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Is smoking to blame for your sleep problems?

Close up young man smoking a cigaretteYou are probably tired of everyone – from your boss to your mother – nagging you to quit smoking. However, the list of reasons to quit just keeps on growing. If you’ve been having problems sleeping, you should know that this is one more thing that may be caused by smoking.

How does smoking affect sleep?

You may think that the nicotine in cigarettes would help you to fall asleep, since nicotine is known for helping people to relax and for reducing anxiety (which is probably why you smoke in the first place). However, nicotine is actually a stimulant, which can lead to sleep problems. It can make it hard to sleep, prevent you from falling into a deep sleep, and make it easier for you to wake up throughout the night. You may even be waking up in the middle of the night because you are craving a cigarette. For these reasons, cigarette smokers are more likely to feel tired all day, have mood swings, and have trouble concentrating, which can very quickly start to affect both time spent at work and time trying to relax.

Smoking can also increase the likelihood of snoring and sleep apnea, in which you briefly stop breathing over and over again throughout the night. This is because of the chemicals in cigarettes, which not only damage the lungs (decreasing oxygen levels in your body) but which can also enlarge the soft tissues in the nose and throat and make it difficult to breathe properly as you sleep. Even those around you are at higher risk for sleep problems if they are inhaling your second hand smoke – children are especially susceptible to respiratory problems.

Smoking causes a variety of health problems, but losing sleep could just be the final straw if you are trying to decide if you should quit! You may notice even more trouble sleeping as you are quitting, but studies show that once you quit smoking for good your sleep quality will slowly start to improve. If you are still having trouble sleeping after you quit smoking, eos dental sleep in Philadelphia can help. Call (215) 241-0700 for an appointment today.