Some people can’t sleep because they are trying to stop smoking. When your body craves nicotine due to a dependency, it may cause you to wake up periodically during the night with an increased heart rate, especially if you are trying to quit. If you decide to get up and have a cigarette you may find it hard to go back to sleep because nicotine is considered a stimulant even though many people feel the need to smoke as a way to calm themselves down and relax. The fact is smoking stimulates the mind and body that can initiate sleep problems and if you can’t sleep over a period of time it may result in sleep deprivation, in which you will find it more difficult to function normally during the day and eventually it may cause serious health issues; like heart disease and obesity.
Not only does sleep deprivation cause health issues smoking raises the heart rate and blood pressure while dilating the arteries which contributes to arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease and stroke. Nicotine raises the level of glucose in the blood and lowers the immune system. Other health related issues are lung cancer, gum disease and tooth loss, premature aging and premature babies for women that smoke during their pregnancy.
Heavy smokers often get a “smoker’s cough” and other breathing disorders that affect their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, as well as interrupting their partners sleep.
If you smoke in your house make sure you have a house fan or open windows to air out the room as smoke will cause you to become congested during night. (I cant sleep when the bedroom smells like stale smoke) One of the best things you can start to do for yourself and your family is to smoke outside or in the garage. Eliminating smoking in the house will delay smoking and help you cut down on cigarettes gradually.
Changing your bedtime routine by making time for other activities may lessen your cravings. Other ways to help you quit smoking are; acupressure, doing activities with family or friends where smoking is not allowed, use nicotine patches, nicotine gum or hypnotherapy. Many times your doctor can prescribe and anti-anxiety medications like Wellbutrin that will help with the cravings. Anxiety is the number one cause of insomnia. Some homeopathic remedies can help with insomnia and anxiety such as Valerian, hops, passionflower and GABA supplements.
Yoga and other breathing techniques can help the body during the withdrawal period while improving sleep and relaxation. Learning deep breathing not only exercises the lungs but also reduces stress, supports withdrawal and restores sleep. If you are overweight and snore you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Extra weight on the neck can cause pressure on the airway passage. Sleep apnea is the result of not being able to breathe freely which causes periodic interruptions of sleep during the night. Many smokers claim that they have put on weight after they quit smoking, mainly because they substitute cigarettes for high calorie foods. Losing weight with an exercise program like yoga and a healthy high fiber diet will help your body recover faster from the ravages of smoking and help you to sleep easy.