Smoking is a potently harmful habit that affects not only the physical state of the human body but also the emotional and mental conditions of the smoker.
In extreme cases, smoking can even cause depression, according to researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand. That being said, anything less severe than depression can be a byproduct of smoking, including insomnia.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people. This condition manifests in sleep deprivation due to the difficulty to fall asleep and stay asleep. Insomnia can be a short-term illness based on instances where the person is unable to get sufficient sleep due to particular momentary reasons, such as excitement or anxiety over a certain issue. It can also be chronic or ongoing, which often lasts at least a month.
Chronic insomnia commonly affects a person who is suffering from another illness or condition, which causes the person to have a hard time falling or staying asleep.
According to the National Institute of Health, around 30% of the total American population suffers from a lack of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation, on the other hand, states that 30-40% of adults in the US claim to have insomnia symptoms, and 10-15% says they have chronic insomnia.
This condition results to decreased mental and physical functionality during the day. Prolonged lack of sleep usually coexists with anxiety disorders. Whether acute or chronic, it is important to identify the cause of the condition to be able to get the best treatment method before things get any worse.
Smoking as a Common Yet Unknown Cause of Insomnia
Many smokers suffer from a lack of sleep, lethargy, and tiredness without knowing that smoking is directly associated with the condition. Since tobacco cigarettes have nicotine, aside from 7000 other harmful chemicals, it is simple to understand how it can keep you up at night and make you feel tired in the morning.
Nicotine is a stimulant, and it wakes the senses to keep it working even when you are tired. Although it has a relaxing property when combined with alcohol or consumed using slow and deep inhales, nicotine more often than not a stimulant that keeps the mind focused, responsive, and alert.
Due to its addictive properties, nicotine makes smokers crave even during the night. Without their regular fix of the substance, smokers will feel restless, uncomfortable, ill-tempered, and exhausted. This happens around three hours after their last cigarette stick.
Once it does, they will think that another cigarette stick will help them relax and fall asleep. Unfortunately, nicotine stimulates their minds and rather keeps them awake.
Insomnia during Smoking Cessation
Of course, the best thing to do is to quit smoking to get that deep, uninterrupted, rejuvenating sleep that you have long been wishing. The bad news is insomnia does not immediately stop when you quit. Smoking cessation, especially for heavy smokers, involves quite some withdrawal symptoms, including the difficulty to fall asleep due to unsatisfied cravings and oral fixations.
Nonetheless, there is always hope for those who are eager and determined to stop smoking. One of the most preferred smoking cessation aids is a healthy diet with anti-oxidants to flush out the nicotine and many other chemicals that have been deposited in the smokers’ bodies. A good amount of physical activities during the day, hand-in-hand with effective support groups, is proven to be very efficient in helping ex-smokers develop a good sleeping habit.