Sleep Deprivation appears to be a serious issue for law enforcement, based on the published results of a study of sleep disorders in police officers in North America, which appeared in The Journal of the America Medical Association. The results are quite unsettling.
Of nearly 5,000 police officers who participated in the survey:
40.4% screened positive for at least 1 sleep disorder, most of whom had not been diagnosed previously
6.5% suffered moderate to severe insomnia
28.5% of the 4608 participants who completed the sleepiness scale reported excessive sleepiness
26.1% reported falling asleep while driving at least 1 time per month
33.6% screened positive for obstructive sleep apnea (excessive weight is a risk factor for sleep apnea)
Chief of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Charles Czeisler, an author of the study, commented that the rate of overweight and obesity found in the officers (more than 79% of respondents had body mass indexes which would put them in the overweight and obese categories), is higher than is found in the general population.
Respondents who screened positive for obstructive sleep apnea or any sleep disorder had an increased prevalence of reported physical and mental health conditions, including diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease.
An analysis of up to 2 years of monthly follow-up surveys showed that those respondents who screened positive for a sleep disorder vs those who did not had a higher rate of reporting that they had made a serious administrative error; of falling asleep while driving; of making an error or safety violation attributed to fatigue; and of exhibiting other adverse work-related outcomes including uncontrolled anger toward suspects, absenteeism, and falling asleep during meetings.
The Centers for Disease Control declares that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic, with an estimated 50-70 million US adults having sleep or wakefulness disorders.
While each person has different sleep requirements, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, a branch of the National Institutes for Health offers a free publication called “Your Guide to Healthy Sleep.” Click here to request the guide.
Many Sound Vitality customers have also found great success in using Infratonic Therapy for insomnia.