by Mark Miller 5 min read
The criminals, drunken drivers, and red light runners don't take a break overnight, so police officers don't get to either.
If it's quiet, with no burglars to chase down or domestic quarrels to try to sort out (or worse), how do officers stay awake?
It's an important question. The public's and officers' safety may depend on the alertness, professionalism, and judgment of the police.
UCLA Health reports on the serious problem of night shift workers not getting enough sleep :
Overall, shift workers tend to be continually sleep-deprived. It is very hard for night shift workers to get enough sleep during the day. They get a daily average of two to four hours less sleep than normal. It is hard for them to get their bodies to fall asleep during the day. Over time, this can develop into a case of insomnia. They are also much more likely to be awakened by noises or people. As a result, their sleep is very light. They are less likely to feel well rested when they wake up.
Do you want the police officer handling your problem to have just 4 to 6 hours of disturbed sleep? Caffeine can help, but it is not a cure-all for chronic sleep loss.
Police Chief Magazine reports :
Sleep deprivation has a litany of unintended consequences, which include
The news from Police Chief Magazine is all bad vis-a-vis sleep loss:
From a law enforcement perspective, the impacts of sleep deprivation are detrimental to overall officer survival and organizational liability, since those effects also equate to a reduction in vigilance, reaction time, memory recall, psychomotor coordination, information processing, and decision-making. Former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind, cited a 20–50 percent reduction in overall human performance in situations where required sleep cycles are interrupted.
The magazine goes on to say:
There are nine workplace dimensions that are susceptible to sleep deprivation and can be affected by fatigue. Those affected often suffer from the inability to perform the following functions:
You just better hope that any officers you encounter late at night aren't so tired they can't think straight. Well, to you criminals it probably doesn't matter much if you're tired or not. You're busted!
Some major disasters have happened because of sleepiness, including the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant meltdown in 1979 in Pennsylvania; the Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown in 1986 in the former USSR; and the Exxon Valdez oil spill catastrophe in 1989 in Alaska.
Police Chief Magazine says officers, too, get in more vehicle accidents because of sleepiness, and you have to think there are other kinds of policing mishaps. Police work is dangerous, often for the public as well as for the officers.
Officers report doing a number of activities during quiet times on the night shift at the article "Top 25 things cops do on graveyard shift" .
Some of the items are sort of tongue-in-cheek, but officers might get some ideas, including:
1. I would park in front of the bars at 2 a.m. during last call. For fun I would turn on my take down lights and rear lights, then I would place cones on each side of my cruiser and I'd stand in front of it. No one would want to come out! Best 20 minutes of my life. – Carlosspicywiener Pagan
Officer Spicywiener sounds like a real winner.
8. I would park in the sugarcane fields waiting for the drug planes to land or crash. Having 300 square miles for each of the four sheriff's patrol cars made it difficult to pick which field. – Ken Cramer
11. I have actually clocked a dog on radar! – Mark Greene
18. I spent years as a patrolman for a security company on graveyard shift. We had a lots of apartment complexes we patrolled. By about 2 or 3 it would quiet down after the drunks passed out. By about 4 or 5 I'd be praying for a call just to break the boredom. Sometimes that would backfire. Oh, and no smart phones back then to pass the time or even an AM/FM radio in the cruiser. – James Miller
Caffeine in the right amounts and at the right time can help get you through a long shift without nodding off or becoming overwhelmed by drowsiness.
Of course, you might not want to fill up on coffee and lattes and other caffeinated liquids, but you still want that caffeine. Try Viter Energy Mints , with both caffeine and B vitamins. The tasty mints perk you up and refresh your breath.
Each has 40 mg of caffeine in a sugar-free mint, equal to about one-quarter of a mug of coffee. You can take one mint per half-hour or hour to get a steady stream of caffeine into your bloodstream, or four in quick succession to equal about one mug of java.
by Mark Miller 3 min read
Erectile dysfunction. In combination, those are two of the ugliest words known to man. But can caffeine help you get it up?
Science hasn't found the definitive answer to this question, but one study concluded that fewer men who consume caffeine have problems performing. The study said:
Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent ED, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men. Yet, these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies
by Mark Miller 4 min read
Many breastfeeding mothers wonder if it's OK to take caffeine. In fact, many nursing mothers just avoid caffeine in case it would keep their babies fussy, jittery and awake.
The answer is yes, you can take caffeine while breastfeeding, as long as you don't go over about 300 mg a day.
It's an important question because caffeine is in so many products, and taking coffee, tea, or soda is such a common ritual.
And breastfeeding mothers may be tempted to take caffeinated products because they are deprived of sleep by their newborns' odd sleep schedule.
by Mark Miller 5 min read
You might think gum chewing is an activity with little or no benefits besides the pleasure and flavor, but think again. Chewing gum has several benefits.
In addition to freshening your breath, sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities and contribute to overall oral health. But that's just the beginning.