As the NHS prepares to launch Stoptober 2013, new research published in Psychology, Health & Medicine has found another reason to quit smoking - giving up smoking improves sleep. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and while the numerous health problems directly caused by smoking are well documented, less is known about the effects of smoking on sleep.
The study by University of Florida and Research Triangle Park researchers is the first to look at sleep difficulty by smoking status in a large population-based, nationally representative sample. They found that 11.9% of current smokers have trouble falling asleep, 10.6% wake in the night and 9.5% wake too early in the morning. The figures for non-smokers were much lower and significantly the study found that those who had given up smoking saw improvements in their sleep. The researchers also found that for each cigarette smoked total sleep time decreased by 1.2 minutes.
Insufficient sleep has been associated with numerous physical and mental health problems including depression, diabetes and high blood sugar. This new research suggests that smokers may be more susceptible to the illnesses associated with poor sleep along with the more commonly recognised health problems associated with smoking such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.