Wellness in law enforcement is still gaining attention but varies vastly by jurisdiction. The focus on general well-being began in the 1970s and 80s with an emphasis on physical fitness through practices like aerobics. Disciplines such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi also became popular, providing a mental component to well-being.
Another element of wellness that is often overlooked is the simple and necessary act of sleep. Law enforcement has long been plagued by a lack of it. While other practices are necessary for overall well-being, sleep is even more vital for officers, both on and off the job.
Today, law enforcement officers and their civilian counterparts are perpetually busy with information, tasks, and engagements. This makes it difficult to sleep well or enough, and deprivation is one of the biggest struggles officers face. Sleep disorders — typically associated with poor health, performance, and safety outcomes — are twice as prevalent among officers compared to the general population, and one study suggested that they remain largely undiagnosed and untreated.