Twice in the past two weeks we wrote about sleep and stopping smoking, and strategies for getting a good sleep. Sleep is important. Not only is sleep an issue in stopping smoking, but good sleep is linked to decreasing risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and immune system. Because good sleep is so important, we wanted to share the results of a recent large study on sleep and stopping smoking, before putting the topic to bed.
More than 1000 people who were participating in a stop smoking study were asked to rate sleep problems, abnormal dreams, and insomnia prior to stopping smoking and one week after their targeted quit date. The study found that reported sleep disturbance was higher whether the person was taking nicotine patch, Chantix, or no medication, but sleep disturbance was rated higher if the person had stopped smoking and was taking a medication. On the other hand, withdrawal symptoms were rated highest among those who were not taking any medication. The implication is that sleep disturbances when stopping smoking may not be caused by withdrawal.
The take home message is that sleep is important but can be disturbed when you are stopping smoking. Good sleep habits can help. When you are stopping smoking include in your planning a regular sleep routine, physical activity, and stress reduction, all of which can help to improve your sleep.