Our bad habits bring us some happy and relaxing moments, but they are destroying our health day by day. A lot is known about harmful effects and risks linked to smoking, including increased chances to suffer from lung cancer and others. According to the findings of a recent study, there are also strong links between smoking and sleep. A few days ago, an expert team from Charite Berlin medical school in Germany has published the report about their new research saying that smokers have fewer hours and lower quality sleep compared to those who do not have this nasty habit. The report appeared in the journal Addiction Biology and was reprinted by many popular mass media in Europe and the United States, causing quite a vivid public reaction.
German researchers analyzed the data on 1,100 chronic smokers and 1,200 non-smokers collected during the study aiming to establish the links between smoking and sleep. The participants were offered to answer a set of questions related to their sleep quality and duration. It turned out that among smokers, every one of four participants reported about very low sleep quality, and about 17 per cent claimed that they can not sleep for more than 6 hours a day. At the same time, among non-smokers one in five participants is reported to suffer from chronic disturbed sleep, and only 7 per cent reported sleeping less than 6 hours a day. At that, it was estimated that all smokers had much higher risks of suffering from insomnia compared to those of the participants who do not smoke.
‘This study demonstrates for the first time an elevated prevalence of sleep disturbance in smokers compared with non-smokers in a population without lifetime history of psychiatric disorders even after controlling for potentially relevant risk factors,’ said Stefan Cohrs, one of the study leaders and an expert from Charite Berlin medical school. He underlined that during the study, it became apparent that those people who smoke more than 20-25 cigarettes a day suffer from chronic disturbed sleep, and in conjunction with other related factors (excessive stresses, increased caffeine consumption, bad sleeping habits, staying up late, leading inactive lifestyle, and so on), smoking can bring to really serious outcomes and cause quite serious sleep problems for moderate and heavy smokers.
According to Cohrs, during the study his expert group did not manage to find direct criteria to prove that smoking impairs sleep and strictly linked to disturbed sleep. However, he underlined that there were reasons to believe that the established connections between smoking and sleep problems can be caused by stimulating effects of nicotine. Cohrs says that our sleep can be affected by many other factors, including our body mass, age, alcohol consumption, etc. But still, according to the experts, the links between nicotine consumption (smoking) and sleep were the sheerest. Cohrs is convinced that the findings of his scientific team will make all smokers around the world think deeper about their health and give another reason to quit this nasty habit. Find more information about the study and the findings of German experts in this report.