Post By : King Koil
The Research Findings
Here’s what the study revealed. 11% of smokers in their research sample of the population had trouble falling asleep once they got into bed, as compared to those who did not smoke. 10.6% of the smokers woke up during the night which was much higher than the non smoking part of the research sample. 9.5% of them woke up too early in the morning and were unable to go back to sleep. Each cigarette they smoked reduced their total sleep time by 1.2 minutes. So a person who smoked ten cigarettes a day was sleeping 12 minutes less than a non smoker.
The conclusion that the researchers have drawn based on this data is that since insufficient sleep is linked to a number of health problems such as depression, diabetes, and high blood sugar, smokers are more likely to have poor health. There is also a higher risk of smokers developing physical and mental diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular ailments. They have also further added that giving up smoking will improve the quality and quantity of sleep for ex-smokers. Although the results of giving up smoking will not immediately result in a better sleep quality as the sleep architecture of a smoker has been badly disrupted.
Disruption of Sleep Architecture
The use of cigarettes, cigars, or other tobacco based products introduces nicotine into the system of the smoker. Nicotine is a stimulant that tends to make the human body active. Sort of like how caffeine which is the stimulant present in coffee affects the system. That’s why people who want to stay alert tend to drink coffee and smoke. Naturally if you smoke too close to your bedtime you are likely to find it difficult to fall asleep even if you have a very comfortable mattress to lie on. Most smokers do not have a natural sleep pattern as the nicotine intake has messed it up. The extent to which is has been messed up depends on the level of use of tobacco products and the dependence on them. What gets messed up is the sleep architecture. we can say, can resolve this issue in some extent only.
The sleep architecture is the pattern contained in the sleep stages that a person must go through in order to have had a good quality sleep. It has been established through scientific experimentation that people who smoke not only take longer to fall asleep, but also have less deep sleep. Deep sleep is that part of the sleep pattern where slow waves are emitted by the brain. It is the sleep stage in which the body actually gets to rest and rejuvenate itself. Getting less sleep in this stage means that the quality of sleep that a smoker gets is likely to be poor.
How giving up smoking will affect the smoker’s sleep pattern
Giving up the daily fix of nicotine will adversely affect the smoker in many ways. When you smoke regularly the nicotine gets inhaled into your lungs along with the smoke and absorbed into your blood stream. It hits the brain and also affects the functioning of other parts of your body including the circadian cycle which governs your sleep pattern and tells you when it’s time to lie down on your mattress. If you give up smoking the lack of nicotine will give you nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Twenty minutes after the last cigarette the smoker’s heart rate begins to come down to normal, but the withdrawal symptoms won’t hit till two hours afterwards. These will include intense cravings for food, anxiety, irritation, frustration, stress and drowsiness.
Two days after the last smoke the sense of smell and taste will be regenerated. By the third day the nicotine withdrawal will peak as all the absorbed nicotine goes out of the system. Headaches, cramps and nausea may occur. Two weeks after the smoker will have improved blood circulation and lung function and will be able to breathe easier. This is also about the time that the sleep pattern of the smoker begins to head back to normal. Three weeks after the smoker’s last cigarette the sleep pattern would have normalized and will allow the smoker to get a good night’s rest. The danger period of the first two weeks when the withdrawal symptoms are at their worst will have passed and the ex smoker can now move on to reap many other health benefits as well.
Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking and Getting Quality Sleep
After the first couple of rather disruptive weeks when the smoker deals with little sleep, waking up every half hour and generally feeling all charged up thanks to the withdrawal symptoms, things will eventually settle down. The sleep pattern will normalize and all the chronic abuse the body has taken thanks to the smoking habit will generally be overcome by the rejuvenating properties of the human body. Soon sleep deficiency will be a thing of the past and ex smokers will wake up before the alarm clock goes off feeling fresh and well rested.
Other physical benefits of getting quality sleep each night you hit the mattress include regulated blood pressure leading to reduced risk of heart attacks, better circulation that leads to risk of stroke falling, improved lung functioning which leads to more physical stamina and better ability to exercise. Essentially there was a good body of scientific evidence to suggest that smoking was bad for you and by kicking the butt you will have healthier and happier days. Now there is evidence to support the fact that by quitting smoking you will actually have healthier nights as well.