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Investigating the Influence of Household Size on Police Officer Fatigue Despite Adequate Sleep


This study, “Investigating the Influence of Household Size on Police Officer Fatigue Despite Adequate Sleep,” explores the relationship between family size and fatigue in police officers’ jobs. Cox et al. (2023) argue that policing is a full-time job whose schedules are necessarily mixed for reasons such as shift work and overtime stipulated in local government policies negotiated with police unions. Police work is highly arduous, with extended hours and shift-work patterns frequently requiring overtime (Allison et al., 2022). Understanding the relationship between family size and officer fatigue is critical. Shift work disturbs sleep, pushing it to difficult daytime hours, and overworking through court appearances further reduces the opportunity for resting. This study aims to understand how the number of children impacts officers’ fatigue even when they have had sufficient sleep. Understanding the cause of police exhaustion is not only crucial to maintaining proper policing but also important in formulating policies that improve officers ‘welfare and capabilities. The following summaries of relevant studies in this field provide additional context and insights into the challenges faced by police officers regarding fatigue and work schedules.

Providing commentary on Kelley’s (2023) observation, these police officers have large families and frequently meet with tough situations that affect their fatigue regardless of how much sleep they get in. Smith, Cordoza, & Basner (2023) complemented Kelly’s findings by showing that the noise and other pressures of living with another person inevitably reduce the quality of a police officer’s sleep. Any disturbances during sleep can lead to disruption of regular sleeping patterns, making it impossible for the officer to obtain the deep restful sleep necessary for stomach knot restoration.

Furthermore, stress at home and at work puts a heavier burden on police in families with many children, which raises levels of fatigue (Oakman et al., 2020). Feeling the tug between a demanding profession and big family obligations creates a vicious cycle of constant stress. The balancing act many officers have to play between their professional responsibilities and family life may not provide sufficient time for proper recovery, thus magnifying the effects of fatigue on daily living conditions.

In addition, Galanis, Fragkou & Katsoulas (2021) also indicate that having a large family creates increased challenges in dealing with the demands of work and home for any police officer. The accumulation of daily exposure to the stressors of each realm over time can lead officers into constantly high states and turn them away during rest periods as well (Burnett et al., 2019). Therefore, when household size is added as a significant variable in police officer exhaustion, regardless of sleep time, it highlights that systems and methods must be designed to meet the specific needs of every situation. Special measures are needed so officers can strike an appropriate balance between their demanding occupation and family life (Galanis, Fragkou & Katsoulas, 2021).

Research Question/Hypotheses

Research Question:

What is the influence of household size, specifically the number of children at home, on police officer fatigue despite adequate sleep?


  1. As the number of children in a police officer’s household increases, there will be a positive correlation with elevated levels of fatigue, even when the officer obtains adequate sleep.
  2. The size of a police officer’s family will be a significant predictor of fatigue, with officers from larger families experiencing higher levels of fatigue despite maintaining sufficient sleep hours.

Research Design and Methods

The research design used in this study is survey-based and looks at how household size impacts officers’ fatigue even when they get enough sleep. The researcher will formulate the survey instrument and conduct its administration to preserve the purity of direct information from police officers. The sample will include police officers from all departments as a means of maintaining the broad applicability of the results. Researchers will collect data anonymously to eliminate response bias.

In this study, we will use the number of children in a policeman’s household as an independent variable, and his fatigue level is our dependent variable. These variables will be operationalized, and questions about family size or a fatigue assessment scale will be included in the survey. They will supply information on the composition of their household as well as answer questions that ask them to rate themselves in terms of fatigue (based upon a standardized scale).

The data will be collected and analyzed using such statistical techniques as correlation analysis and regression. Applying these statistical methods will enable them to explore the relationships between household size and officer fatigue, confirming or rejecting their formulated theories. The results of this research will help fill in a fuller picture of the factors affecting police fatigue and provide data for future policies aimed at promoting officer vitality on the job.


Allison, P. M., Tiesman, H. M., Wong, I. S., Bernzweig, D., James, L., James, S. W., … P. Daniel Patterson. (2022). Working hours, sleep, and fatigue in the public safety sector: A scoping review of the research65(11), 878–897.

Burnett, M. E., Sheard, I., & St Clair-Thompson, H. (2019). The prevalence of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and perceived stress, and their relationships with mental toughness, individual differences, and number of self-care actions in a UK police force. Police Practice and Research21(4), 383–400.

Cox, C., Panter, H. A., James, A., Boulton, L., Hagan, R., Craven, J., & Silverstone, D. M. (2023, November 20). Diversity and inclusion within police firearms teams. Retrieved December 21, 2023, from website:

Galanis, P., Fragkou, D., & Katsoulas, T. A. (2021). Risk factors for stress among police officers: A systematic literature review. Work68(4), 1255–1272.

Kelley, T. L. (2023). What Really Happens When Police Officers Are Too Tired? Retrieved December 21, 2023, from

Oakman, J., Kinsman, N., Stuckey, R., Graham, M., & Weale, V. (2020). A rapid review of mental and physical health effects of working at home: How do we optimise health? BMC Public Health20(1).

Smith, M. G., Cordoza, M., & Basner, M. (2022). Environmental Noise and Effects on Sleep: An Update to the WHO Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives130(7).


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