Quit Smoking, Sleep Better

smokingA new mice study give smokers yet another reason to quit: better sleep![1] The study suggests that smoking disrupts the circadian clock in both the lungs and the brain, ruining productive sleep and leading to cognitive dysfunction, mood disorders, depression, and anxiety.1

Researcher from the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Irfan Rahman, Ph.D. said, “This study has found a common pathway whereby cigarette smoke impacts both pulmonary and neurophysiological function. Further, the results suggest the possible therapeutic value of targeting this pathway with compounds that could improve both lung and brain functions in smokers.”1

Rahman and colleagues found that tobacco smoke affects clock gene expression rhythms in the lung by producing parallel inflammation and depressed levels of brain locomotor activity.1 Both short and long-term smoking decreased a molecule known as SIRTUIN1, an anti-aging molecule, which altered the level of the clock protein BMAL1 in both lung and brain tissues in mice.1 A similar reduction has been found in lung tissue from human smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).1

Researchers used three groups of mice that they placed in smoking chambers for short-term and long-term tobacco inhalation or clean air only.1 Mice were found to be considerably less active after smoke exposure.1 However, this was treated with a small pharmacological activator of the anti-aging protein, and energy returned.1

Also, as the internal clock was also dysregulated, researchers were able to re-regulate it with a small molecule activator of SIRT1.1

Rahman said, “We envision 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.”1

[1] Wood, J. (2014). Mouse Study Suggests You Should Quit Smoking for Better Sleep. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 3, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/01/03/mouse-study-suggests-you-should-quit-smoking-for-better-sleep/64039.html

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