Any worthwhile endeavour, while satisfying, can consume a lot of your energy.
The same can also be true for anything that makes you healthier – running can give you a ‘runner’s high’, but afterwards you’ll be very keen for a good kip.
Does quitting smoking make you tired as well? Yes, it does, and it takes lots of effort, patience, and even failure to successfully quit smoking for good. Facing nicotine withdrawals alone makes the entire quit journey a steep mountain to climb.
However, know that these obstacles, including tiredness, are only temporary.
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Let’s dive deep into how quitting smoking can make you feel tired in this post.
Why Does Quitting Smoking Make You Tired?
There’s an old saying, “things will get worse before they get better,” and this also applies to your smoking cessation journey.
During the first few days after finally stubbing your last ciggie, throwing away the pack, and emptying the ashtray, you’ll likely feel more lethargic than usual.
Going through withdrawal is quite challenging – it could make you feel sick (sometimes to the point of vomiting), endure nausea, and just feel weak and unable to focus or do anything at all.
Withdrawals from quitting smoking can also affect your sleep patterns – in some cases, your withdrawal symptoms may keep you up at night, or worse, wake you up a few hours after you’ve finally dozed off.
Fortunately, this is only temporary, and with the help of a GP during your smoking cessation journey, you can take the edge off of withdrawals by going through nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or nicotine vaping products (NVPs).
Does Nicotine Keep You Awake?
NRT patches, gums, NVPs, and other tools can help you manage your withdrawals, but does nicotine play a role in keeping you awake at night?
It’s no secret that nicotine gives you a small boost of energy that could keep you awake for longer, and it can even mask your hunger.
For this reason, your GP might mention to stop using these tools a few hours before your bedtime to ensure nicotine doesn’t disrupt your sleep.
The important thing is that your GP is there to help you find out how these tools can work best for you and ensure you get restful sleep at all times.
What Other Side Effects Are There After Quitting Smoking?
On your quit journey, you’ll most likely encounter the following symptoms, which can make you feel tired, moody, restless, or generally unlike your usual self.
Temporary Shortness of Breath
Quitting smoking often leads to temporary shortness of breath. As the respiratory system begins to repair itself, the removal of harmful chemicals allows the lungs to function more efficiently.
Nicotine gives you a small dopamine rush, and its absence can lead to irritability and restlessness. The absence of nicotine disrupts the brain’s accustomed reward system, leading to a sense of restlessness and discomfort.
Inability to Focus
The addictive nature of nicotine can impact cognitive functions, and quitting smoking may initially result in an inability to focus. Difficulty concentrating, coupled with irritability, is part of the withdrawal process.
Nicotine often acts as an appetite suppressant, and without it, you might experience increased cravings for snacks. Furthermore, your sense of taste has started recovering from the effects of smoking and can make almost everything delectable.
The body’s adjustment to the absence of this addictive substance can lead to mood swings, anxiety, and heightened irritability. Seeking emotional support from friends and family, and practising stress-reduction techniques, can help individuals navigate and alleviate these temporary emotional challenges.
Acne Breakouts and Other Skin Problems
Quitting smoking can trigger changes in skin health, including acne breakouts and other skin problems. The body’s detoxification process may lead to skin purging as it eliminates toxins.
How Long Does Fatigue Last After Quitting Smoking?
Feeling tired is a normal part of quitting smoking – after all, withdrawals can be mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing. Even if the hours might seem long as you go through withdrawal symptoms, you’ll start feeling like yourself a few days to a month without the ciggies.
For instance, within six days of quitting, you’ll have better blood circulation, a significantly reduced risk of heart attack, and a higher level of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Four months after quitting smoking, your wheezing and shortness of breath will have disappeared. By this time, you won’t feel irritable or moody, and your dopamine levels have already returned to normal levels – in short, it is fully detached from the dopamine rush brought by nicotine receptors.
How to Alleviate Withdrawal Symptoms
If you’re a motivated smoker trying to quit the habit, you can go through the following steps to get started in no time.
Go Through First-Line Solutions
Some motivated smokers can handle cold turkey just fine and see success within a few tries, but oftentimes, smokers have strong withdrawals that can draw them back to lighting a stick.
That’s where nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products come in. These are readily available and stocked at your local pharmacy and grocery store.
NRT products are the most trusted quitting option available for motivated smokers. They might not imitate cigarettes, but they contain a small dose of nicotine that may be enough to alleviate your withdrawals. These come in the form of patches and gums for easy and convenient nicotine delivery.
While NRTs can be effective, they don’t work for everyone. If these haven’t done the trick for you, you may now be eligible for a nicotine prescription to use nicotine vaping products (NVPs).
Chat to a GP
As mentioned, NRT products have worked for many successful ex-smokers. But, you might have ingrained behaviours and triggers that only something that mimics a cigarette can successfully address, such as the hand-to-mouth motion, and needing something to use while having a drink with friends.
That is where NVPs become very handy in helping you fight the urge to consume tobacco.
You need a nicotine prescription before you can purchase NVPs, so you’ll need to consult with a GP to help you on your smoking cessation journey.
And, if your GP deems it necessary, they can write you a nicotine prescription for NVPs. You can chat to your usual GP more about this.
Visit Your Local Pharmacy
Once you have your nicotine prescription, you can pop down to your local pharmacy. Over 2,200 pharmacies across Australia hold these products in-store, but any pharmacy can order these in for you if they don’t currently stock them.
Both your pharmacist and GP can advise you on how best to use the product, such as the initial setup, and the number of puffs to take when you feel withdrawals.
If you’re noticing that your energy levels don’t feel normal after quitting smoking, know that this is normal. It only lasts a few weeks to a month, and you’ll start feeling like yourself in no time.
We understand that quitting smoking can be extremely difficult, but that’s the reason why we’re here – to help you with the best resources possible to quit smoking for good.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good.