New research shows that cigarette smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep. The study also reveals that smokers spend less time in deep sleep and more time in light sleep than nonsmokers, with the greatest differences in sleep patterns seen in the early stages of sleep. Researchers speculate that the stimulating effects of nicotine could cause smokers to experience nicotine withdrawal each night, which may contribute to disturbances in sleep.
"It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period," said study author Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD, FCCP, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. "Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance."