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Marija Bakotić and Biserka Radošević-Vidaček

Regulation of Sleepiness: The Role of the Arousal System

Sleepiness is a widespread phenomenon in the busy industrial countries, and many studies have identified its significant negative impacts on individuals and society. Particularly important are the data that associate sleepiness with the risk of accidents at workplace and in transport, pointing to shift workers as the most vulnerable population. It is generally accepted that two basic physiological processes regulate sleepiness: homeostatic and circadian rhythmic processes. Recent research has proposed the third component regulating sleepiness, that is, the wake drive or the arousal system. The role of the arousal system in regulating sleepiness has partly been addressed by the studies of the pathophysiology of insomnia, which is often described as a disorder of hyperarousal. Experimental and correlational studies on the relation between sleepiness and arousal in good sleepers have generally indicated that both physiological and cognitive arousal are related to the standard measures of sleepiness. Taking into account the role of the arousal system in regulating sleepiness widens the possibilities for the management of sleep disorders and could also help in solving the problem of excessive sleepiness at work and the wheel.

Open access

Marija Bakotić, Biserka Radošević-Vidaček and Adrijana Košćec

Individualne Razlike i Učinci Deprivacije Spavanja

Suvremeni način života i različite životne okolnosti sve češće zahtijevaju od pojedinca da skrati trajanje spavanja i mijenja njegov raspored, što često rezultira deprivacijom spavanja. Ranija su istraživanja pokazala da učinci deprivacije spavanja na fiziološko i psihološko funkcioniranje pojedinca ovise o mnogobrojnim čimbenicima poput vrste deprivacije, trajanja prethodnog spavanja, doba dana kad se ispituju učinci, karakteristika zadataka koji se izvode te motivacije ispitanika. U ovom se radu raspravlja o učincima deprivacije spavanja te postojanju stabilnih individualnih razlika u tim učincima koje se nazivaju "ranjivost na gubitak spavanja". Novija istraživanja upućuju na moguću važnost nekih karakteristika ispitanika u predviđanju sustavnih i robusnih posljedica deprivacije spavanja, poput dobi i spola te nekih osobina ličnosti u širem smislu. Nadalje, upozorava se na moguću važnost individualnih razlika u nekim specifičnim osobinama povezanim sa spavanjem i budnošću, poput preferencija cirkadijurne faze, potrebe za spavanjem, za osobu karakteristične razine pospanosti i sposobnosti brzog uspavljivanja. Dosadašnja istraživanja osobina povezanih s različitom ranjivošću na gubitak spavanja nisu dala jednoznačne rezultate o njihovoj prediktivnoj važnosti. Daljnja istraživanja usmjerena na ovaj problem mogla bi pomoći u identifikaciji osoba koje su posebno ranjive na gubitak spavanja te pridonijeti osobnoj i općoj sigurnosti za vrijeme obavljanja noćnog rada.

Open access

Biserka Radošević-Vidaček, Adrijana Košćec, Marija Bakotić, Jelena Macan and Jasminka Bobić

Is Atopy Related to Neuroticism, Stress, and Subjective Quality of Life?

Different psychosocial characteristics have been associated with allergic disorders. The aim of this study was to examine whether atopic constitution and reports of allergic symptoms were related to personality trait of neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events and estimates of quality of life. Atopy was determined by skin prick test and reports of nasal and pulmonary allergy-related symptoms. Actively working individuals of both genders took part in the study (n=145, age range: 20 to 66 years). The participants were divided in three groups. The first group was composed of those with negative skin prick test and without symptoms (n=57), the second of those with positive skin prick test but without symptoms (n=28), and the third of those with positive skin prick test and symptoms (n=60). The groups did not differ significantly in neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events, or quality of life. Women reported more pronounced neuroticism and anxiety, higher exposure to stressful life events, and were less satisfied with their environment than men. In our sample of active workers we found no association of neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events, and quality of life with atopy and allergic symptoms.