Sleep Adjustments

Physical healing of the body and mind
Joined: 27 Jan 2009, 18:29

28 Jan 2009, 02:17 #31

I am one of those odd ball people who smoked only before I went to bed! Yes like an idiot I would puff two or three, have my heart racing, unable to breathe normally, and thought somehow this was aiding in getting me to sleep! Stupid fool! I would have to get up after about 4 hours after going to bed because naturally my body wanted yet more nicotine, I smoked 3 more, went back to sleep for 4 more hours. And I complained over and over about how I had sleeping difficulties which could not be overcome without cigarettes! Yes addiction is powerful, and illogical. I have a scientific college degree. One would think I would be smart enough to know better. Well luckily I figured out my error before I killed myself. I learned that nothing is worth sacrificing my health for. Not one puff, or one thousand. Thanks for adding me to the group. I look forward to participating. I was referred by friends. They highly recommended I use these boards in helping me stay quit. Thanks again.

Last edited by Photo Larry on 28 Jan 2009, 14:51, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 27 Jan 2009, 18:29

26 Mar 2009, 07:29 #32

Here is my very odd story. I am fairly sure that I smoked for a very very unique reason. I was under the delusion that it actually was HELPING me get sleep. Well this nicotine addict is finished. I no longer am allowing it to ruin my sleeping patterns. I would smoke a few RIGHT at bed time. Well guess what happens? My heart rate increases, my blood pressure drops, and of course, the nicotine stimulates my brain, thus, I am not falling asleep normally. About an hour later, after heavy breathing caused by the smoking, I would eventually fall asleep. But this was poor sleep as I woke up 3 hours(max) later, since my body told my brain, ok nicotine has dropped, wake up, smoke more, now go back to bed. I then would sleep 2 hours, and repeat the same pattern. So in effect, I would get about 7 hours total at most, with worst episodes of waking up 3 times during the night to smoke again. I was such an addict, so pathetic, that I went ALL day long, from the time I awoke, say about 9am, all day, until midnight. Not one cigarette. Then because there was a trigger(mental) in my brain telling me, hey this is what you do before bed time, I went outside, and smoked 2-4 cigarettes, depending on my mood level. How and why would I do such a thing? No benefits at all. In fact quite the opposite. I would wake up multiple times, and feel guilty the next day for doing such an ignorant thing. Hence the only thing I can call this: "Severe Nicotine Addiction"
I do hope that I am able to get a full nights sleep at some point (so far I still awake once or twice to use the bathroom) but I guess I will not know what real sleep is like until I have been quit for a few months and my lungs begin to recover from 20 years of damage. Thanks for listening. Larry
Last edited by Photo Larry on 26 Mar 2009, 12:28, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

26 Mar 2009, 18:02 #34

Actually, needing to smoke in order to sleep is not that unusual of an occurrence. In clinics I had plenty of people report that they often woke up in the middle of the night because they needed a cigarette and were only able to fall back to sleep by smoking one or two. I always pointed out to them how clearly this showed them the nature of their addiction, having to wake up to take a stimulant drug (nicotine) in order to be able to fall back to sleep. There were also people who smoked heavily in the evening in order to get their nicotine levels high enough as to be able to sleep longer before going into withdrawal. Again, they were people who were overdosing on nicotine which was likely disrupting the overall quality of their sleep but it was the only way they could seem to manage to sleep at all when quitting. They needed to titrate their nicotine levels to minimize withdrawal symptoms long enough to allow them to sleep for any extended time period.

I need to point out that these are different people than those who smoked more at the end of the day purposely in order to stay awake longer so as to watch late night television or do late night projects. These people, who are probably more common are smoking more at the tail end of the day precisely to stay awake longer using nicotine's quality as a stimulant drug.

This article addresses these people:

How Would You Deal With the Following Situations?
How would you deal with
the following situations?

Your 2-year-old is having a temper tantrum because he wants a new toy. Would you;
  1. Leave him alone until he calmed down
  2. Give into his demands
  3. Give him a tranquilizer
Your 7-year-old is anxious about next weeks' Little League tryouts. Would you;
  1. Assure him that he can do it
  2. Practice with him and tell him to try his best
  3. Give him a valium every three hours until the game
Your 14-year-old is crushed when she is not asked to the sophomore dance. Would you;
  1. Fix her up with one of your friend's children
  2. Tell her to go anyway
  3. Give her cocaine to pick up her spirits
Your 15-year-old is self-conscious about being 5 pounds overweight. Would you;
  1. Cook lower calorie meals
  2. Enroll her in a diet or exercise program
  3. Put her on appetite suppressants

All of these young people are experiencing what adults would consider "growing pains." A little time, patience and positive reassuring will help them overcome all of these difficult situations.

