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Cognitive Dysfunctions and Misperception of Sleep


Keisuke Takano, Thomas Ehring

Third party funding

Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers


Cognitive theories on insomnia have proposed that the interaction between cognitive biases and misperception of sleep plays a central role in developing serious and clinical levels of sleep problems. Perceived sleeplessness (even when there are no real deficits in physiological sleep) fuels worry and rumination about sleeplessness and daytime dysfunctions (e.g., without an adequate sleep, I can hardly function tomorrow); this further contributes to an escalating cycle of autonomic arousal and anxiety that disturbs optimal onset and maintenance of sleep. In the current research project, we aim (1) to identify the cognitive processes that are associated with sleep misperception, and (2) to establish the methods to modify those cognitive processes in order to reduce misperception of sleep. These attempts will contribute to a better understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of sleep disturbances, and furthermore, provide direct implication on the prevention of even severer sleep problems. This project is supported by Alexander von Humboldt foundation.

Related publications from our group

  • Takano, K., & Raes, F. (in press). Subjective sleep disturbances are associated with intrinsic motivation toward sleep-related thinking. Behaviour Research and Therapy.
  • Takano, K., Boddez, Y., & Raes, F. (2016). I sleep with my Mind's eye open: Cognitive arousal and overgeneralization underpin the misperception of sleep. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 52, 157-165.
  • Takano, K., Sakamoto, S., & Tanno, Y. (2014) Repetitive thought impairs sleep quality: an experience sampling study. Behavior Therapy, 45, 67-82.
  • Takano, K., Iijima, Y., & Tanno, Y. (2012) Repetitive thought and self-reported sleep disturbance. Behavior Therapy, 43, 779-789.