Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cigarette Smoking Causes Sleep Disturbances

February 12, 2008

This medical news about health and wellness is brought to you as a service from Dr Steven Horvitz and The Institute for Medical Wellness.

Below are excerpts from an article in Medscape concerning smoking and your health.

Cigarette Smoking Causes Sleep Disturbances

February 7, 2008 — Smoking cigarettes impairs sleep quality, possibly due to nicotine withdrawal, according to a study in the February issue of Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

  • The results of this study could represent "yet another motivating factor" to convince smokers to quit the habit, said Dr. Punjabi. "From a preventive health perspective, I think it's very important that we now add sleep disturbance to the armamentarium of issues related to smoking."
  • Smokers spent more time in light sleep and less time in deep sleep than their nonsmoking counterparts.
  • The study shows that cigarette smoking "can alter sleep architecture independent of factors such as age, gender, race, anthropometric measures, caffeine and alcohol consumption, medial comorbidity, and mental health status," the authors conclude.
  • The direct effects of smoking on sleep seen in this study should provide further ammunition for public health campaigns to reduce smoking. "The people who smoke are not getting a restful sleep, and that has ramifications for them on a daily basis; they're tired, they're going to be tired the next day, and most likely they will have diminished level of alertness," said Dr. Punjabi. "Those are direct effects that poor sleep quality will have on their daily living."

Chest. 2008;133:427-432.

Pauline Anderson is a freelance writer for Medscape.
Medscape Medical News 2008. © 2008 Medscape

We are learning more and more every day that people that do not get restful sleep, have more medical issues than those who get the necessary sleep. Sleep apnea, another medical disorder that causes non restful sleep, has already been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. We have known for years that cigarette smokers have a higher risks of both these illnesses. Whether cigarette smoking directly causes high blood pressure and heart disease, or whether it may be secondary to poor sleep quality as possibly implied by the article above will stir much future debate.

But we can leave the debating to the scientists and the politicians. What we need to take from this article is that cigarette smoking causes many effects on the body, very few of which are healthy. I will again advise all my patients to refer to my battle plan for quitting smoking. It can be found by clicking here.

Steven Horvitz, D.O.
Board Certified Family Medicine
Founder of The Institute for Medical Wellness

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