One of the many frustrating aspects of quitting smoking is trouble sleeping. Sleep disturbances ranging from insomnia to trouble staying asleep to nightmares and vivid dreams are very common in the week or two after quitting. It’s also not uncommon for some people to sleep excessively. They can all generally be linked to nicotine withdrawal.
Keep in mind that this condition, however miserable it may seem, is temporary. Your sleep patterns will return to normal (provided they are a symptom of nicotine withdrawal).
In the meantime, there are some things you can do to counter some of these effects.
Consider Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT): Nicotine gums, patches and the like work by weaning your system off nicotine, reducing the acute affects of nicotine withdrawal.
Lay off the alcohol: Alcohol has a lot of calories, which contribute to weight gain; it is a trigger to smoking, which contributes to relapse; and while it may put you to sleep, it may only keep you asleep for a few hours. Your best bet is to avoid alcohol altogether.
Be wary of caffeine: As a powerful stimulant and powerful trigger to smoking, caffeine will do you no favors.
Exercise: Getting into some activity during the day can help you sleep at night. It doesn’t have to be much—a walk, bike ride, or 15 minutes at the gym—but it can go a long way in helping you sleep at night, and it can counter the effects of a slowed metabolism as a result of not having nicotine in your body.
Herbal sleep remedies: Herbal teas can promote sleep, along with herbal remedies such as Valerian root. Plus, they present little to no danger of abuse or dependence.
Talk to your doctor: Should sleep problems persist beyond a few weeks, talk to your doctor about other options, as smoking cessation may no longer be the primary cause.
WhyQuit.com: Smoking Sleep
PubMed: Smoking Sleep
ScienceDaily.com: Smoking Sleep
Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quit Smoking Help
Quit Smoking Support
How do Nicotine Patches Work?
Amazon.com: Smoking Sleep