News 2023


In recent years, Univ.-Prof. Manuel Schabus of the Laboratory for Sleep, Cognition and Consciousness Research at Paris Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS) has asked people in Austria about their sleep condition in a broad online survey. The result: constant accessibility, high work pressure, a pandemic and other stress factors mean that more and more people are not sleeping well. Read more here.


From February 9 to 12, 2023, the international winter symposium “Sleep, Cognition and Consciousness”, organized for the 5th time by Univ.-Prof. Manuel Schabus & Assoc.-Prof. Kerstin Hödlmoser, took place in Werfenweng, Salzburg. For three days international top-class experts gave lectures on different topics in the field of (1) sleep and memory (Jan Born, Philippe Peigneux, Steffen Gais, Randolph Helfrich, Genevieve Albouy, Björn Rasch), (2) cognition, light and circadianics (Derk-Jan Dijk, Christina Schmidt, Gilles Vandevalle, Christian Cajochen) as well as on (3) insomnia (Thanh Dang-Vu, Christoph Nissen, Eus van Someren). Read more here.

World Sleep Day: Sleep research in Salzburg and survey at

Sleep research in Salzburg: What has happened since the launch of a major sleep survey five years ago, new findings and approaches.

Sleep research has long been anchored in Salzburg as a research location – and internationally renowned. Over the past five years, researchers led by Prof. Manuel Schabus of the Laboratory for Sleep, Cognition and Consciousness Research at Paris Lodron University in Salzburg have been asking people in Austria about their sleep habits in a broad-based online survey. More than 1,600 people aged 18 to 90 have already participated. You, too, are welcome to participate in this survey at

What is the balance now, after the Corona pandemic, in times of stress, increased hectic activity and strong inflation?

Generally speaking, Schabus said, the results are in line with international study findings: “Austria sleeps alarmingly poorly, and unfortunately that leads to more health problems and mental suffering. To more infections, because the immune system is weakened. People also become more irritable and the risk of anxiety disorders and depression increases. In fact, we know that a permanent lack of sleep time can shorten lifespan by up to five years.“

Women are affected more than men

“The good news is that we are successfully educating and reaching people with our research, which we keep getting out there,” Schabus said. However, he said, it is surprising how many people in the general population have sleep problems, namely 25-30 percent of people in all age groups, and that children and adolescents are also affected. The study’s figures show that, on average, people sleep 30 minutes too little on work days than the necessary seven hours, and then try to catch up on sleep on weekends. The math doesn’t add up that way, of course.

Sleep problems occur more frequently in women. With increasing age, their sleep problems more than double: From 34 percent for those under thirty to 72 percent for those over sixty (For men, from 31 percent to 45 percent). What is alarming is the fact that stress at work is most often reported as the reason for poor sleep. Twenty percent of men have even experienced an accident or near-accident due to poor sleep. For women, it’s only about 12 percent.

Companies discover sleep as health prevention

Research shows: People who have slept well are more efficient. Productivity increases by 12 percent. At the same time, excessive daytime sleepiness is reduced by more than 35 percent. There is 28 percent less downtime at work and sick leave is reduced by five days per year. People who are well rested also work with greater concentration: this leads to a drastic reduction (-70 percent) in accidents at work.

Anyone who wants to improve their sleep can now do so in their own four walls: The app NUKKUAA, a spin-off with know-how from the University of Salzburg, precisely analyzes sleep and helps to improve sleep in the long term through exercises. “Since the launch last year, we have recorded more than 5,000 downloads,” reports CEO Thomas Winkler. “I am particularly pleased that organizations and companies have also discovered the topic of rest and healthy sleep as part of company health prevention.” For example, the City of Salzburg or SPAR AG have provided subscriptions to the app for their employees. Feedback from other companies, including a global market leader, large retail and industrial companies and a bank, has been positive, ranging from “Aha – this kind of prevention exists?” to “great idea, we’ll try it.” Something is happening on the subject of sleep – and the University of Salzburg is playing a big part in it.

Press release PLUS University of Salzburg (16.03.2023)

How does stress during pregnancy affect the baby?

How does emotional stress in pregnant women affect their babies, and what influence does this have on their language development? A study team led by Univ. Prof. Dr. Manuel Schabus has been investigating this on newborns for the past year and a half. It is one of the first studies in the world to begin measuring brain data as early as two weeks after birth.

