A new study by German researchers published recently in the Addiction Biology journal shows that smokers are more likely to have disturbed sleep, and as a result, are not getting enough sleep compared to people who don’t smoke.
The researchers noted that smoking is a behaviorally modifiable risk factor that significantly impacts sleep quality and sleep duration. By analyzing the data on the sleep habits of 1,071 cigarette smokers and 1,243 non-smokers, the researchers found that 28.1% of people who smoke have sleep problems while only 19.1% of people who don’t smoke have sleeping issues. Furthermore, only 7% of non-smokers sleep six or fewer hours, while more than twice that number (17%) of cigarette smokers were found to be sleeping for six hours or less.
This new research work validates earlier studies that link poor sleep quality and sleep duration to smoking habits. A Center for Disease Control study conducted in 2008 as reported by PsychCentral shows that people who sleep six hours or less are more likely to smoke cigarettes, use alcohol, live a sedentary lifestyle, and be obese.
Another study from the John Hopkins University published in the journal Chest indicates that people who smoke are four times more likely to get ‘unrestful sleep’ compared to people who aren’t smokers. In addition, the quality of sleep is also impacted, as smokers are found to have ‘light sleep’ rather than the more physically reinvigorating ‘deep sleep’ that the body needs.
Dr. Naresh M. Punjabi, the researcher for the John Hopkins study believes the effects of smoking during sleep are time dependent. “Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance,” Dr. Punjabi explains.