Shift Work, Sleep Disorders, Health And Safety

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SHIFT WORK, SLEEP DISORDERS, HEALTH AND SAFETY IN POLICE OFFICERS Police work has demanding schedules characterized by long hours, recurrent night shifts and significant overtime. The insufficient rest or irregular sleep patterns, combined with the stress of the job, can lead to sleep deprivation and possible sleep disorders. All of this contributes to law enforcement officers having one of the highest rates of on-the-job injury and illness. The work is inherently risky, and officers face the threat of being attacked, wounded or even killed when dealing with suspects or other hazardous situations during a shift. The result can be severe fatigue that lowers an officers ' reasoning, reaction time, alertness and weakens their ability to protect themselves and those they serve. The greatest danger to officers and their overall performance while on duty, which is often overlooked, is fatigue. Sleep disorders, which are normally linked to poor health, performance and safety, are twice as predominant among police officers compared to the general public, usually go undiagnosed and untreated. So I ask, how common is sleep deprivation and sleep disorders among law enforcement, and to what extent do demanding work schedules play? Researchers at Brigham and Women 's Hospital examined sleep disorders and how they affected the health and safety of 4,957 state and local law enforcement officers in the United States and Canada. the researchers found that just over 40 percent of
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