The smoking dream

Physical healing of the body and mind

The smoking dream

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 May 2000, 22:16 #1


The smoking dreams are common if not universal among ex-smokers. It is especially common when a person is off a short time period, and if it occurs within days or weeks of a quit, it is likely to be extremely disturbing and very realistic. Realistic enough in fact that the ex-smoker will wake up smelling and tasting a cigarette, convinced that he or she has actually smoked. I have had numerous clients search the house for the butt, it was that realistic of a sensation. Let me explain first why the physical sensation is so pronounced.

When first quitting, one of the early physical repairs that start up is cilia production. Cilia are tiny hair-like projections that line your trachea and bronchus, constantly sweeping particulate matter out of your lungs. When you smoked, you first slowed down, then paralyzed and would eventually destroy cilia. This is why smokers often have more colds and flues, they wipe out the first line of defense against the incoming microbes causing these illnesses.

When a person stops smoking, usually within 72 hours or so, cilia starts to regenerate. The ex-smoker may start cleaning out the lung in a matter of days. One of the early symptoms first encountered is coughing and spitting out, this is mucous and trapped matter that was never being cleaned out efficiently while smoking but now has an escape route and mechanism to start sweeping it. Ugly but good, you are starting to clean out a lot of garbage in your lung. Much of the garbage is tobacco tar--tobacco tars that have a very distinct taste and smell.

Let's say you are dreaming now, maybe a totally innocuous dream having nothing to do with smoking. While sleeping, cilia are sweeping, tobacco tars get brought up, reach sensory nerves for taste and smell and low and behold, you create a dream sequence involving a cigarette. But not only are you now dreaming, physical sensations of taste and smell persist upon awakening. This then becomes a real smoking sensation.

This gives a plausible explanation of why the dream occurred and why it was so vivid. But that is not the end of the significance of the dream. The dream can be interpreted in one of two ways upon awakening, and quit often, the ex-smoker takes it as a sign that they actually want to smoke. After all, they had been off smoking and just dreamt about it, that means they want to smoke, right?

I used to get calls in the middle of the night for clinic participants panicked by the dream. They would start off saying, "They can't believe it, off all this time and they still want to smoke." They knew they wanted to smoke because they dreamt about it. I would then ask them to describe the dream. They would tell about the vividness and realism, and they would almost always say it started to take on a nightmarish proportion. They would wake up in a sweat, often crying, thinking that they just smoked and blew the whole thing, that they were now back to square one. That all that time off smoking was wasted.

As soon as they would finish describing their feelings, I pointed out one very obvious fact. They just dreamt they smoked and assumed that meant that they wanted to smoke. They woke up and upon further clarification, they describe the dream was a nightmare. This is not the dream of someone who wants to smoke; it is the dream of someone who is afraid of smoking. This is a legitimate fear considering the ex-smoker is fighting a powerful and deadly addiction. Hence, it is a legitimate dream too. It kinds of gives you a sense of how bad you would feel if you actually do go back to smoking. Not physically speaking but psychologically. If the dream is a nightmare it makes you realize how bad this feeling is without having to actually have smoked and fallen into the grasp of nicotine addiction again. It can give you some perspective about how important not smoking is to your mental health.

The dangerous dream is when you smoke a whole pack in it, hack and cough, get socially ostracized, develop some horrible illness, end up on your death bed about to let out your final live breath-and all of a sudden wake up with a smile on your face and say, "that was great, wish I could do that when I am awake." As long as that is not the dream you were having, I wouldn't let myself get to discouraged by it. If that is the dream, then we may need to talk more.

In regards to smoking, no matter what you do in your dreams, you will be OK as long as you remember in your waking state to Never Take Another Puff!

