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Smokers have more sleep problems

Not only do smokers complain about sleeping problems more often than non-smokers, earlier research has shown that sleep problems, in turn, can increase the risk of nicotine addiction. Moreover, sleep disorders contribute to the occurrence of various diseases that are related to smoking.

In a recent study, carried out in multiple sleep centers across Germany, researchers have shed more light on the relation between nicotine addiction and sleep disturbances. 1071 smokers (at least 1 cigarette per day) and 1243 non-smokers (fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime) participated in this study. The participants did not have psychological or medical problems, have never been addicted to alcohol or other drugs, and did not use any medication that might influence their sleep as these factors can increase the risk of having a sleep disorder. Sleep quality, intensity of smoking and nicotine addiction were assessed using questionnaires.


Sleep smokers non-smokers
less than 6 hours sleep 17% 7%
poor sleep quality 28% 19%

As you can see in the table above, 17% of the smokers reported that they sleep less than 6 hours per night, compared to only 7% of the non-smokers. In addition, 28% of the smokers but only 19% of the non-smokers reported a poor sleep quality. ‘Heavy‘ smokers (higher level of nicotine addiction and many cigarettes per day) reported sleep disturbances more often than ‘light’ smokers.

The researchers showed that the differences between smokers and non-smokers were not due to differences in age, gender, BMI, level of education and income, alcohol consumption, stress, ADHD symptoms, depressiveness or anxiety. Although there might be other differences in life style and habits between smokers and non-smokers that have not been taken into account in this study, the researchers conclude that stopping with smoking is likely to lower the risk for sleep disturbances.

October 19, 2012

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