Quit Support

Still dreaming that I'm smoking !! Why ?

Had a really vivid dream last night that I was thinking of smoking again and bought cigs.Been a bit stressed the last few days with an unwell mum (she's 84 and is showing signs of dementia) so went back to my ECig in the a.m. only a couple of days ago.Just don't know why I'm still dreaming of cigs after 3 months quit.My ECig tastes horrid so I've ordered some nicotine free cartridges so I'll be nic free in time for my op on 13th.

6 Replies

Happy new year YSD, just found this what Emjay posted a while ago. :-


Vivid Dreams Explained

4 replies

James, one of our lovely Stop Smoking Advisors has found some information that I thought you might all find interesting;

Vivid dreams are found to not be a side effect from stop smoking products. It has been discovered through research that it is part of the recovery process. The brain begins to repair itself and reverse damage caused from smoking. Neurobiologists have discovered that brain cells sprout new axons and nerve fibres during dream sleep. A chemical named serotonin in the brain triggers the brain to dream.

Smoking depletes serotonin production in the brain. When serotonin levels in the brain are balanced it creates a happy and contented state of mind. When serotonin levels are low a depressed and anxious state of mind is created. It is believed that smoking cigarettes can deplete serotonin levels by up to 50%. What compounds this problem is that the brain accepts the chemicals in a cigarette as a serotonin substitute on the basis that any chemical response is better than no chemical response at all. So therefore, when an individual stops smoking, serotonin production improves and the brain begins to compensate itself for lost serotonin production. The brain then produces more serotonin than needed, resulting in vivid dreams and nightmares.

Research has shown that it takes the brain 3 weeks to regulate serotonin levels.

Further research suggests that with an increase in serotonin levels there must be an increase in oxygen levels too. When a person stops smoking, carbon monoxide no longer takes priority over oxygen on the red blood cells. As a result of this change, oxygen levels of the individual increase. More oxygen is carried around the body and to the brain. When the stop smoker sleeps there is a higher percentage of oxygen reaching the brain than when they where a smoker. This process helps promote a process called rapid eye movement (REM) while sleeping. REM is an important process in dream production along with serotonin production.

It is essential to reassure a client that the first three weeks of a quit attempt are crucial. Vivid dreams are all part and parcel of the recovery process and the pathway to a healthier life style.

It is a positive symptom as it is the brains way of repairing itself and returning to a better deeper sleep.


Happy New Year ysd, you'll succeed this year. Caring for elderly parents is very stressful, especially when any kind of dementia starts to kick in. You're doing well that you've managed to quit while having to deal with that. Good luck with the op. :)


You will get there, it is hard but you can do it, I have every faith in you as you do in others. Wishing you every success for your op on 13th January, you will be in my thoughts and others x x


Well done YSD, 3 months, that's fab. The explanation given fir dreams is so interesting, I read it a few weeks ago and was amazed to learn that smoking reduces setatonin by 50% so look forward to being way happier. My dad also has dementia, it is far from easy and definately increases stress levels ... Glad to learn that possible to get nic free vap, not for me yet but it would be nice to eventually be nic free. I imagine a vivid dream re smoking is horrid. I often have vivid dreams and it can take a while to realise when awake that not reality, not looking forward to having one re smoking. Good luck.


Well done you - the real test is how you manage to get through situations that are stressful and manage it without the need to smoke - then in my view you've cracked it. As for the dreams about smoking - I am not sure what that is about other than you must be really thinking of smoking just prior to sleep. That is difficult, try to keep your mind busy right up until you nod off.


3 Months quit now then, thats just flippin super duper doooooo gal :) :) You stick at it, even if you have to have a puff of the e-cig now and again eh.

My mum was diagnosed with dementia some months ago now, they sorted her out with some tablets and she's as bright as a button again now :) she dosn't miss a trick !! she still tells me off :D :D

Good luck with the opp on the 13th :)

See ya soon, Pete :) x


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