Quitting smoking doesn’t only mean you’ll no longer be ingesting smoke into your lungs, it also means you’ll no longer be absorbing the chemicals–such as acetone, lead, ammonia, butane, arsenic, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde–found in cigarettes. Good for you! Living a smoke-free life is a great step in the right direction on a path of balance, health, and wellbeing.
But in the first few days after quitting, you will likely experience some unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal as these dangerous chemicals, namely nicotine, detox out of your system. While cravings and feelings of irritability certainly aren’t an enjoyable part of the process, sleepless nights are enough to drive you over the edge. To ease your withdrawal symptoms and sleep more soundly while you quit smoking, follow these 10 tips to a tobacco-free life.
What to Expect When You Quit Smoking
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 35 million smokers know the health risks of smoking and express a desire to quit each year. However, of those who try to quit on their own, more than 85 percent relapse–most within a week.
Because nicotine increases levels of dopamine in the reward circuits of the brain, the complete cessation of the body’s supply of nicotine can result in some very negative symptoms. These include anxiety, irritability, craving, depression, cognitive and attention deficits, increased appetite, and sleep disturbances. Symptoms usually begin within hours of quitting, peak within the first few days, and usually subside within a few weeks.
Tips on Staying Strong and Sleeping Soundly
So, there’s the dilemma. You know that smoking is detrimental to your health, but life certainly isn’t going to stop to accommodate your withdrawal process. Of course, you need to sleep if you’re going to be able to function in your busy life, but the good news is this:
You can quit without suffering night-after-night of crippling insomnia!
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bed.
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule….even on weekends.
- Transform your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary by creating a serene sleep environment.
- Try these breathing exercises to help you relax and forget about your cravings.
- If you’re lying in bed for 20 minutes and just can’t seem to sleep, leave the bed, head to another room, and do something else. Avoid stressful activities, bright lights, and televisions, and instead opt for reading, nighttime yoga, or listening to music.
- Exercise daily.
- Avoid the dangers of light pollution in your bedroom by investing in blackout shades or even just a simple sleep mask.
- Don’t watch television or use electronic devices within, at least, the last 2 hours leading up to bed.
- Implement a nightly detox routine like this one.
- Whatever you do, don’t smoke a cigarette…not even one! Even if you think it will make you sleep better short-term, you’ll be starting all over again if you allow the nicotine to re-invade your system.
Remember, quitting smoking isn’t the reason you’re feeling down, your cigarette addiction is what needs to stop. Hang in there, and before long the withdrawal symptoms will be completely behind you! Wondering where you are in the withdrawal process? Check out this helpful timeline by QuitSmokingCommunity.org!
Interested in improving your sleep? Check out the Nuvanna Sleep Guide.