Recent ORF articles on this study can be found here:

ORF Salzburg today, 02.02.2023:

ORF Radio Salzburg, 02.02.2023:

News 2022

New projects & Call for PhD positions

Under the direction of Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Kerstin Hödlmoser, two new projects funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) on (1) sleep and memory consolidation during pregnancy and (2) motor learning through imagination training and Sleep in Young and Older Adults are starting in the Laboratory for Sleep, Cognition and Consciousness Research.

Sleep and memory in pregnancy:

This long-term study, which will run throughout pregnancy and to 6 months postpartum, will address the question of what factors cause the commonly reported transient memory difficulties during pregnancy and whether there are associations with changes in sleep during this particular phase of life. For more information on this project, please click here: Sleep and memory during pregnancy

For this project two PhD positions are available, for which interested persons with a qualifying Master’s degree are welcome to apply until April 01, 2023. Further information on how to apply as well as important requirements can be found in the following document: PhD application 2023

Effects of sleep on motor learning through imagination training:

This project addresses several research questions: do young and older adults differ in learning various motor tasks using imagination training? How are these connections affected by sleep and wakefulness? How does brain activity change during this type of learning?

This study is being conducted in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arnaud Saimpont at the University of Lyon (France). For more information about this project, please click here: Motor Learning through Imagination Training

Healthy Sleep Podcast

Most people believe they can save time by sleeping less, and use the time differently. Physician Hans Gasperl and sleep researcher Manuel Schabus from the University of Salzburg reveal why this is not a good approach, and how you can find a healthy sleep routine in a completely natural way. And with our start-up Nukkuaa, we are trying to make exactly that available to everyone 24/7, easily, and inexpensively… Better sleep 💤 in a “short” time…

20th Anniversary of the “Laboratory for Sleep, Cognition & Consciousness Research”

The Laboratory for Sleep, Cognition & Consciousness Research at the University of Salzburg celebrates its 20th anniversary! On the occasion of the anniversary, the founders Univ.-Prof. Dr. Manuel Schabus and Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Kerstin Hödlmoser and their team are organizing a symposium around the topic “Sleep, Cognition & Consciousness” and invite renowned scientists from all over the world to discuss current topics in sleep and consciousness research. The first keynote speakers have already been announced.
The internal event will take place together with this year’s Winter School of the PhD programme “Imaging the Mind” in beautiful Werfenweng near Salzburg.

Study participation – Do babies already learn in the womb?

Salzburger Nachrichten (SN), September 19th, 2022

Are you interested in participating or do you have further questions? Please send an e-Mail to:

Mobile sleep lab: App “Nukkuaa” for solving sleep problems now available

Constant availability, high work pressure, a pandemic and other stress factors are causing more and more people to sleep less. The team around Univ.-Prof. Manuel Schabus now wants to remedy this and, together with mathematicians from the University of Salzburg, has developed the mobile app “Nukkuaa” – the Finnish word for sleep – which has been officially on the market and downloadable in all app stores since August 16.

The technology allows sleep to be analyzed almost as precisely as a clinical sleep lab, which is often at capacity and has long waiting lists, using a simple sensor based on heart activity. Customers must purchase the H10 chest sensor required for this from Finnish cooperation partner Polar. The app also offers sleep coaching that adapts individually to self-measured sleep. “We know from studies that sleep therapy via app can also be very helpful,” says Dr. Christine Blume, a sleep researcher at the University of Basel and part of the team. “Unfortunately, there are far too few sleep therapists. ‘NUKKUAA’ can fill that gap.”

Excerpt of press articles on the topic (08/16-22):


Interview: How sleep influences our lives (in german)

Link to PDF

400 years PLUS – Laboratory for “Sleep, Cognition & Consciousness Research” as scientific flagship of Paris Lodron University of Salzburg

On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Paris Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS), an ORF-TV report was broadcasted last Sunday (May 15, 2022), in which our laboratory for “Sleep, Cognition & Consciousness Research” is mentioned as a scientific flagship of the university.

Also our current spin-off project “Nukkuaa” is mentioned, which should alleviate sleep disorders such as insomnia in the future by means of an app or allow daily sleep analyses for everyone by means of modern heart sensors.

In the worthwhile report you also get a historical overview and what has been happening at the University of Salzburg since 1622.

