Following the results of the first national police wellbeing survey in 2019, we have embarked upon a number of pieces of work to tackle fatigue as this was highlighted as a big area of concern for people.
The survey identified that 45% of police officers and 30% of police staff reported sleeping less than six hours per night very often or all of the time over the three months preceding the survey. People working shifts indicated more frequently experiencing poor sleep quality with 27% of police officers and 25% of police staff reporting disturbed sleep.
As a result, we are working with leading experts in the field and have begun to roll out a series of programmes and pilots to support officers and staff in this area including:
- A fatigue and shift work awareness study developed with experts from Washington State University – the pilot is about to be launched in three UK forces.
- Better sleep webinars – these are a series of bespoke online webinars for policing developed with one of the leading sleep scientists in the UK.
- Design and development of guidelines for all UK Home Office forces in England and Wales
More about what we’re working on…
Better sleep webinars
At the end of November, we are launching a brand new series of ‘Better Sleep’ online webinars which will be available to all officers, staff and volunteers.
Working with one of the UK’s leading sleep experts, the Sleep Scientist, Dr Sophie Bostock, we are offering a series of five webinars which aim to help people to learn and practice strategies to improve the quality of their rest, no matter how much, or how little, they get.
The first session, “Banish the Winter Blues”, is for anyone interested in improving their natural energy levels during the day, especially during the long dark winter months, and especially in the context of local lockdowns.
The second webinar is targeted towards those working nights, and will explain the science of how to adjust your body clock to optimise your recovery as a shift worker.
There will be three further sessions that will cover topics such as chronic sleep problems, nightmares and snoring, and sleep advice for parents.
Each webinar will be 45 minutes and the format will be an interactive 30 minute presentation with a 15 min live Q&A. People can chose to attend any that feel relevant for them and can sign up to as many or as few as they like.
Save the dates!
The sessions will take place on the following dates:
Session 1. Thu 26th Nov @11am – Banish the Winter Blues
Session 2. Mon 14th Dec @4pm – Shift Work Strategies
Session 3. Thu 7th Jan @11am – Solving Stubborn Sleep Problems
Session 4. Thu 4th Feb @11am – Nightmares, Snoring, Sleep walking and other Challenges
Session 5. Thu 4th Mar @11am – Sleepless Parents’ Survival Guide
We’ll be updating our events page nearer to the time with more details about the webinars and how to join the sessions so make sure you check back soon!
Fatigue and shift work study
We are also carrying out a study with experts from Washington State University to test an online fatigue and shift work training package.
The findings of this study will also help to inform the design and development of guidelines we are looking to produce for all Home Office police forces in England and Wales.
Initially, we are working with three police forces to test the training with a total of 50 participants who are all serving police officers working regular shift patterns.
The training aims to help participants;
- Understand the impacts of fatigue on safety, health, wellness and performance
- Learn about the mechanics of sleep
- Learn about sleep hygiene and measures to counter fatigue
How will the pilot study work?
Those taking part will initially complete an online wellbeing baseline questionnaire.
They then wear an Actigraph watch for 7 consecutive days to collect their sleep data
After the seven days, they then undertake an online training course, following which they have 28 days to put the learning into practice.
At the end of the 28 days, the participants then wear the Actigraph watch again for a further 7 consecutive days to collect sleep data and then they complete a post-course online wellbeing questionnaire. This will identify if there have been any improvements.
How do I get involved?
At this stage, as the pilot phase is already underway with three forces, this is not currently open across all forces. However if you are interested in learning more or might be interested if we are able to roll this out more widely in the future, then please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org