You may be aware of the many health risks of smoking, but did you know it can also impact your sleep?
More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking, from cancer, heart disease, and stroke to lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Add another life-threatening risk factor to this list: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
By impacting your breathing, chronic smoking makes you susceptible to OSA, which is a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway that causes you to stop breathing as you sleep. Because your brain spends the night fighting for oxygen, your sleep cycles are disrupted, and you wake up feeling drained, exhausted, or sore. OSA is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can be deadly. The good news is that former smokers benefit from a decreased risk of developing OSA.
The Sound Sleeper
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