The fact is, as long as anyone continues to develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, professionally or spiritually, they too will experience growing pains. Adults are prone to hurt, pain, sadness, depression and anxiety just as children are. These feelings are all necessary if we wish to continue to develop our minds and bodies. Without such growth, we would not experience happiness, satisfaction, contentment or purpose to their full extent.

The third choice in each of the above situations was, of course, ridiculous. We would not subject our children to chemical hazards to overcome such trivial problems. However, as adults we are fully capable of practicing such dangerous behaviors for our own relief. Take cigarette smoking as an example.

When you were still a smoker, how many times would you say you had to smoke because you were lonely and sad without your friendly cigarettes? How many times did you say that you had to smoke because of all the stress in your life? How many times did you tell yourself that many social activities were just not fun without your cigarettes? How many times did you say that you would gain too much weight if you quit smoking? All you were saying was that you needed nicotine, a drug, to overcome everyday life problems.

It was not until you were off cigarettes that you realized you could overcome such problems without smoking, and in most cases more effectively than when you were a smoker. Once you had quit you realized just how much a source of stress the habit was to you. You were caught by a socially unacceptable and physically deadly addiction and were quite often aware of it. This is when you had the desire to give them up, but thought the pain of quitting too great to even attempt it.

Even today, you probably still desire an occasional cigarette. It may be in a stressful situation, at a party after a few drinks, or at a time when you find yourself alone with nothing better to do. The fact is, there is nothing worse you can do than take a cigarette. One cigarette will not help you over the problem. In reality, it will create a new problem, a disastrous situation of a reinforced addiction, with all the physical dangers and associated dirty habits.

So, next time you have the desire for a cigarette, sit back and take a few moments to reflect upon what you are setting yourself up for. Do you need that drug? Do you want that addiction? If not, simply remember - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

© Joel Spitzer 1982, 2000

Read the links JoeJ put up for you. They really help to clarify the reasons you smoke.

Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

26 Mar 2009, 18:27 #35

Another related article:

Using cigarettes to self medicate certain medical conditions

There are likely some people who smoke in order to self-medicate themselves for certain conditions that they have. What these people need to understand though is the problem with the "medication" (their cigarettes) that they have chosen to use to treat a condition. The medication (cigarettes) they are using has certain undesirable side effects. Think of it this way. Lets say that you have a medical or emotional condition that causes you some level of discomfort. Nothing life threatening, just a problem that is causing some minor disruption in your day to day function. You go to your pharmacy and look through the over the counter remedies and find one that says it "may" be able to treat your exact condition. You buy it.

When you get home you start to read the dosing instructions and contraindications of usage. The medication has the following standard warning:

Medication is habit forming. Medication leads to addiction to most people who use it. Medication known to be one of the most addictive drugs known to man. Medication contains the following ingredients, followed by a list of four thousand chemicals, some with familiar names like arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and many many others. Medication known to cause cancer in rodents. Medication known to cause cancer in humans. Medication known to cause heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular diseases. Medication known to destroy lung tissue. Medication known to cause chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Medication is known to be the most recognized cause of premature death in the United States. Medication known to cripple millions of people worldwide every year. Medication known to kill over 4.9 million people worldwide every year. Medication known to kill one out of every two people who use it.

On top of this you calculate the cost of using this medication over your lifetime, which is how it is going to be used if you start it now, and you realize it is going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. No insurance company will ever cover its costs and in fact, most likely all of your insurance companies are going to charge you higher premiums for your lifetime because you use the medication.

Considering all of the above consequences--do you take the medication? One more thing--there are other medications on the market that actually can treat your condition, that have no known life threatening health effects.

I think any rational person would try to get a refund for the purchased medication. There is probably only one group of people who would take the medication considering the above implications. It is the ones who had been taking it for years already, who may have started before they knew or fully understood all of the problems the drug would cause. Now they may believe the warnings but they like most others who used it are caught in the active grip of the addiction of the drug. They believe that they have lost choice in the matter. They are users and they believe they are stuck that way for the rest of their life.

