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Los fumadores tienen más problemas para dormir

NUEVA YORK (Reuters Health) - Los fumadores dormirían menos y tendrían un sueño menos reparador que los no fumadores, señala un estudio.

Un equipo de Alemania halló que el 17 por ciento de unos 1100 fumadores entrevistados dormía menos de seis horas por noche y que el 28 por ciento tenía un sueño "alterado", comparado con, el 7 y el 19 por ciento de más de 1200 no fumadores, respectivamente.

Esto no prueba que fumar altere el sueño de manera directa. Los fumadores tendrían otros hábitos que podrían influir en su descanso, como quedarse despiertos a la noche mirando televisión o hacer poco ejercicio, según detalló el doctor Stefan Cohrs, de la Universidad de Medicina de Berlín-Charite.

Pero hay motivos para pensar que el tabaquismo sería la causa, en especial los efectos estimulantes de la nicotina, según explicó Cohrs por e-mail.

También recordó que existen estudios que habían demostrado que la calidad del sueño de los fumadores mejora cuando abandonan la adicción. "Si un fumador tiene problemas para dormir, ahí tiene otro buen motivo para dejar de fumar", indicó.

La mala calidad del sueño no sólo dificulta el rendimiento diurno: algunos estudios la habían asociado con enfermedades como la obesidad, la diabetes y las cardiopatías.

El nuevo estudio, publicado en Addiction Biology, incluyó a 1071 fumadores y 1243 no fumadores sin trastornos mentales, que pueden favorecer la adicción al tabaco o aumentar la vulnerabilidad a los trastornos del sueño.

El equipo utilizó un cuestionario estandarizado para evaluar la calidad del sueño. Más de un cuarto de los fumadores tenía el sueño "alterado". Esto quiere decir que ese grupo tenía "alta probabilidad" de padecer insomnio, según precisó Cohrs.

Hay muchos factores que alteran la calidad del sueño. El equipo de Cohrs pudo detectar algunos, como la edad, el peso y el consumo excesivo de alcohol. Aun así, el tabaquismo se mantuvo asociado con la mala calidad del sueño.

Es posible que otras características de los fumadores alteren su descanso, pero Cohrs insistió en que la causa más probable es la nicotina.

Existen muchos motivos para dejar de fumar, pero el autor opinó que la idea de dormir mejor podría ser una gran motivación.

Fuente: FUENTE: Addiction Biology, online 23 de agosto del 2012.

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