Does anyone else have trouble sleeping since giving up smoking?

Hi there, I've given up smoking, only 3 days away from celebrating the one month mark, and feeling strong, well most of the time. Interesting to read the side affects others are feeling. I feel very focused this time and really want to celebrate the milestones as they come along. I have given up many times over the years but never made it to 1 year, so that is my goal to begin with. I went on the patches for 5 days and then cold turkey, started on a weekend. It's tough, dizzy spells and total lack of concentration, that is why I choose the weekend to do it. I didn't have trouble sleeping before hand and now I regularly wake up in the middle of the night and it takes a couple of hours to get back to sleep. Plus my tolerance levels have decreased significantly, I now can see all the twits around me.....LOL. I appetite has also increased, and I am eating more, but this also tends to happen to me over winter and I usually gain a couple of kilos, so I'm not going to worry greatly. I wonder how long I am going to continue to wake during the night, has anyone had similar experience?

16 Replies

  • Good morning Maggiepie, Andi here and welcome to our community.

    Yes, a couple of us have problems sleeping. My sleeping thing was happening before but seemed to get worse when I stopped smoking (been nearly 3 months now). It's a bit of a vicious circle sometimes - wake up early so go to bed early. Go to sleep, good sleep, wake up, think it must be 2 or 3, look at clock - oh no, only been asleep half an hour! :o I then wake 2 or 3 times more, once staying awake for about 1 hour, then rouse about 5 and doze til I've had enough and get up around 6! On my long 'wake-up' I usually put the radio on to try to lull me back to sleep - sometimes works, or I might read for a bit but I'm not one of these people that get up and make a cuppa in the middle of the night.

    As for the appetite thing, you can use all that spare extra non-sleeping time to read up the archives and blogs and see that it's affected everybody. That's part of quitting - your metabolism goes down, we substitute smoking with snacking and bingo! It's not rocket-science! :D :D

    Just deal with one thing at a time and the weight can be lost once we feel more comfortable with not smoking.

    Look forward to you maybe joining in with our daily chats.

    Good luck, Andi :)

  • Morning Maggiepie, I`m jillygirl. Yes I too dont sleep well. usually awake in the middle of the night. or wake up about 4.30 and just cant get back off to sleep . I eventually get up . as you will see its usually me that opens up our daily chat. Andi also doesnt sleep in, sure she will be telling you. I think at first your brain is trying to except the changes going on in your body, lots of us have had weird dreams too. Emjay our advisor will be on later and will probably help. Meanwhile a big well done on quitting , This community site is helping all of us stay focused. All friendly and can have a laugh at the same time.

    see you soon. :)

  • Hi there pls give me some advice i quit 1month from smoking ang i have problem like insomnia i have difficulty falling asleep.. i used cold turkey method im so worried i cant do my job anymore it bothers me

  • Hey Maggiepie, welcome to our happy place and congratulations on doing so well :-)

    Everything that you have experienced so far is pretty normal. It shouldn't be too long for you to get back into a regular sleep pattern so try not to let it worry you. On top of what both Andi and Jillygirl have already advised, practice some breathing exercises and find the best one that helps you to feel relaxed. Then if you do wake up through the night you can quite easily keep yourself in a state of slumber until hopefully you will drop back off again.

    The best types of breathing exercises to help relax you, are the ones when you take nice, long, and slow deep breaths in through your nose. Maybe as you breath in, try and count to 10 and then breathe out slowly to the count of 10. Once you have one this for a couple of times (maybe over a week) try and increase you counts to 16.... :D

    Let us know how you get on :D

    If you tell me when your quit date was, I'll pop your name up on our Wall of Winners, the place where all quitters are winners :-D

    You've come to the right place for help and we've a crackin bunch of people all supporting each other :-)

  • Been off real fags for 6 months on an E-cig reduced my nicotine level to 4mg ultra low but like you having problems sleeping wake up almost on the hour every hour looking at the clock but the odd thing is not feeling to bad in the morning odd I know?

  • Hi Simon24, Firstly well done reaching 6 months. thats brill. I think we all seem to have different sleeping habits, with this quitting lark. Like you say it doesnt seem to affect you next morning. I feel as if I am getting tired earlier so ready for bed earlier than I used to be. But still cant sleep right through.

