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Trouble Sleeping Since Quitting Smoking

I quit smoking 12 days ago. I feel fine, except my back is so sore. I think it is because I am not sleeping well at night, and I miss my ciggies. I smoked mostly at night after work, and then I would get up through the night and smoke, but I cannot seem to really relax now. Any suggestions?


By Angie from NC

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January 19, 20100 found this helpful

First off, 12 days is a lot to be smoke free, so kudos to you! :)
Have you tried any nicotine replacements? Like the patch? usually you take it off at night and gradually go down from higher to lower strengths.
Are you having trouble sleeping because you used to wake up at night and take a smoke?

Some suggestions:
Try to get some exercise every day, even if it is just a walk. This will help you relax.
Look into starting a new habit in the evenings, maybe do yoga or some relaxation exercises? You can borrow instruction books from the library or find instructions on the web.
When the worst abstinence kicks in, go brush your teeth. Most of the time, you will not feel like smoking after that.

Where I live (Sweden) the pharmacies are really good at helping you with questions like yours. Maybe go ask? Is there a non-smoking hot line you can call? Sometimes it just feels good to talk about your problems.


If your back hurts, do some easy back exercises and stretch it. Consider taking a mild pain killer every now and then. Just don't take a smoke!

Remember, every cigarette you don't smoke is a small victory in itself! Good luck, and hang in there!

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January 21, 20100 found this helpful

Simply do some deep breathing ;-) Your old habit is trying to trick you in to picking up a ciggie again and that's all there is to it! When I quit I got horrid upset stomach aches but I know it was because of anxiety of missing my old 'bad' friend! Even if you can't sleep just lay there with your eyes closed, deep breathe and think good thoughts :-) Also, since you already are that many days without nicotine in your system I would suggest 'not' getting a patch, gum, lozenge, etc because then you'll just have to wean yourself off of the nicotine again!

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January 21, 20100 found this helpful

How about a massager that you put on a chair and it massages your back. This is relaxing and it will help with your back hurting.


I found I had to change my routines for a bit so I wouldn't have that anxious feeling all the time. I was a die hard smoker and I quit cold turkey after smoking for about 35 years. Smoke free since June 2005!

You are doing so great. Keep up the good work, oh, hey, how about a relaxation disc to listen too while sleeping. How about the ones that have motivational messages while sleeping. You have to find what works for you. I know you will. All the power to you! From another happy quilter.

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

I've been helping people quit since 1987. First thought, are you using any caffeine? Nicotine blocks the absorption of caffeine, so when you quit you get twice the think you have withdrawal, what you really have is caffeine jitters. Get some fancy decaf, mix it with your coffee, and stop drinking even that about noon and see if that helps.


Think about all the things you'll be able to do now that you're smokefree, count them as you would count sheep. Plan on spending the money you save on YOU, on fun things. Small things at first so you get them quickly. A few day's cigs will buy you a new CD. One year's cigs will take you to Hawaii for a week. Next year, Europe. Great stuff, great health, more hugs.

All the rest of the suggestions are great...deep breathing, massage (by your partner is best if you have one), sex, laughter, exercise.

I have a free course online, to get to it google SmokeFree Star.

Good luck. Whatever it takes, you're worth it! Any problems are temporary, the gains are permanent.

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

Are you taking anything to help you stay off the cigs? Often these drugs/nicotine replacements actually seem to stop you from sleeping peacefully.


I also had vivid dreams whilst giving up and using them. If you can cut down on the drugs at night, it might help - good luck!

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January 23, 20100 found this helpful

Well done and keep it up. Giving up smoking is really hard because of side effects like not sleeping. Whatever happens do not have one ciggie ever again or you will be back on a pack a day in no time.

Someone told me when you feel you want a smoke, just wait for 5 minutes and the urge will go away.

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