Smoking is harmful to your health, increasing your risk for everything from lung disease to heart problems to diabetes. Now there’s another reason to stop smoking – the habit can cause sleep issues. In fact, a University of Florida study estimates that for every cigarette you smoke, you get 1.2 fewer minutes of sleep. In addition, the sleep you do get won’t be as restful.
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How Smoking Affects Sleep
Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have a harder time falling asleep, especially if they smoke close to bedtime. The sleep they get is less deep and restorative, since they spend more time in the lighter stages of the sleep cycle. As a result, they’re four times more likely than nonsmokers to wake up feeling unrested.
Smokers experience more nightmares and disturbing dreams and have a harder time waking up than nonsmokers do. They’re also more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea, which causes repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night. This can also cause other problems, including daytime fatigue and heart disease.
What Causes All These Problems?
Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a stimulant. It can cause smokers to have more difficulty falling asleep, since it remains in the blood in high levels early in the night. This is particularly true for people who are heavy smokers and smoke close to bedtime. As nicotine levels fall, it can cause problems for a different reason, with experts believing that smokers experience nightly nicotine withdrawal closer to morning.
Smoking also causes more swelling in the upper airways, which can make snoring worse and increase the likelihood (or severity of) sleep apnea.
Finally, tobacco can disrupt your body’s normal circadian clock, which helps control your sleep patterns. It affects the lungs and brain, resulting in greater disruption of sleep.
With all that's known about how smoking affects sleep, it's clear that stopping the habit will increase your chances of getting a better night's sleep. This includes electronic cigarettes, because they also contain nicotine. A variety of methods are available to help you quit, including patches, medication, counseling, and meditation training.
What's certain to help you sleep better is a new mattress. Stop by either location of Land of Sleep today to find your perfect mattress and start sleeping better tonight!