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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More