Nicotine dependence and sleep quality in young adults

Addict Behav. 2017 Feb:65:154-160. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.10.020. Epub 2016 Oct 25.


Introduction: More cigarette smokers report poor sleep quality than non-smokers, but the association between nicotine dependence (ND) and sleep quality has not been well-characterized. The objective of this study was to describe the associations among frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking, ND symptoms, and sleep quality in young adults.

Methods: Data on past-year smoking frequency, number of cigarettes smoked in the past month, five ND indicators (i.e., withdrawal, craving, self-medication symptoms, mFTQ, ICD-10 criteria for tobacco dependence), and sleep quality (measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)) were collected in 2011-12 in self-report questionnaires completed by 405 young adult smokers (mean age 24 (0.6) years; 45% male; 45% daily smokers) participating in a longitudinal investigation of the natural course of ND. Associations between indicators of cigarette smoking, ND symptoms, and sleep quality were examined in multivariable logistic regression analyses controlling for age, sex, mother's education, and alcohol use.

Results: Thirty-six percent of participants reported poor sleep quality (PSQI>5). Higher cigarette consumption (OR(95% CI), 1.03(1.001-1.05)) but not frequency of past-year smoking, more frequent withdrawal symptoms (1.05(1.004-1.10)), more frequent cravings (1.05(1.004-1.10)), higher mFTQ scores (1.14(1.02-1.27)), and endorsing more ICD-10 criteria for tobacco dependence (1.19(1.04-1.36)) were also associated with poor sleep quality.

Conclusion: Cigarette smoking and ND symptoms are associated with poor sleep quality in young adult smokers. Advice from practitioners to cut back on number of cigarettes smoked per day and treatment of ND symptoms may improve sleep quality in young adult smokers.

Keywords: Nicotine dependence; Sleep quality; Smoking; Young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult