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New York Police Department Officers Lived Experiences: Effects of Officer Sleep Deprivation on Work and Family


This research is a study proposal to look at the effects of sleep deprivation on the performance of New York police officers in their daily duties. By using two separate police precincts, one of which operates on 10-hour hours and the other which operates on 13:20-hour shifts. Response times, reflexes, and general quality of life of both men and women would be measured as part of the exam. to amass additional information about the negative impacts of sleep deprivation Having gathered the information, it may be compared to other data that has been collected in order to identify any correlations and/or variances.


When it comes to defending the general public from any immediate or long-term harm, police officers are the public’s first line of defense. When police officers are out patrolling the streets and searching for criminal activity, they are incredibly focused and attentive. The continual need to be focused and vigilant leads to paranoia and tension both on and off duty, as well as in the workplace. Sleep deprivation, a bad work ethic, and a poor quality of life are all caused by paranoia and stress, two of the most common mental illnesses. There is little doubt that the quantity of sleep that someone receives each night has a significant impact on their ability to function throughout the day. For some, falling asleep might be a difficult task even when they follow the same sleep schedule virtually every night. When you consider that shift workers account for around 15% of the workforce in the United States, it may be more challenging to maintain a regular sleep pattern (Petersen et al.). When it becomes dark outside, the body is programmed to produce the sleepy secretion of melatonin on its own, without stimulation. This makes it more difficult for security personnel who work overnight or nighttime to stay alert and awake while on the job. Because the majority of crimes are perpetrated at night, having cops who are not completely watchful and focused has a negative impact on not just public safety but also the safety of the officers themselves. Officers who work in the exhaustion division must examine their degree of competence, the consistency of their sleep, their degree of exhaustion at workplace, and their reactions to weariness and work hours’ challenges.

It is unclear how long a person may go without sleeping before their inclinations, responses, and general judgement call ability weaken, putting them tantalizingly close to being under the effect of alcoholic drinks. According to the findings of earlier research, being up for 19 hours is equivalent to having a 0.05 % alcohol concentration (bac). Someone who has been active for 24 straight hours, on the other hand, is equivalent to 0.10 percent of the blood alcohol content. A sleep deprivation not only affects one’s own reactions, instincts, and judgment, but it also has significant effects for one’s physiological well-being resulting from poor quality of sleep.

Problem Statement

Regardless of the fact that multiple researches have been published regarding insufficient sleep, stress, extra shifts, and bad wellbeing in the police force, there has not been enough written on finding methods to help officers manage with and overcome sleep deficiency. Furthermore, little study has been done on police response speeds, reflexes, and general attentiveness when confronted with a potentially lethal situation.

Purpose Statement

The planned research would be carried out on the NYPD, which has approximately 36,000 policemen on its payroll. (Levine et al., 2017) This research will help law enforcement officers who have a higher incidence of inadequate sleep, inadequate sleep, job stress, burn-out, and dealing with a generally bad quality of life as a consequence of their work and home lives. Many police officers work 40 hours a week, and that does not include unscheduled overtime or other irregular hours. Injury rates increase in direct proportion to the amount of sleep a person gets and the time of day. According to the studies’ results, the hazard increases dramatically once a person has been on duty for nine hours or longer. The danger rises by around 90percent during the first Ten hours of operation and by 110 percent after 12 hours. Mishaps are most likely to occur during the night shift, with accidents occurring almost three times as often (Reason, 2016). Officers and other emergency responders who work long shifts would benefit from finding a solution in which they may take tactical naps throughout their workday and in which legislation is created to promote this behavior, therefore making it the new standard within their profession.


Research Question: Why and how long shifts, erratic working conditions, and overtime affect whether or not police officers suffer from much higher rates of sleep problems and a worse general quality of life.

Literature Review

Insufficient sleep affects not just police departments but also other occupations; nonetheless, the pressures of police departments may increase how the continuous exposure affects troopers who are sleep deprived. Poor sleep may lead to serious problems and even fatality for certain policemen or members of the general public (as a result of a vehicle accident, a cop’s response speed, or poorer cognitive functioning). Troopers are physically and emotionally injured, affecting their response speed, alertness, attention and reasoning skills, and ability to navigate, as well as putting them at a higher risk for heart disease. Troopers who are exhausted and sleep deprived may be allowed to “take additional sick leave.” Increase the frequency with which you use excessive force. Take part in more vehicle accidents. There are more unintended injuries. Have more difficulty engaging with members of the community and other law enforcement officials. Have a higher risk of dying in the course of duty.

A six-month research of the NYPD Precint was done to investigate the effects of work hours on officer job efficiency, safety, athleticism, wellbeing, sleep, weariness, and off-duty pursuits. The research was carried out on two police precincts that were exposed to two varied work patterns over a period of six months. Police officers who worked 13:20-hour shifts experienced a significant decrease in sleep hours, average sleep efficiency, concentration, emotional processing, and quality of life, according to the study. There were significant changes in fatigue during the day and at night. Prolonged response times, performance difficulties, and work-related complaints were all reported to the Professional Standards Bureau. All parameters recovered to the pre-study stage when officers working 13:20-hour shifts shifted to 10-hour shifts. Officers from both precincts favored working 10-hour shifts. According to the conclusions of this research, officers working any schedule have no benefits, but there are larger hazards connected with working longer hours.

Bad sleeping conditions may have a significant influence on a person’s life if they are not controlled appropriately. A policeman may be very effective in a situation if they are at the top of their game, and they cannot be at the forefront if they do not get enough quality sleep (Garde et al., 2020). Insufficient sleep has a significant detrimental influence on a police officer’s life in many ways. It is also vital that studies examine the impact of law enforcement officers’ poor sleep on their occupations, households, and overall well-being persists, because, regardless of the fact that this problem has been exhaustively investigated, no two individuals will have precisely the same experiences or impulses when positioned in the same scenario. The more data there is on the subject, the more probable it is that police officers will continue to increase the number of hours they sleep in order to protect their professional, familial, and overall wellness.

