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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Police suffering from high rate of sleep disorders

I read this brief article in today and the findings are rather shocking (no author provided).   I hope it will encourage more research and recommendations.  For me, the older I became the more trouble I had sleeping after working a night shift (5pm-5am for a shift sergeant).  After age 30 when I worked nights I'd get headaches around 3:00 am and they often lasted most of the day.   Sleep issues are an aspect of police work that many don't think about... Our officers are out there keeping our City safe 24 hours a day.

40% of Police Officers Suffer Sleep Disorders: New Harvard Study

A serious lack of sleep may be a big problem among the nation's 700,000 police officers, reports NPR. In what's believed to be the first study on the subject, Harvard researchers queried nearly 5,000 municipal and state police officers in the U.S. and Canada about their sleep habits and symptoms of possible sleep disorders, and assessed their on-duty performance for two years.
Forty percent had sleep disorders, and the vast majority were undiagnosed before. Those who screened positive for a sleep disorder had a 25 percent higher risk of expressing uncontrolled anger to a suspect or citizen, and a 35 percent higher chance of having a citizen complaint filed against them. Sleep-deprived officers had 51 percent greater odds of falling asleep while driving on duty. One in three officers has sleep apnea – waking up repeatedly because breathing has temporarily stopped. That's at least 8 times higher than the rate among the general population. Sleep-starved officers reported falling asleep at meetings more often and calling in sick. The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


  1. I agree. This is a major issue that should not be ignored.

  2. "Sleep issues are an aspect of police work that many don't think about.." Sorry Chief, but I would say all of the people on the street at night do think about it. I will give you that Joe Citizen probably doesn't think about it though.
    I didn't need a study to tell me that I and my co-workers had a problem. What we need is a study on ways to combat the problem.

  3. Michelle, Thanks for your comments. I agree with you and wrote "Sleep issues are an aspect of police work that many don't think about" with the thought it was the general public reading this and not coppers. I was trying to highlight sleep issues are just another thing our hard working night shifters have to deal with...