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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid