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Jan 03, 2014 07:20 AM EST

Want To Sleep Peacefully? Quit Smoking, Study

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A University of Rochester study has found that smokers can have a good night's sleep just by giving up the habit.

Researchers said that smoking leads to sleep deprivation, depression and anxiety, cognitive decline and mood disorders. Lack of sleep can result in lethargy, crankiness and bad temper.

"This study has found a common pathway whereby cigarette smoke impacts both pulmonary and neurophysiological function," Dr Irfan Rahman from the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York said in a press release. "We envisage that our findings will be the basis for future developments in the treatment of those patients who are suffering with tobacco smoke-mediated injuries and diseases."

For the study, the researchers conducted experiments on mice. The mice were first divided into two groups. One of them was exposed to fresh air, while the other one was exposed to cigarettes throughout the day.

The researchers found that those mice that were exposed to smoke displayed sedentary behaviour. They said that smoking alters the body clock or circadian rhythm in the lungs and the brains. It decreases a molecule known as SIRTUIN1 that in turn alters the levels of the clock protein (BMAL1) in both lung and brain tissues.

They asserted that the effects can be reversed provided smokers quit the habit.

"If you only stick to one New Year's resolution this year, make it quitting smoking," said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal which published the research.  

Rahman said that sleep patterns can help enhance both lung and brain functions in smokers.

"The results suggest the possible therapeutic value of targeting this pathway with compounds that could improve both lung and brain functions in smokers.

Previous research has shown that sleep deprivation leads to brain damage, alzheimer's, parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, illnesses ranging from aches and pains, heart disease, weight gain, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, and lower quality of life.

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