Even if you've lived under a rock for the past, oh, 20 years or so, you're well aware that smoking is a really bad idea. Now, there's a new reason not to light up: Smoking negatively affects your ability to get quality shut-eye. In a new study from the University of Rochester Medical Center, researchers found that smoking affects the level of the molecule SIRTUIN1, which in turn affects a clock protein called BMAL1, in the brains and lungs of mice. The BMAL1 protein helps maintain your circadian rhythm, so any changes to it can throw off your sleep schedule.
The study looked at the effects of both short- and long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, and found that a longer exposure caused a greater variation to the levels of SIRTUIN1, leading to a bigger dip in BMAL1. Translation? The longer you smoke, the more it hurts your sleep cycle.
The results are significant in that they reveal how cigarette smoke hurts both the lungs and the brain — two parts of your body that you definitely don't want to mess with. Although other reports — such as one from Men’s Health — already concluded that smokers are more likely to have sleep problems, this study addresses the science behind the phenomenon. In the end, this is just one more reason why it's A-okay to be a quitter. (The Huffington Post)