Digital Public Defence: Jannicke Fjæra Laskemoen

Cand.psychol. Jannicke Fjæra Laskemoen at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Sleep disturbances in schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Kirsten Sjøwall

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.


Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Researcher Håvard Kallestad, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Second opponent: Trainee Clinical Psychologist/Dphil Sarah Reeve, University College London
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Grete Dyb, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Elfrida Kvarstein, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Post-doctor Carmen Simonsen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


The aim of the present thesis was to investigate the frequency of sleep disturbances in severe mental disorders (schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders), if sleep disturbances are related to clinical features, and whether associations are transdiagnostic. This was explored in three naturalistic, cross sectional studies which are all part of the ongoing Thematically Organized Psychosis (TOP) Research Study at the Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT).

The studies showed that sleep disturbances are frequent in and across severe mental disorders compared to healthy controls. The rate of symptoms of any sleep disturbance was 78% in Schizophrenia Spectrum disorders, 69% in Bipolar disorders, and 39% in healthy controls.

Having insomnia, hypersomnia or delayed sleep phase is related to higher severity of clinical symptoms, poorer functioning and more severe cognitive impairments. These associations are not based on confounding factors like age, medication with sedative effect or drug abuse. The co-occurrence of childhood trauma and insomnia symptoms in severe mental disorders is frequent, and insomnia symptoms partly mediate the effect of childhood trauma on psychotic symptoms, depression, anxiety and general functioning.

The present findings have important clinical implications. They contribute by raising awareness regarding the importance of implementing assessment and evidence based treatment of sleep disturbances in severe mental disorders in clinical practice.

Additional information

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Published Jan. 8, 2021 2:41 PM - Last modified Jan. 25, 2021 9:51 AM