Tobacco outcome at night

You already know it. It has been said, repeated and demonstrated so many times: tobacco is bad for our health. It causes different types of cancer, lung and cardiovascular diseases, circulation problems, damage to the fetus during pregnancy, etc. Although the list is already long, we can add one more disorder, perhaps not so well known: sleep apnea.

Smoking is bad for almost everything. It even affects sleep at night and interferes with the overnight breaks.  It is demonstrated that the tobacco:

  • Alters the natural cycle of sleep, increasing the risk of depression, anxiety and other sleep disorders.
  • Increases the presence of snoring
  • Produces frequent awakenings during night. It has been shown that smokers are awakened three times more than non-smokers, having less restorative sleep.
  • Causes difficulty falling asleep. The nicotine, like caffeine works as a stimulant of the nervous system


Besides factors such as gender, age, weight, poor diet, craniofacial malformations, alcohol consumption or hypnotic drugs, tobacco is also considered a risk factor in the development of respiratory disorders during sleep.

Various studies have analyzed the relationship between the consumption of tobacco and snoring. It has been shown that the cases of snoring are more frequent among smokers or former smokers. There are several hypotheses that explain this relationship:

In the first place, the tobacco can cause inflammation of the upper airway. It also makes nostrils more resistant, especially among young adults who suffer from asthma or rhinitis. Tobacco smoke can affect the appearance of the Reinke’s edema in the larynx, a disease that causes chronic irritation of the vocal cords and edema.


Smoking is also a determining factor in the development of diseases classified as sleep disorders. It is due to the fact that the snoring is considered a predominant symptom between these pathologies. It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of the snorers suffer from sleep apnea syndrome, snoring being one of the most frequent symptoms why people who suffer from this disease visit their doctor.  For this reason, smoking has been considered a habit associated with snoring that keeps a close relationship with the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). It has been demonstrated that the development of this disease is three times higher in the case of smokers.

Apneas occur when there is a blockage of the airway that prevents the passage of air to the lungs. The local inflammation that produces tobacco causes narrowing of the airways, making the emergence of apneas more frequent. Moreover, the decrease of the nicotine levels in the blood during the night causes sleep instability, producing the overnight breaks.  Thus, in the cases of diagnosed sleep apnea, it is recommended to quit smoking with the objective to help stabilizing sleep and reducing the airway inflammation.

Sleeping improves significantly when you decide to quit smoking. It has been shown that 48 hours after quitting it, nicotine residues are removed. In the night, the ex-smokers breathe better, reduce the insomnia problems in the initial phase of the sleep and the possibility of apneas and, ultimately, they sleep better.

Having said this, our post ends here and reconfirms the countless benefits for the health that we get when we stop smoking. How many articles do you need to read to convince you?