Prolonged schedules above 12 hours is likely to aggravate these problems. Officers on duty 13 to 20 hour schedules had a rather worse average quality of living than those working 10-hour schedules, according to our data. Different subcategory of the officer’s Standard of Living, such as recreation activities to unwind or develop oneself, acquaintances, kids, athleticism, work-life balance, and supporting others, showed a considerable decrease in comparability. Officers who decreased their shifts from 13 to 10 hours were able to spend more time with their families and children, cope with domestic problems and duties, and connect with family and friends. According to the most recent statistics, police working 10-hour shifts received somewhat more sleep (7.86 hr) than officers on 13 to 20 hours shifts, who only obtained 5.83 hr of sleep-in shifts. This implies that officers working 13:20 shifts were often awake for more than 18 hours throughout the day. demonstrate that chronic partial sleep deprivation, such as that described in the current research, results in a “sleep debt” with long-term ramifications for health and efficiency, as well as a reduction in attention.

Their diseases are equivalent to a blood alcohol content (bac) level of “0.05 percent” after being up for 19 hours, and their maladies are equivalent to a BAC level of “0.10 percent” after being sleep deprived for 24 hours (Larkin, 2015). If the general population is advised against driving while intoxicated and fined for the property destruction and lives lost as a result of an accident caused by drunken drivers, what precedent are officers who operate while sleep deprived setting? They imperil not just oneself but also their other policemen and the society that they vowed to safeguard when they are sleep deprived. They may take naps while on duty or attending to a summon and be involved in a collision; if they display these signs, they are more likely to be injured.

Research Method and Design

The research will focus on the effects of insufficient sleep in the NYPD. In this study, the effect of poor sleep will be explored in both the career and personal life of these law enforcement officers. A quasi technique will be used to survey the individuals. The NYPD will participate as volunteers. Participants will be issued a survey with 10-15 questions. The questions will focus on how much sleep individuals get, how tired they are at work, and how long shifts influence their jobs and professional life. Following data gathering, correlations and clusters of regular interaction will be investigated. Rather of establishing wild assumptions, the thesis will focus on the specifics of the individuals’ experiences. There will be no understanding of numbers or statistics. Subsequent data gathering, linkages and groupings of frequent interactions will be investigated. The thesis will be centered on looking into the intricacies of the participants’ experiences rather than making broad generalizations. There will be no numerical or statistical knowledge.


Policy Implications

In New York, there is no policy or regulation that addresses sleep deprivation and weariness and how it should be addressed. It is advised not to drive while fatigued or under slept for the sake of the driver’s as well as others’ wellbeing, since no one wants to be involved in or initiate a car wreck. There have been cases of people driving when drowsy and triggering an accident in which the other automobiles involved died as a consequence of their injuries.

Full Implementation

The whole execution strategy is to employ extra police officers, set out a considerable amount of working hours per shift, keep an eye on how many nightshifts troopers are allocated. Try to balance shift hours and officer requirements for day and night shifts to enable troopers to relax and maintain a healthy routine. Involve physicians who specialize in designing routines to assist troopers remain active, adequately rested, and at full capability when it is critical for themselves, their colleagues, and the community.

The Citizenry’s Aid

The community may approve this idea since it would keep officers rejuvenated and at their sharpest when on assignment, but the community may oppose it if the budgeting calls for public assistance in the form of taxation income to support the system. The public’s support might swing either way or be a combination of the two; it’s difficult to predict how they’ll react to this idea.


One modest approach may be to rotate troops who work the dayshift and nightshift on a weekly basis. For instance, if officer A serves dayshift this week and police B takes night shift, officer A will serve late shift the following week and officer B will serve dayshift the subsequent week. Along with overlapping day and nightshift soldiers, a predetermined proportion of policemen may be contracted to work every other day or nightshift throughout the week to provide officers with a routine that enables them to get enough sleep while being efficacious and useful on assignment.


The example of the New York Police Department demonstrates the department’s lack of support and officers’ discontent with working longer hours and overtime. According to studies, police officers who work fewer than 9 hours a schedule are more alert and focused on the job. Similarly, officers favored 9 hours over 12 to 24 working hours by a wide margin. When troopers worked 10 hours and 13:20-hr shifts, there was no change in major indicators of job performance. According to the research, there are no obvious benefits but significant risks linked with 12 to 24-hour work shifts for troopers. This study on the duration of difficult shifts for law enforcement personnel may provide data to assist lawmakers make decisions. Given the numerous characteristics, this study will assist to identify the best strategies for combating sleep deficiency in the New York police department.


Levine, E. S., Tisch, J., Tasso, A., & Joy, M. (2017). The New York City police department’s domain awareness system. Interfaces, 47(1), 70-84:

Petersen, L., Baum, M. A., Hahn, E., & Spinath, F. M. How shift work affects relationship satisfaction, satisfaction with leisure time, and general life satisfaction in shift workers and their partners.

Reason, J. (2016). Organizational accidents revisited. CRC Press:,+with+accidents+occurring+almost+three+times+as+often&ots=u7sIok1VJI&sig=FFyPj0fa4wk4eZGVFMs49Lx1gUU

Garde, A. H., Nabe-Nielsen, K., Jensen, M. A., Kristiansen, J., Sørensen, J. K., & Hansen, Å. M. (2020). The effects of the number of consecutive night shifts on sleep duration and quality. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 46(4), 446-453.

Larkin Jr, P. J. (2015). Medical or recreational marijuana and drugged driving. Am. Crim. L. Rev., 52, 453:


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