Hopefully, somewhere in fine print on the box will be an instruction that says, medication is addictive and deadly, but can be stopped if a person simply makes and sticks to a personal commitment to never take another dose.


Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

26 Mar 2009, 18:33 #36

As far as for thinking that maybe you are somehow different than others:

"Everyone is Different?"
Joel's Reinforcement Library

"Everyone is Different?"

A common belief in many circles is that everyone is different. While this concept holds true in most walks of life, in many ways it does not hold true when examining drug addiction. Most addicts are the same in more ways than they are different. Their behaviors, beliefs, attitudes are all being controlled by a substance. The more established and ingrained the addiction becomes the more the person becomes a stereotype of an addict.

In the case of a cigarette smoker, once the person quits and gets nicotine out of his or her body then true individual variations will become apparent. But there still are similarities that are shared with other ex-smokers that still need to be understood. Once a person becomes an ex-smoker he or she is in control of his or her addiction, but he or she still has the addiction. The ex-smoker is no longer an active smoker but the person is not a "never smoker" either. The ex-smoker is still a recovering addict and must keep that knowledge alive.

In one important way ex-smokers are all the same though. They will all be able to stay smoke free for the rest of their lives if they NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


© Joel Spitzer 2002
Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 23, 2003


"Maybe I am different"
I know you were referring to the idea that you smoked for different reasons that others, but we want to caution our readers to never think that they were somehow really different than others addicted to nicotine. This article explains why:
Joel's Reinforcement Library

"Maybe I am Different!"

Maybe I am different? Maybe I can take a cigarette and not get hooked? Maybe the cigarette will make me so sick I will never want to take a cigarette again? Maybe I was never addicted anyway? Maybe I will just smoke for a little while and quit again when things are better? Maybe, maybe, maybe . . .?

Do you ever find that you are asking yourself these questions? If so, and the suspense of the answer is just killing you, I thought I would suggest two ways of finally putting these unresolved questions to rest. First, take a cigarette. This is a real effective way of realizing the potential for relapse by reinforcement of the nicotine addiction. And the cost for this valuable lesson is simply returning to the deadly, expensive, socially unacceptable habit and addiction to cigarettes. You can then either smoke until it cripples and kills you, or "just" quit again. Remember the last time? Smoke or quit, fun choice isn't it?

Of course there is another way of answering those perplexing questions of "maybe". Find a smoker who once quit smoking for a substantial period of time, say one year or longer, and then relapsed. Ask him how he liked not smoking. Ask him how he now likes smoking. Then ask the most important question, how did he return to smoking?

Let me venture a guess as to the answers to these three questions. "Not smoking was great. I hardly thought of cigarettes any more. I felt healthier, happier, even calmer. Cigarettes smelled repulsive. The thought of smoking at my old level was disgusting." To the second question, how do you now like smoking, the response will typically be, "I hate it, I smoke as much or even more than I did before. I feel more nervous, don't have as much energy, and generally feel like a fool when smoking in public. I sure wish I could quit again." The answer to the third and most important question of how did he return to smoking is almost always the same, "I took a cigarette."

It may have happened under stress, at a party, or at home alone with nothing special going on. Whatever the cause, the end result was the same--addiction to nicotine. Prior to taking the cigarette, he probably asked himself the same questions of "maybe". He found his answer. Your answer is the same. Learn from others' mistakes and not your own. Your smoking friend is stuck in the grips of a powerful and deadly addiction. Maybe he will get the chance and strength again to quit smoking, maybe he will smoke until it kills him.

You have successfully broken free of the nicotine addiction. While your smoking may have been a potential threat to your life in the past, now your risks are dropping down to that of a person who never smoked. As long as you stay off of cigarettes, you never will have to worry about the physical, psychological, social and economical risks of smoking again as long as you follow one simple practice...NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Joined: 12 Jul 2009, 19:32

18 Jul 2009, 13:44 #37

My first week of quitting I sleep like a log, but go into this second week, I keep waking up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep. This is very unpleasant. Couldn't wait for it to improve.

Joined: 03 Sep 2010, 10:14

03 Sep 2010, 15:04 #38

I have stopped smoking after 27 years ...

I am on day 6 .. I have hardly slept the last 3 nights, just can't get to sleep then wake up again ... strange thing is though I am still feeling much more awake when I get up and not tired in the day!

