Insomnia at Day 5 and 6

I am now at day 6 of my quit cold turkey. My physical symptoms are easing a little with one exception.

Has anyone else out there had trouble staying asleep the first couple of weeks of quitting? I have been taking .50 Xanax at bedtime for my anxiety for 4 months and Melatonin as needed. I go to bed at 7:30 and prior to the quit wake up around 2:30. No problem. Lately, I wake around 12:30 and can't get back to sleep. This only started two days ago. Does it take the body awhile to level out? Any suggestions or reassurance.

4 Replies

  • Hey Maggie, well done on reaching Day 6, see below normal withdrawal symptoms some may experience:

    Withdrawal in the First Two Weeks

    Because the first two weeks are so critical in determining quitting failure rates, smokers should not be shy about seeking all the help they can during this period.

    Withdrawal symptoms begin as soon as four hours after the last cigarette, generally peak in intensity at three to five days, and disappear after two weeks. They include both physical and mental symptoms.

    Physical Symptoms.

    During the quitting process people should consider the following physical symptoms of withdrawal as they were recuperating from a disease and treat them accordingly as they would any physical symptoms:

    [*]Tingling in the hands and feet


    [*]Intestinal disorders (cramps, nausea)


    [*]Cold symptoms as the lungs begin to clear (sore throats, coughing, and other signs of colds and respiratory problem)

    The first few weeks after quitting smoking are usually the most difficult and it's safe to say that it normally takes at least 8-12 weeks before a person starts to feel comfortable with their new lifestyle change of being an ex-smoker. Withdrawal from nicotine, an addictive drug found in tobacco, is characterized by symptoms that include headache, anxiety, nausea and a craving for more tobacco. Nicotine creates a chemical dependency, so that the body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times. Unless that level is maintained, the body will begin to go through withdrawal similar to alcohol addiction withdrawal. For tobacco users trying to quit, symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine are unpleasant and stressful, but only temporary. Most withdrawal symptoms peak 48 hours after you quit and are completely gone in six months. Mental and Emotional Symptoms.

    Tension and craving build up during periods of withdrawal, sometimes to a nearly intolerable point. One European study found that the incidence of workplace accidents increases on No Smoking Day, a day in which up to 2 million smokers either reduce the amount they smoke or abstain altogether.

    Nearly every moderate to heavy smoker experiences more than one of the following strong emotional and mental responses to withdrawal.

    [*]Feelings of being an infant: temper tantrums, intense needs, feelings of dependency, a state of near paralysis.


    [*]Mental confusion




    [*]Depression is common in the short and long term. In the short term it may mimic the feelings of grief felt when a loved one is lost. As foolish as it sounds, a smoker should plan on a period of actual mourning in order to get through the early withdrawal depression.

  • Newbie here but have read a lot of posts :)

    My partner had bought us some natural sleeping tablets (not sure what was in them) - they might have helped a bit. Best not to look at the TV or Ipad before bed.

    I find myself waking up at 6am and being wide awake!

    Good Luck :)

  • I remember doing a lot of early waking in the beginning of my quit too, Enigma. It passed, and now I'm all lazy and sleepy again :P

    Maggie, it took me a while to sort out my sleeping - I went through days of not being tired at all to wanting to sleep all the time to sleeping really well and then not sleeping at all...round and round for a while! Though I have no experience with the xanax etc, I don't think it's unusual for odd sleep patterns to occur during a quit :) Good luck!

  • Im on day7 and its a bit hard to fall asleep but i manage although ive been waking up soaked in sweat about 2-3 times 'a night but quickly falling asleep after, be strong you can do it

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