Sleep, Cognition and Health", Karolinska Institute

Clinical Neuroscience

John Axelsson
Associate Professor
Nobels väg 9, 17177
+46 8 52482461
+46 8 52482461
Contact E-mail:
Research Domain
  • Basic Human
  • Learning, Memory, Cognition
  • Sleep and Body Functions (Cardio-Respiratory, Thermoregulation/Metabolism, Endocrine)

Laboratory description

With our research we aim to increase the knowledge and awareness of how sleep in the modern life affects our biology, cognition and health. A main focus is to investigate how disturbed sleep affects us both acutely and chronically with respect to immune function, metabolism and subjective health. Another research area includes how disturbed sleep affects cognitive processes and how we interact with our peers. We are also pursuing research in how sickness and disease affects cognition and behaviour.

Our research is strongly interdisciplinary which is also reflected by our methodology, with methods ranging from the photographing of sleep deprived individuals to injections with (dead) bacteria to investigate brain activity with brain imaging techniques when someone is acutely sick.

Additional Descriptors, Keywords

Shiftwork, Psychoneuroimmunology

Key Publications of the Laboratory:
Axelsson J, Sundelin T, Olsson MJ, Axelsson C, Lasselin J & Lekander M. Identification of acutely sick people and facial cues of sickness, Proceedings Royal Society B 2018:285: 20172430, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2430 [PMID: 29298938]

Kecklund G & Axelsson J. Health consequences of shift work and insufficient sleep, BMJ 2016 Nov 1;355:i5210. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i5210 [PMID: 27803010]

Sundelin T, Lekander M, Kecklund G, van Someren E, Olsson A & Axelsson J. Cues of fatigue: Effects of sleep deprivation on facial appearance. Sleep. 2013 Sep 1;36(9):1355-60. doi: 10.5665/sleep.2964. [PMID: 23997369]

Karshikoff B. Lekander M. Soop A. Lindstedt F. Ingvar M, Kosek E. Hoglund CO. Axelsson J. Modality and sex differences in pain sensitivity during human endotoxemia, Brain Behavior and Immunity 2015 May;46:35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.11.014. [PMID 25486090]

Axelsson J. Sundelin T. Ingre M. Olsson A. van Someren E & Lekander M. Beauty Sleep: Experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of sleep deprived people BMJ, 2010 Dec 15. 341:c6614, [PMID: 21156746]

Axelsson J, Ingre M, Åkerstedt T. & Holmbäck U. Effects of displaced sleep on testosterone. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2005 Aug;90(8):4530-5. [PMID: 15914523]


Title:  PhD

Name:  Mats Lekander

Name:  Göran Kecklund

Name:  Predrag Petrovic

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