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Smoking and Sleep Apnea

If you’re a smoker, you have a much higher chance of having trouble sleeping. In addition, smoking can contribute to sleep apnea.

Smoking and Sleep Problems

Recent research shows that people who are smokers tend to have more trouble sleeping than people who are nonsmokers. Research shows that people who smoke are more likely to experience trouble falling asleep (about 12%), are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night (11%), and are more likely to wake up early (10%). This is significantly higher than non-smokers.

It’s suspected that nicotine, a stimulant, impairs people’s ability to fall asleep. In the middle of the night and the morning, nicotine withdrawal leads to waking.

Smoking and Sleep Apnea

In addition to generalized sleep complaints, it’s been shown that smoking can worsen sleep apnea.

Smokers are approximately 2.5 times more likely than nonsmokers to suffer from sleep apnea. Worse, it’s believed that even people who are not smokers themselves but live with smokers may have an increased sleep apnea risk.

We’re not sure of all of the mechanisms by which smoking increases sleep apnea risk. Part of it is likely due to inflammation of the upper airway due to cigarette smoke. It also causes affects the laxity of airway muscles. Some have even proposed that sleep apnea may be partly responsible for nicotine addiction, as people with daytime sleepiness feel an increased craving for a stimulant like nicotine.

Quitting Helps

The good news is that most people who quit smoking report improved sleep. The news for sleep apnea sufferers is even better: former smokers have no higher risk for sleep apnea than people who have never smoked. This means that it’s never too late to reduce your risk for sleep apnea.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and want to learn more about comfortable, convenient sleep apnea treatment, please contact B&D Dental Excellence in Rockland County, New York today for more information.

By |December 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|
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