New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital finds that 40 percent of officers screened positive for a sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders affect 50 - 70 million Americans and most go undiagnosed and untreated. Untreated sleep disorders have been associated with increased risk for injuries and accidents and are linked with additional physical and mental health issues. In a first of its kind study, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) measured the impact of sleep disorders on police officer health, safety and performance. They found that sleep disorders among officers are common and are associated with poor safety and performance outcomes. The findings are published in the December 21, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"Our research shows that about 40 percent of police officers screened positive for a sleep disorder and most were undiagnosed and untreated. Untreated sleep disorders can adversely affect health and safety of law enforcement officers, and could pose a risk to the public," said Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine at BWH and senior author of the study. "I am particularly impressed by the leadership that the Massachusetts State Police have demonstrated throughout this research project, and with their commitment to identify and address this important health and safety issue."