MINNEAPOLIS -- Four out of 10 police officers may be working with sleep abnormalities, researchers said here.
MINNEAPOLIS, June 13 -- Four out of 10 police officers may be working with sleep abnormalities, researchers here said.
A survey of 5,296 police officers in North America found that 38.8% of active-duty officers suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, or narcolepsy, researchers reported at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting.
But if sleep disorders are common, treatment was not, said Shantha Rajaratnam, Ph.D., of Harvard.
"Almost half of the 365 individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in the past reported that they do not regularly take treatment," he noted. "These data confirm that sleep disorders remain largely undiagnosed and untreated."
Dr. Rajaratnam and colleagues surveyed police officers online and through paper surveys mailed or distributed at police departments; 80% replied online.
The average age of the police officers who responded was 38 and 77% were men, Dr. Rajaratnam said.
Among the findings:
Dr. Rajaratnam said the results of the survey suggest that "given the large number of officers who screened positive for sleep disorders, sleep disorder screening and treatment programs should be implemented with the aim of improving police officer health, safety and productivity."