Why Smokers Get Insomnia? 9 Tips On How To Get A Better Sleep

What Causes Insomnia Symptoms in Smokers & How To Treat - DoctorOnCall

What Is Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person has difficulty sleeping at night. The meaning of insomnia can also be defined as a condition in which a person feels dissatisfied despite getting enough sleep. Insomnia can be classified into 3 types namely temporary, short-term, and chronic.

Temporary insomnia - is a condition in which a person will experience insomnia for several days due to environmental changes or emotional disturbances such as traveling or disturbance in emotions. Bed changes such as being in a hospital or hotel can make it difficult for a person to fall asleep.

Short-term insomnia - is insomnia that occurs in a few days to 3 weeks. This type of insomnia often occurs when shocking events occur such as the death of a family member or being fired from your job. 

Chronic insomnia - is insomnia that occurs for more than 3 weeks. A person with chronic insomnia can have difficulty sleeping for months to years. It can be caused by mental health problems such as anxiety and depression or even drug abuse.

Insomnia often occurs in people over the age of 60 and is more common in women than men. Apart from the problems mentioned above, insomnia can also occur as a result of certain habits such as smoking. 

How Cigarettes Cause Insomnia

What is the relationship between smoking and sleep? Smoking causes the absorption of nicotine into the bloodstream and remains in the body as long as the person smokes cigarettes. There are two ways in which smoking can cause insomnia. That is when smoking and after quitting.

1. When Smoking

For your information, when you smoke, nicotine acts as a stimulant so it makes you more alert. This can be the reason why you feel more awake when smoking cigarettes. Are you dependent on nicotine? Take this quiz to find out!

Cigarettes can also cause problems such as sleep apnea which is a condition in which you will stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping. This usually happens to heavy smokers who also suffer from heart and lung disease due to chronic smoking habits.

In addition, smoking also causes coughs that can interfere with a person's quality of sleep.

2. After Quitting Smoking

When you quit smoking, the nicotine levels in your body decrease, and you begin to develop withdrawal symptoms. At this point, your body is adjusting itself without depending on nicotine and this can cause your slumber to be disturbed at night. Withdrawal symptoms include a strong craving for cigarettes and leading you to feel uncomfortable, anxious and irritated which results in you having difficulty sleeping at night. However, you do not have to worry, as these symptoms are only temporary and will gradually recover. After that, you can enjoy a more restful night's sleep. Get help from a doctor to manage withdrawal effects from smoking.

Other Causes Other Than Smoking

In addition to smoking, there are several other causes that can affect the quality of your sleep. Here are some of the factors that can make it difficult for you to sleep.

  • Uncomfortable environment. Noise, light or temperature that are too hot or cold. 
  • Pain or uncomfortable body positions at night
  • Sleep problems such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

What Are the Signs of Someone Having Insomnia?

  • Difficulty sleeping at night
  • Often waking up at night
  • Waking up earlier than usual
  • Feeling tired even after sleeping at night
  • Drowsy and tired during the day
  • Irritable, depressed or restless
  • Difficult to concentrate

The effects of insomnia do not only affect sleep but also affects a person's quality of life during the day.

How to Overcome Insomnia 

1. Reduce Caffeine Consumption

Caffeine makes you more alert and awake. Consumption of caffeinated beverages before bedtime is strongly discouraged for smokers and those who do not smoke because it will make it difficult for you to sleep soundly. 

2. Bathing With a Warm Bath

Neuroscientists state that bathing with warm water can change the internal temperature of the body. Bathing with warm water before bed removes your internal body heat. So you can sleep peacefully and comfortably. Soaking in a warm bath dripped with essential oils such as lavender can also give you peace of mind and a better quality of sleep.

3. Body Massages

Massages will cause your heartbeat and breathing to slow down. Allows your blood pressure to decrease. It will also reduce your stress hormones and your muscles will become more relaxed. All of this can help you sleep better.

4. Drinking Tea Before Bed

Drinking herbal teas can provide peace of mind before bed such as chamomile tea. Chamomile tea contains apigenin which attaches to specific brain receptors and acts as a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer. This will reduce the feeling of restlessness and make you feel calm and sleepy.

5. Listening to Soothing Songs

Soothing songs also have the same effect as body massage. It slows the heartbeat and breathing, as well as lowers blood pressure and stress hormone levels in the body. This is exactly what you need to sleep!

6. Avoid Using Your Phone Before Sleep

Blue lights from the phone screen or other digital devices such as laptops and televisions can interfere with your sleep. This light will reduce the rate of melatonin hormone production which is responsible for making you calm and sleepy.

Avoid using these devices before bed, instead, you can try reading a book or do meditation as a precautionary measure before bed.

If you are awake in the middle of the night, avoid looking at the phone screen as it will make you more awake. Get out of bed and walk around the room before going back to sleep. This will help you sleep better afterwards.

7. Drinking Warm Milk

Milk contains tryptophan, a substance used by the body to produce the hormones serotonin and dopamine. These hormones make you relax and make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.

8. Light Exercise

Exercising for 2-3 hours before bed will increase the production of endorphins, a hormone that helps you calm down. Exercising also increases your body temperature in which your body temperature will drop 30-90 minutes later and make it easier for you to sleep.

9. Reduce Napping During the Day

Napping for a long time during the day will damage your sleep cycle and cause you to have difficulty sleeping at night.

Thinking of quitting? Consult our doctor for FREE!


*The free doctor consult initiative is supported and fully funded by DoctorOnCall