Due to long shifts and unusual schedules, firefighters can be vulnerable to circadian misalignment and other sleep disorders. A study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital tested the effects of an in-house Sleep Health Program on firefighter performance.

Half of the stations in the mid-sized fire department received the program and half continued as normal, and then disability days, injuries and other measures were tracked for the next 12 months. It is the first randomized prospective trial to demonstrate a recuction in risk of injury and disability through implementation of an SHP.

Findings of the study showed a nearly 50 percent reduction in long term disability days among those who participated in the SHP, and firefighters who attended sleep health education sessions also showed reduction in risk of injury.

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