Nicotine: How Is It Affecting Your Sleep?

A long time ago, smoking tobacco was promoted to offer you relaxation and good health. Yet now we know the true effect tobacco and nicotine has on the body.

Nicotine: How Is It Affecting Your Sleep?

Nowadays, we understand that smoking tobacco increases your chances of suffering a stroke, heart attack, respiratory infections or developing cancers. 

The effects of smoking are generally quite negative. Yet a more unknown effect of smoking is the effect smoking has on your sleeping habits.

We all know that sleep is really important, as it can affect various aspects of your life. Therefore, the lack of sleep smoking can cause, can affect your quality of life.

In this article, we will discuss how nicotine is affecting your sleep.

Why Does Nicotine Affect Your Sleep?

We all know that smoking is a very addictive thing, this is due to the nicotine being present in tobacco products.

Nicotine is known as a stimulant, and once it is in the body, then the stimulant will release various chemical messengers or neurotransmitters throughout the body. 

Once these neurotransmitters have been released, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid, serotonin and dopamine.

These neurotransmitters will then produce pleasurable feelings in the body, or a sense of wellbeing.

However, due to the fluctuations that these neurotransmitters cause, will affect the sleep cycle of the individual. 

Impact Of Nicotine On Your Sleep

For someone who smokes regularly, their sleep will be impacted in the following ways.

The individual will take a lot longer to actually fall asleep once they go to bed. Therefore, the smoker will spend more time in bed, than when they are asleep.

Then overall, they sleep for much less time than they need to, and they receive much less deep and restful sleep.

These effects are universal for all smokers, but it is more than likely that if you smoke, your sleep will suffer as a result. 

Alongside that, it is known that those individuals who smoke or use nicotine products, have said that they have reported much more difficulty getting up in the morning.

Then during the day, the individual will feel a lot more tired and sleepy during the day. 

The longer you have been smoking for, the increased chances of the individual developing insomnia or insomnia-like symptoms increases.

From recent studies, it is known that those individuals that started smoking at a younger age, during their adolescence, are actually more at risk of developing insomnia later in life, compared to those who smoke much less frequently. 

Interestingly, if someone receives secondhand smoke, that can also affect that person’s sleep as well.

People who are passive smokers, or who receive secondhand smoke, have been reported to develop poor sleeping habits. This is compared to individuals who aren’t exposed to any form of smoke. 

Can Tobacco Substitutes Affect Your Sleep?

Even though tobacco substitutes are much better for your health, if they contain nicotine they are going to affect your sleeping habits.

As a result, patches, nicotine gum and vapes/E-cigarettes, may be a safer alternative but due to the contents of nicotine being present this will affect your sleep. 

It is known that vape users still complain from suffering from sleeping issues that they were receiving while they were smoking regular tobacco products.

In addition to that, some vape users have also said that they have been suffering with breathing issues at night.

Even if you use patches or nicotine gum, both of these products will affect your sleeping habits as well due to the nicotine being present.

As a result, if you are consuming nicotine in any way, that will affect your sleep negatively. 

If You Are Trying To Quit Smoking, What Can You Do?

Nicotine: How Is It Affecting Your Sleep?

As we have established, consuming any forms of nicotine is going to negatively affect your sleep. While also, smoking in general is just bad for your health.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to quit smoking or any consumption of nicotine. 

However, nicotine is a very addictive substance, so when you try to stop using it, it can cause some unpleasant side effects.

The unwanted withdrawal effects include restlessness, bad mood, and the individual may become irritable.

Another common effect of quitting smoking is a disturbance in their sleep. This can include a lack or an excess of too much sleep. 

Therefore, if you are attempting to quit, it can sound like a difficult task to take on, especially when it comes to your sleep.

However, it is good to know what will happen when you try to quit, so that you can expect it and plan around it.

Alongside that, if you have been smoking for an extremely long time, then these symptoms are going to be a lot worse for you, because your body has been used to nicotine for so long.

Therefore, you may find that you are a lot more sleepy than usual for a couple of weeks. You may also find that you are able to sleep for longer and fall asleep much more easily. 

Some people may think about using nicotine replacement therapy. This can help you to regulate the changes that your body is going through, and it is having withdrawal issues.

Patches may be able to increase how much restorative sleep you are getting every night, as your body is having withdrawal symptoms. 

However, if you are suffering from nicotine withdrawal, then a lot of experts recommend that you complete some form of exercise.

You don’t need to complete any strenuous exercise, but a ride on a bike or a walk outside for a short period of time could help your sleep a lot.

Tips For Better Sleep 

When you are cutting nicotine out of your life and quitting smoking, it can be a really difficult thing. It can really affect your sleep, so it is important to find ways to relax, and that you think about your sleep restriction and sleep hygiene.

You want to do everything you can do to make sure that you get the right amount of restorative sleep at night. 

Also, try to make sure you cut down on how much caffeine you are consuming. Ideally, you don’t want to consume any caffeine or alcohol 6 hours before you go to bed.

With that being said, you want to try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Also, avoiding screens an hour before bed, will help you drop off a lot easier. 


Nicotine is bad for your sleep, it can negatively affect it by reducing the amount of sleep you actually receive, and how quickly you are falling asleep.

The best thing you can do is stop taking any nicotine product altogether. Even though this can be a difficult thing in the short term, in the long run you will see huge results, including much better quality of sleep. 

We hope you have found this article useful, and now fully understand how nicotine is affecting your sleep. Without nicotine in your body, you will be able to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep once again.

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