Grandner said the study supports the need to talk to the public about the significance of being well rested. "We've gotten to the point where people understand the importance of heart health and obesity, but we haven't gotten there with sleep yet," he explained. "The general public hasn't bought into the idea that sleep is important."
In fact, Grandner said people often consider less sleep an admirable trait. "We brag about getting less sleep as a way of proving how hard of a worker we are," he noted.
The next step, Grandner agreed, is to get employers on board, to convince police departments that sleepiness impacts their workers' health, job satisfaction and performance, as well as their bottom line.
"Police officers have a very important job and we trust them to be vigilant and safe," Grandner said.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more on sleep health.
SOURCES: Charles Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D., director, division of sleep medicine, department of medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Joseph Ojile, M.D., founder and managing director, Clayton Sleep Institute, St. Louis; Michael Grandner, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher, Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, division of sleep medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Dec. 21, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association
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