulation after sleep restriction has, however, never been studied using brain imaging. We aimed here to investigate the effect of partial sleep restriction on emotional regulation through cognitive reappraisal. Forty-seven young (age 20–30) and 33 older (age 65–75) participants (38/23 with complete data and successful sleep intervention) performed a cognitive reappraisal task during fMRI after a night of normal sleep and after restricted sleep (3 h). Emotional downregulation was associated with significantly increased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (pFWE < 0.05) and lateral orbital cortex (pFWE < 0.05) in young, but not in older subjects. Sleep restriction was associated with a decrease in self-reported regulation success to negative stimuli (p< 0.01) and a trend towards perceiving all stimuli as less negative (p = 0.07) in young participants. No effects of sleep restriction on brain activity nor connectivity were found in either age group. In conclusion, our data do not support the idea of a prefrontal-amygdala disconnect after sleep restriction, and neural mechanisms underlying behavioural effects on emotional regulation after insufficient sleep require further investigation.

  • Karin Schraml, Johanna Schwarz, Aleksander Perski.
  • 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.

  • 2018. Torbjörn Åkerstedt (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 27 (4)

    Bedtime is frequently delayed by many factors in life, and a homeostatic response to the delay may compensate partly for increased time awake and shortened sleep. Because sleep becomes shorter with age and women complain of disturbed sleep more often than men, age and sex differences in the homeostatic response to a delayed bedtime may modify the homeostatic response. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of late-night short-sleep (3 h with awakening at about 07:00 hours) on in-home recorded sleep in men and women in two age groups (20-30 and 65-75 years). Results (N = 59) showed that late-night short-sleep was associated with an increase in percentage of N3 sleep and a decrease in percentage of rapid eye movement sleep, as well as decreases in several measures of sleep discontinuity and rapid eye movement density. Men showed a smaller decrease in percentage of rapid eye movement sleep than women in response to late-night short-sleep, as did older individuals of both sexes compared with younger. Older men showed a weaker percentage of N3 sleep in response to late-night short-sleep than younger men. In general, men showed a greater percentage of rapid eye movement sleep and a lower percentage of N3 sleep than women, and older individuals showed a lower percentage of N3 sleep than younger. In particular, older men showed very low levels of percentage of N3 sleep. We conclude that older males show less of a homeostatic response to late-night short-sleep. This may be an indication of impaired capacity for recovery in older men. Future studies should investigate if this pattern can be linked to gender-associated differences in morbidity and mortality.

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Senast uppdaterad: 11 januari 2020

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