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

01 Apr 2011, 12:33 #39

Subjective sleep disturbance during a smoking cessation program: Associations with relapse

Journal: Addictive Behaviors

Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript - Available online 9 March 2011

Authors:  Michele L. Okun, Michele D. Levine, Patricia Houck, Kenneth A. Perkins, Marsha D. Marcus


Background -  Sleep disturbance may affect smoking cessation efforts. We describe sleep changes across three months among women in a smoking cessation program and tested whether sleep disturbances at baseline and 1 month post-quit attempt predicted smoking status at three months.

Methods - Participants (N = 322) were women in a randomized, clinical trial for smoking cessation. Sleep disturbances, as well as, insomnia, drowsiness, and sleep quality were evaluated prior to and during three months of cessation treatment. Repeated measures mixed models evaluated change in sleep over time by smoking outcome status. Logistic regression analyses determined whether sleep disturbances at baseline and 1 month post-quit were associated with smoking status at 3 months.

Results - Sleep disturbances were reported by more than 25% of women. Drowsiness, insomnia, and sleep quality changed over time. However, contrary to our hypotheses, none of the sleep variables at either baseline or 1 month post-quit attempt was associated with relapse (p's > .05).

Conclusions - Although mild to severe drowsiness was reported by more women who relapsed than those who remained abstinent, none of the sleep disturbance symptoms predicted smoking relapse. Given high rates of sleep disturbances among women smokers, better prospective evaluations of the relationship of sleep disturbances to smoking cessation treatment outcome are needed.

Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 20:16

08 Jan 2012, 20:29 #40

I have just read this thread with great interest and can relate to the sleep disturbances described by so many. In those first few days of my quit I was working night duty and eating badly timed meals, yet despite no breaks during my shifts could not sleep for more than two hours a time and questioned what was going on. Having read this thread I now feel some what more enlightened and suspect I may have been over caffinated and experiencing low blood sugars!
On a positive note, I am now enjoying my second week of freedom and seem to be sleeping so soundly - no interruptions from an annoying cough, and wake up feeling refreshed (well as long as the kids have slept all night!) My husband has now joined me in removing nicotine from our lives and is currently experiencing sleep problems ... so armed with the knowledge that I have gained from reading this thread I will hopefully be able to support him along his path to freedom.

Thanks to all who have contributed


Free of nicotine for 10 days, saving £58.82, removing 163 nicotine delivery systems from my life and saving 16 hours and 18 minutes!

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

21 Oct 2012, 10:55 #41

How smoking affects sleep: A polysomnographical analysis
Sleep Med. 2012 Sep 28. pii: S1389-9457(12)00288-2. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2012.06.026. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors:  Jaehne A, Unbehaun T, Feige B, Lutz UC, Batra A, Riemann D.


OBJECTIVE: Subjective quality of sleep is impaired in smokers compared with non-smokers, but there is only limited evidence from methodologically sound studies about differences in polysomnography (PSG) sleep characteristics. Therefore, this study used PSG to evaluate sleep in smokers and non-smokers while controlling for other parameters that affect sleep.METHODS: After an adaptation night, PSG sleep laboratory data were obtained from 44 smokers (29 men and 15 women, median age 29.6years) and compared with PSG data from 44 healthy, sex- and age-matched never smokers. Exclusion criteria were alcohol or other substance abuse, psychiatric or endocrine diseases, and treatment with any kind of psychotropic medication. Nicotine and cotinine plasma levels were measured (in the smoking group) and subjective sleep quality assessed in both groups.

RESULTS: The smokers had a Fagerström tolerance score of 6.4, consumed an average of 21.2 cigarettes per day and had been smoking for 13.1 years (median). Smokers had a shorter sleep period time, longer sleep latency, higher rapid eye movement sleep density, more sleep apneas and leg movements in sleep than non-smokers. There were no differences regarding parameters of spectral analysis of the sleep electroencephalogram as well as in the sleep efficiency measured by PSG. Nevertheless smokers rated their sleep efficiency lower on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index compared with non-smoking individuals, but no differences were detected on the SF-A. Plasma cotinine level correlated negatively with slow wave sleep in the smoking group.

CONCLUSIONS: Smokers showed a number of insomnia-like sleep impairments. The findings suggest that it is important for sleep researchers to control smoking status in their analyses. Further research should focus on the causes and consequences of impaired sleep during tobacco cessation, as sleep disturbances are a known risk factor for early relapse after initial tobacco abstinence. ... 2/abstract ... 5712002882

PubMed Abstract: