Sleep Disorder Common in Police Officers
Some form of a sleep disorder affects about 40 percent of police officers in the United States and Canada, a new survey shows. According to Reuters Health, cops who screened positive for disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia were more likely to be burned out, depressed or anxious. They also committed more administrative errors and safety violations than their well-rested colleagues.
Researchers surveyed 5,000 police officers across both countries, asking questions both on sleep-related concerns and other health topics. Forty percent of this group screened positive for at least one sleep disorder, with the most common being sleep apnea. Moderate to severe insomnia and shift disorder also ranked high on the charts.
Officers who had a sleep disorder also suffered mental health problems at an increased rate. Depression, emotional exhaustion and burnout or anxiety were common issues cited by officers who had trouble sleeping, and were often made manifest in routine aspects of their jobs. For example, more citizen complaints and more unneeded anger were displayed by cops with sleep problems.
That means a wide-scale public health and safety problem, said Michael Grandner of the Center for sleep and circadian neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania. And police officers aren’t a group that is likely to seek help.