Click here for full ORF report (date: 15th of may, 2022, in german) (part sleep lab starts at 13:28)

Interview with MS Moves:  Sleep and its significance for physical and mental health

Anja and Judith from MS Moves speak up for removing the taboos surrounding multiple sclerosis and draw attention to various relevant health issues on their website.
Therefore, Univ.-Prof. Manuel Schabus gave interesting insights into the role of sleep for physical and mental health, which are also of great importance for MS patients.

Click here for full interview (in german).

Sleep of children and adolescents worsened significantly since the beginning of the pandemic

Sleep problems usually first appear in adults. However, due to the Corona crisis, children are also increasingly suffering from poor sleep, and the time change on Sundays can exacerbate the lack of sleep. (…)

(published on March 25, 2022 in Der Standard)

Click here for full article (in german).

Worldsleepday 2022

Be part of our survey on and learn more about your sleep

Talk: Finally sleep through again – Tips for better sleep

In the SN series “My Health”, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Manuel SCHABUS gives a lecture on the topic of “Sleep”. Have a look at to rewatch the talk.

The Brain Pays Attention to Unfamiliar Voices During Sleep

“The ability allows the brain to balance sleep with responding to environmental cues” says a new publication in Journal of Neuroscience by Mohamed Ameen, Dominik Heib, Christine Blume and Manuel Schabus (…/01/06/JNEUROSCI.2524-20.2021)


Public relation (Austria):



International coverage:…/why-unfamiliar… (& radio blog)…/…/2304918-unknown-voices…/…/heightened-brain……/your-brain-pays-attention…

Do babies already learn in the womb? – Study participants wanted!

Call for study participation “What babies learn in the womb”. We are currently working on a large-scale study on the topic of stress factors during pregnancy. It is about possible effects of stress on the development of attachment and cognition in newborns. (Mayrs Magazin, ORF, 14.01.2022)

Follow this link for the whole ORF article:

Project funded by



#Sleep during Covid-19 lockdown: an international comparison

PhD student Pavlos Topalidis presents the main results of the publication in a video:

Sleep Science Podcast:

Manuel Schabus & Kerstin Hoedlmoser “How babies sleep and what this means for their cognitive function”

“Corona Baby Study”: Becoming Parents in the Corona Pandemic

Until June 30, 2021, our survey ran specifically for parents whose child/children was/are born during the Corona pandemic. Initial media reports and preprints (see below) have already been published. Further analysis and publications will follow soon.

Preprints – non-peer reviewed

Nemeth, D., Gerbier, E., Born, J., Rickard, T., Albouy, G., Diekelman, S., Fogel, S., Genzel, L., Prehn-Kristensen, A., Payne, J., Dresler, M., Simor, P., Mazza, S., Hoedlmoser, K., Ruby, P., Spencer, R., Schabus, M., & Janacsek, K. (2021). Pitfalls in Sleep and Memory Research and How to Avoid Them: A Consensus Paper. Preprints, 2019080208 DOI:

Hahn, M.A., Bothe, K., Heib, Do. P. J., Schabus, M., Helfrich, R. F., & Hoedlmoser, K. (2021). Slow oscillation-spindle coupling strength predicts real-life gross-motor learning in adolescents and adults. bioRxiv 2021.01.21.427606; DOI:

Schabus, M., & Eigl, E. (2021). “Now it’s your turn to speak up!” – Burdens and Psychosocial Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for Austrian Children and Adolescents. OSF Preprints. DOI :

Schabus, M., & Eigl, E. (2021). Survey on “Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic” in the Austrian, German and Swiss population. OSF Preprints. DOI :

Schabus, M., & Eigl, E-S. (2021). Umfrage zu Belastungen, Einstellungen und Wissen zur Corona-Pandemie. ÖBVP News, Juli 2021, 8-9.

Angerer, M., Pichler, G., Angerer, B., Scarpatetti, M., Schabus, M., & Blume, C. (2020). From Dawn to Dusk – Mimicking Natural Daylight Exposure Improves Circadian Rhythm Entrainment in Patients with Severe Brain Injury. OSF Preprints. DOI:

Blume, C., & Schabus, M. (2019). Sentinel or rather standby? Regardless of terminology, information processing continues during sleep. OSF Preprints. DOI :


Ameen, M., Heib, D. P. J., Blume, C., & Schabus, M. (2022). The brain selectively tunes to unfamiliar voices during sleep. Journal of Neuroscience. DOI :

Archive 2020

Archive 2019

Archive 2018

Archive 2017