    Nice to chat to you simon . Keep us informed of your progress, I am coming up to nearly 4 months and its nice to know other people are coping too. :)

  • I am on my 3 week of not smoking and I am going crazy because every night I get one hour of sleep , tops. I am starting to worry. I tried melatonin, warm milk, excercising, but no otc pills. I don't want to. I want everything come naturally. It's an agony. I have bags and black circrcles under my eyes and look like a crow. When it will go away.? Please help.

  • Hi weinmannp welcome and really well done on 3wks quit👍 having problems with sleep is common in the early stages of quitting but there is no time scale on how long this will last. I was up and down with sleep for the first 6wks but used the breathing exercises alot to help, they take some practice but do work. If you look at breathing exercise 3 this helps to calm a busy mind.

    You're doing fab so hang in there it will get easier. Do keep this site real close as all the lovely members will help you through. Can you let me know your quit date so we can award you a well earned winners badge. Keep going and do shout out if you need help 😄

  • Thank you for answering.

    I had quit on Nov 14. I was on ecigs for 4 years 6 mg of nicotine but before regular cigarettes since 23 yrs old. Now I am 48yrs old.

    These dreams are so vivid that after snoozing for about 5 minutes, I will wake up still talking to myself and o don't know why am I talking to myself or fighting demons. The dreams are waking me up. I toss and turn nonstop. My mind is constantly thinking about something.

    I stopped because of panic attacks. I could have 5-10 a day. Numerous times in ER. Very agitated and anger issues all the time.

    Finally I took my e cig and hammer in the garage and banged as hard as I could. I have no urges whatsoever but insomnia is killing me.


  • So you've been off cigs for 4yrs??? Wow I have to say super well done👍 your quit date was 4yr ago then. Try not be so hard on yourself as you have said you have no urge to smoke or vape so I think you need to try and hang in there because nicotine is highly addictive plus you still have the hand to mouth habit to deal with. Maybe get some sort of stress ball (simple I Know) but it will keep your hands busy. Vivid dreams are due to changes in our brain but there is more explanation on a pinned post relating to this have a read as this will help you understand why these are happening. I know how hard it is getting off the nic completely but you are now 3wks which is a huge achievement plus not smoking so please just try and be patient. I really do hope you can manage to sleep very soon 😄

  • Aup Weinmannp and a big warm welcome to our quit support family :) :) and a MASSIVE WELL DONE to you reaching your third week smokefreeeeeeee :) :)

    I see our lovely Ciggygonney has given you excellent advice :) Please please try the breathing exercise cos after a bit of practice it does work :) and also there is a post called '' Vivid Dreams'' which tells you all about why we get them when we quit :)

    Weinmannp, you will find these on the Pinned Posts to the right of this post and up a bit :) orrrrr, if your using a mobile device, then please just scroll down from here and you will come to them :)

    Pete :)

  • Also Wein, maybe try having a cup of Camomile tea just before you go to bed cos this can help to calm your mind down :)

    There have been quit a few members who have used it and it worked for them :)

  • I got this kind of insomnia once - afraid to go to sleep because the dreams were so vivid and would wake you up in 1-2 hour cycles (if youre lucky). Sleep was more exhausting than being awake! Lasted almost a year and I think was due to serotonin imbalance. Tried everything, prescription and over the counter meds (nytol did really help), melatonin (worked but bad effect on mood). Two things really helped me, 1) knowing that we wake up naturally 6-10 times per night between sleep cycles, but because we arent anxious go straight back to sleep and dont remember it. So Waking up after an hour or two (or half an hour by the end) isnt so wierd, its just that you force yourself properly awake. 2) Learning to really believe that I didnt care if I slept well or not really helped. 3) crazy dreams are often a symptom of your body trying to cram in REM sleep to a messed up sleep cycle - not that you are going crazy. Took me a long time and was awful but did get better and stay better. Hardest time of my life though, good luck!

  • I quit regular cigs 4 yrs ago and switched to liquid. Now .I quit liquid 2 weeks ago. It's very easy coming off from liquids than regular cigarettes. No urges. Tried quitting maybe 100 times on reg cigarettes and never got it. Quitting liquid, I find it very easy.

    Tried camomile tea etc. I guess have to wait it out.

    Panic attacks gone 95%

  • Wein, there is an Anxiety Community on Health Unlocked, am just wandering if they may be able to help you with the panic attacks :) maybe worth a try eh :)

    All you have to do is, click on ''My Communities'' then click browse and click on follow community when you find it :)

    Any probs, just give us a nudge and I will help :)

  • Thx but like I mentioned earlier that my panic attacks are gone 95% after quitting nicotine. It's all good on that front but maybe I should give them a little advice.


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