Joel

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Last edited by Joel on 04 Mar 2011, 00:50, edited 4 times in total.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 May 2000, 23:48 #2

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Geeesh Joel
, been so long since I was a smoker that when I read the title "The Smoking Dream," I naturally, but wrongly, assumed that the article was going to be about some hot romantic past encounter that you'd experienced : ) Just kidding! Great article! Zep : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on 12 Jul 2009, 05:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Darcy
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:35

29 Jun 2000, 06:57 #3

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Thanks again Joel :)

Darcy
Last edited by Darcy on 18 Jul 2009, 02:09, edited 1 time in total.
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CANDEE
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:35

11 Aug 2000, 00:38 #4

Thank you GrumpyOMrsS! That explained a few things to me and answered some question.

relieved that not all dreams come true .... PAPILLON
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WWW
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:26

22 Aug 2000, 05:05 #5

Thanks Joel:

Amazing article.

Wendy

Four days, 16 hours, 5 minutes and 30 seconds. 186 cigarettes not smoked, saving $23.35. Life saved: 15 hours, 30 minutes.
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Roswitha
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

25 Aug 2000, 02:26 #6

Thank you very much Joel,,just bad dreams.

Roswitha
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saharanne
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:34

28 Sep 2000, 02:17 #7

Joel,

I'm sorry if this sounds dumb, but I have a question for you.

You state in the "smoking dreams" the celia is sometimes destroyed. To me... destroyed means Irrepairable. You also state before that damage etc

**you first slowed down, then paralyzed and would eventually destroy cilia. This is why smokers often have more colds and flues, they wipe out the first line of defense against the incoming microbes causing these illnesses.**

All that in itself I understand, but what I am curious about is.. Do the destroyed celia come back as well? Do you limit the amount of celia you have to help your body? Enquirering minds would like to know.. sorry

Ann
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chewinggum
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

28 Sep 2000, 03:27 #8

Do your lungs ever repair themselves completely to the before smoking state? If so how long does it take? Thanks.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Sep 2000, 04:40 #9

Hello Ann and Chewing Gum:

There are about a dozen chemicals that are present in tobacco smoke which are cilia toxic agents. Exposure to these chemicals first slow down, eventually paralyze and then destroy the cilia, and basically wipe out the cells carrying them. New cells eventually replace the ciliated cells but do not offer the protective mechanism, and many of these cells are basically precancerous lesions.

If you quit smoking, these new cells well start to be sloughed off and the ciliated cells will start to regenerate. Usually within three days ciliated cells can start to return, in 6 months, they all can be back. Within ten years, the lining tissue of the bronchus do return to normal.

This is significant because over 80% of lung cancers that happen are from this tissue. Quitting before lung cancer actually occurs thus reduced the risk as the healthier cells replace these cells again.

Now, with that being said, there is tissue in the lung that does not repair this way, actually the underlying lung tissue that is where we get our actual breathing capacity. This is why when a person with emphysema quits; they don't get normal breathing back. This tissue cannot be repaired. Although, if these patients to quit they often will experience some improvement in breathing. Not because they grow new underlying lung tissue, but because the cilia regeneration can start to clean out the small airways making easier air flow.

Again, the earlier the person quits the better. Once a diagnosis of lung cancer occurs, the risks are great. Once a diagnosis of emphysema is made, it needs to be understood that every drag on a cigarette is destroying breathing capability--not reserved capacity, but actual breathing ability.

So in summary, the lining tissue does repair, which is great in terms of reducing the cancer risk and cleansing mechanisms which reduce the risk of infectious diseases, basically being able to keep out lungs and breathing airways clear. Underlying tissue is permanently destroyed and every puff on a cigarette is permanently destroying more tissue.

Hope this clarifies the issues of the inquiring minds.

Talk to you all later.

Joel

Sorry for typos and brevity of explanation, but I am pressed on time today. Hopefully will be back to normal schedule tomorrow.

Oh yes, thought I better make a little time for this...Never Take Another Puff!
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chewinggum
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

28 Sep 2000, 05:45 #10

Thanks Joel! I'm printing this out for some new recruits. 2 more people here at work are quitting. I've sent them quit meters and a link to the site.

I'm afraid I may be getting addicted to this site. Will I need a cure for that?
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