Sarah R. Brown, Makenzie Corgan, Ben Lloyd, Paige Bramblett, Caroline J. Smith, FACSM, Scott R. Collier, FACSM. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

BACKGROUND: Disturbed sleep can have a number of deleterious cardiometabolic consequences which are not fully understood. The disrupted sleep-wake cycles of shift workers, including police officers, can exacerbate these effects. PURPOSE: Examine the sleep characteristics of rural police officers in North Carolina and compare these data day shift control data to highlight the role shift work plays in sleep disturbance. METHODS: Sleep data was collected for 3 consecutive nights (during 6am-6pm or 6pm to 6am shifts in a counterbalanced design) from 7 police officers (1 Female, 6 Males) using the Sleep ProfilerTM- electroencephalography monitoring in their own beds. SPSS statistics (IBM, Armonk, NY; SPSS27). Paired T-tests were used to determine statistical significance between quality and architectural differences between shift schedules. A priori significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: Total sleep time (D: 6.3 ± 0.4 vs N: 4.7 ± 1.1; p = 0.161) was similar between day and night shifts. Rapid eye movement (REM) total (D: 1.4 ± 0.2 vs N: 0.8 ± 0.3; p = 0.04), stage N3 (D: 1.6 ± 0.1 vs N: 0.8 ± 0.3; p = 0.018), and spindle duration (D: 2.9 ± 0.4 vs N: 14.7 ± 5.4; p = 0.038) were all statistically significant between shifts. CONCLUSIONS: The data demonstrates poor sleep architecture in night vs day shift police workers. These sleep disturbances may be a key contributing factor in increased cardiovascular disease. Severely reduced REM indicates less efficiency in memory storage and learning, reduced N3 is detrimental to cellular recovery, and higher spindle duration is indicative of more time in N2 rather than restorative deep sleep of N3.

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