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Sleep Disorders Found to Affect Work of Police Officers

According to an article posted last week on CNN.com, a new study shows that many police officers need more and better sleep.

The results are alarming: Researchers screened officers for sleeping disorders and found that 40% had at least one disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia. Those with sleeping disorders were 51% more likely to fall asleep while driving, 63% more likely to violate safety protocols, 43% more likely to make administrative errors, and 22% more likely to be injured on the job, compared to officers reporting no sleeping disorders. Also, citizens filed 35% more complaints against officers with sleeping disorders.

Nearly half of all police officers surveyed for the study reported having fallen asleep at least one time while driving, while one-quarter of all officers said that this happens once or twice a month.

“It’s an extraordinarily high number of sleeping disorders,” said Dr. Charles Czeisler, Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hopsital. “The main message is that sleep disorders are very prevalent in the police and I’m sure the general population is not far behind.”

The study participants included officers from the Philadelphia Police Department and Massachusetts State Police.