Increasing Awareness of Sleep Hygiene in Rotating Shift Workers: Arming Law-Enforcement Officers against Impaired Performance

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Research into the effects of rotating shift work on health, social, and performance indices suggests significantly more health concerns and judgement errors and poorer sleep patterns in shift workers on rotating versus nonrotating schedules. 31 male and 7 female law-enforcement officers voluntarily participated in a training session on sleep hygiene practices. On the Sleep Hygiene Awareness and Practice Scale administered prior to and after training were significant increases in awareness of sleep hygiene and knowledge of nicotine, caffeine, and hypnotics. We predicted that use of this knowledge would increase sleep satisfaction. However, 1-mo. follow-up scores on the Post-sleep Inventory of Webb, et al. reflected no change. It appears that scheduling demands, coupled with feelings of low self-efficacy toward managing those demands, resulted in little or no practice of sleep hygiene. A more productive approach may be to incorporate a comprehensive behavioral program within departments to instill and reinforce better practice of sleep hygiene.

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