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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs