Bloomberg News

Quit Smoking, Spurn Alcohol to Improve Sleep Quality, Study Says

October 19, 2011

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Quitting cigarettes and spurning alcohol before bed may help remedy poor sleep quality, according to a study in Japan.

Pack-a-day smokers get 10 minutes less sleep a night than non-smokers, researchers at Kyoto’s Doshisha University found. The study of adult men also found that those who consumed at least 60 grams of alcohol a day, or the equivalent of 1.5 liters of beer, were likely to wake 1.5 times more during the night than those who limited intake to less than 20 grams.

The research suggests simple lifestyle changes could yield longer, more restful sleep, said Atsuko Nakazawa, head of Doshisha University’s health center. The stimulating effects of nicotine, tobacco’s addictive component, may delay sleep and cause nightmares and problems waking, according to the U.S. National Sleep Foundation.

“Smokers just have to quit smoking” to improve sleep, said Nakazawa, who led the study, which was presented at a scientific meeting Kyoto today. “It’s easier than changing diet, for example.”

A quarter of Japanese adults smoked in 2009, according to Japan Tobacco Inc., the world’s third-biggest publicly traded cigarette-maker. The average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in Japan is 400 yen ($5.20), compared with $10.80 in New York.

Alcohol is a poor sleep aid, according to the sleep foundation in Arlington, Virginia. The chemical disrupts one’s ability to enter the deeper, more restful stages of sleep, it says.

The Doshisha University study involved a survey of 3,256 males ages 30 to 59 years, who slept an average of 6.9 hours in 2007. The data was presented at the Sixth World Congress of the World Sleep Federation, which runs Oct. 16 to 20.

--Editor: Jason Gale, Lena Lee

To contact the reporter on this story: Kanoko Matsuyama in Tokyo at kmatsuyama2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at j.gale@bloomberg.net


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