News / Health

Study: Sleep Disorders Widespread Among Police

Sleep apnea is most common problem

Rotating shifts have something to do with the large number of police officers with sleep problems.
Rotating shifts have something to do with the large number of police officers with sleep problems.

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

A new study has found that four out of 10 North American police officers surveyed have some sort of sleep disorder. The researchers say the result can be impaired job performance, as well as a variety of health problems.

Charles Czeisler, a leading sleep researcher at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, screened police officers in the United States and Canada for possible sleep disorders.

"Forty percent of the nearly 5,000 police officers we studied screened positive for at least one sleep disorder," Czeisler said. "In this group of thousands of police officers, we found that one-third of them screened positive for obstructive sleep apnea."



That made apnea the most common sleep disorder by far.

In obstructive sleep apnea, a person repeatedly stops breathing for a brief moment during sleep. That interrupts sleep and often makes it impossible to get the deep sleep you need to be fully rested.

This study found both health and job consequences for police officers with sleep disorders.

"Those who screened positive for obstructive sleep apnea had a 61 percent greater odds of having diabetes and had a 148 percent increased odds of reporting that they had been diagnosed with depression. They also had a 22 percent greater odds of having an occupational injury," Czeisler said.    

Rotating shifts have something to do with the large number of police officers with sleep problems. Working days one week and nights the next can scramble anyone's sleep. But Czeisler says that's not the only cause.

"The single greatest risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea is obesity. And in fact we found that four out of five police officers were overweight or obese."

One of the agencies in this study, the Massachusetts State Police, had much lower rates of obstructive sleep apnea. Their cops also had a significantly lower rate of obesity than other officers in the study. Czeisler says Massachusetts required its state troopers to pass a fitness test, and equipped each police barracks with a fitness center.

"They also made it a requirement that every state trooper spend an hour exercising on each one of their shifts. And that was paid time to work out in those gym facilities."

The researchers say they think the fitness program resulted in lower rates of obesity. That, in turn, could help reduce the rate of sleep apnea. The Massachusetts program could become a model for other police agencies to reduce obesity rates and sleep apnea among their officers.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs