Smoking found to disrupt sleep

This guy is definitely not sleeping!According to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, smokers are four times more likely to report trouble sleeping and feeling rested the next day. The study showed that smokers were not experiencing as much deep sleep, a possible side-effect of nicotines effect on the brain.

The researchers screened 6,441 volunteers, with the goal of (ironically) finding a large group of healthy smokers. Due to the difficulties encountered in trying to find “healthy smokers” (I wonder why?), the researchers settled for a comparison of 40 smokers and 40 nonsmokers.

The volunteers were outfitted at home with sleep-study equipment, including a device that continuously records brain activity.

The electroencephalograms (EEGs) showed that smokers on average had faster, higher-frequency brain waves throughout the night – indicating that they weren’t experiencing as much deep sleep as nonsmokers.

This is quite serious as deep sleep is the stage where the body repairs itself, wounds heal, hormones are secreted, growth occurs. This is also the stage at which muscle mass is closely associated!

Does that mean we may see nicotine patches that help smokers sleep?


Zhang, L., Samet, J., Caffo, B., Bankman, I., Punjabi, N.M., Power Spectral Analysis of EEG Activity During Sleep in Cigarette Smokers, CHEST, Volume 133 (2), February 2008.

The Baltimore Sun


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