The Importance of Sleep: How Quitmate Can Help

With Sleep Health Week fast approaching on the 25th September until the 1st October 2023, it’s time to put a spotlight on sleep. Many people don’t realise just how important sleep is when it comes to their overall health and wellbeing. Perhaps that could be you too. If you suffer from persistent ailments or psychological difficulties that just don’t resolve, perhaps it’s time to look laterally at the problem. Could poor sleep be a core contributor to the issues you face? Is it worth prioritising good sleep as part of your health routine?

At Quitmate, we not only think that good health is inextricably linked to good sleep, we know so. Nicotine is a potent stimulant that can increase your heart rate, raise blood pressure, and stimulate the release of adrenaline. This makes it challenging to wind-down and fall asleep, ultimately disrupting your natural sleep cycle, leaving you with restless nights. So, as part of Sleep Health Week, we offer this guide to better sleep and in turn, better health.

Importance of Sleep

By leading a fast-paced, busy life, your sleep can often take a backseat in your priorities. You may regularly ‘borrow’ a few hours of what should be sleep time to focus on your work or family commitments—until it becomes your norm. Or you may lead such a fast-paced life that your mind and body find it hard to ‘switch off’ and get to sleep or to stay asleep.

The importance of sleep cannot be downplayed. There are many benefits to getting a full, deep, restful night’s sleep, including:

  • Physiological benefits – A good night’s sleep has a calming effect on your nervous system with flow-on positive effects on your state of mind. During deep, restful sleep, the body repairs and regenerates damaged tissues and cells, keeping your body healthy and helping you feel refreshed and energised for the start of the following day.
  • Psychological benefits – Getting sufficient sleep enables you to cope much better with the everyday stresses of daily living. This has positive effects on navigating your relationships – both work and personal. And it enables you to better focus on and accomplish your daily tasks.
  • Long-term health implications – When you get good sleep consistently over the years, you can reap the benefits in all aspects of your life: you are better able to maintain both mental and physical health so you can lead a healthier, happier life.

Common Sleep Issues and Their Impact

Sleep issues can manifest in several different ways, and smoking cigarettes can increase the chances of these issues. While they all impact your overall health to some degree, some are more pronounced and require more urgent medical assistance.

The most common ones include:

  • Insomnia – this is when you find it difficult to fall asleep, or stay asleep. Cigarettes contain nicotine which acts as a stimulant and keeps you awake, increasing your risk of developing insomnia. After a night of insomnia, you will not feel adequately rested and the resulting tiredness will likely negatively impact your cognition. While this is not immediately detrimental, it can be potentially dangerous if you operate heavy machinery or drive a car.
  • Sleep Apnea – is when your airways are repeatedly blocked while you sleep and your breathing stops and starts multiple times. The chemicals in cigarettes can irritate your throat and cause inflammation in your throat tissue and nose, limiting how much air you take in when you sleep. This can have a serious effect on your health and should be discussed with a healthcare professional as soon as you become aware that you suffer from this condition.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome – this is when you have a persistent, powerful urge to move your legs, as if to ‘shake off’ an unpleasant sensation. Smoking can exacerbate restless leg syndrome or increase your chances of developing it as you aren’t able to get quality sleep due to the nicotine in the cigarettes. It can significantly disturb your ability to sleep. While restless leg syndrome is difficult to cure altogether, it can be managed using a number of effective techniques to lessen its impact on your sleep and health.

Ready to quit smoking? Start your journey today!

Start the journey to better sleep and better health by booking your first appointment with a quit smoking expert today or request a prescription from a Quitmate doctor.

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