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Study- Sleep Disorders Affect Police Work

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Stan Yakoff6 years ago

A new study conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA) indicates that many police officers might be better at their jobs if they have better and more hours of sleep. Researchers screened participating police officers for sleeping disorders and discovered that 40% of them had at least one disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia.

Police Sleep Study Results

The study’s results indicate that those with sleeping disorders compared to officers reporting no sleeping disorders were:

  • 63% more likely to violate safety protocols;
  • 43% more likely to make administrative errors;
  • 22% more likely to be injured on the job.
  • Nearly 50% of all police officers surveyed for the study reported having fallen asleep at least once while driving, while 25% of all officers said that this happens once or twice a month.

Serious Public Safety Risk

The AMA study also notes that people had more negative perceptions and bad things to say about police officers who happen to sleep poorly. Results indicated that citizens filed 35% more complaints about those police officers with sleeping disorders. The researchers added that the sleeping disorders had serious implications for public safety. After 2 years of monthly follow-ups, the study found that officers with sleep disorders also had a higher rate of:

  • Reporting serious administrative errors
  • Making safety violations attributed to fatigue
  • Exhibiting anger toward suspects
  • Falling asleep while driving or during meetings
  • Absenteeism
Details About AMA Study Participants

The study’s purpose was to quantify associations between sleep disorders and self-reported health, safety, and performance outcomes in police officers. The study sample consisted of 4,957 police officers; some participated in an online screening while others in an on-site screening. A total of 3,693 officers in the U.S. and Canada participated in the online screening survey, and 1,264 officers from a municipal police department and a state department participated in the on-site survey. Participants were recruited from the Philadelphia Police Department and Massachusetts State Police. Of the participants,

  • 82% were men
  • 85% were white
  • 79% were overweight or obese
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