Tobacco Use & Sleep Problems Among Active Duty Service Members
Objective: To determine the consequences of tobacco use on a person’s sleep.
Methods: Active duty service members self-disclosing their tobacco use participated in a one month study during which time they completed standardized self-assessment scales which included the Pittsburg Insomnia Rating Scale, Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. In addition, subjects completed a baseline and one month later home sleep study.
Results: Twenty - eight active duty subjects reported their tobacco use with half (n=14, 28, 50%) denying use. When comparing the two groups of tobacco users and non-tobacco users, the independent TTest analyses identified no statistical differences based on the BMI (p=.13) or the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (p=.37). In terms of the respiratory events associated with obstructive sleep apnea significant differences emerged between tobacco users and non-tobacco users. Tobacco users had significantly higher respiratory disturbance index scores, particularly during REM sleep and less oxygen saturation, an observation present at the initial sleep study and in the one month follow-up study. In terms of the apnea/hypopnea index, tobacco users had a nearly significant difference at the initial sleep study and in the one month follow-up study, again with a trend effecting REM sleep.
Conclusion: Tobacco use is a national health concern and motivating reluctant users to quit requires pertinent, evidence based clinical persuasion relevant to the person’s life. Preliminary findings in this study suggest tobacco users experience significant sleep disruptions effecting sleep respiration and architecture.