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I’ve quit – why can’t I sleep?

Dear Advisor,

Three weeks ago I quit smoking cold turkey after smoking for 25 years. It was very hard, but hardest of all has been the insomnia I have been experiencing since then. Any advice?

Sleepless & Exhausted

Dear Sleepless,

Congratulations on quitting – that’s a HUGE accomplishment! The next step, of course, is to get through the aftermath of quitting without going back to smoking, right?

Insomnia is a common problem after quitting, but rest assured it’s temporary – once your body adjusts to not smoking, you will sleep better than before, and wake up much more rested than you did when you were smoking.

tired woman

What’s happening is this: Nicotine affects your sleep patterns, and after you quit, it takes your body a few weeks to readjust to the new patterns. Research shows that smokers spend more time in alpha (light) sleep, and less time in delta (deep) sleep. When you quit, some of the time you were spending in light sleep ends up breaking the surface into wakefulness, meaning that you wake up multiple times during the night.

The good news is, as long as you stay off of nicotine, within a few weeks your body will gradually adjust on its own so that you revert to the sleep of a non-smoker: more time in deep, restorative sleep, less time in light sleep, and no waking up multiple times in the middle of the night.

In the meantime, you need to get some sleep, right?

The normal techniques for dealing with insomnia should help you get some sleep during this adjustment period, as well as help to get your body on track for normal restorative sleep patterns:

  • Don’t get reliant on sleeping medication.
  • Keep regular sleep hours.
  • Don’t spend hours laying in bed awake – if you can’t get back to sleep get up and do something for a little bit until you feel sleepy again.
  • Avoid nicotine, excess caffeine, and napping.
  • Develop a relaxing nighttime routine to prepare your brain for sleep.

If you need more help, take a look at this article about insomnia and what to do about it.


Share your experience with others: Have you had trouble sleeping after quitting smoking? What did you do to deal with the problem? How long did it take for you to get back to normal sleep patterns?

Ask the Advisor a Question

If you haven’t managed to quit yet, but still want to, read more about the Complete Quit System and how it deals with the psychological aspects of quitting.

{ 96 comments… add one }

  • neill simpson September 3, 2012, 2:41 PM

    I’m in my 19th week of non smoking, and do suffer from sleep depravation but i have a very physical job and notice that while i’m not getting what i regard as a full night’s sleep,, i have noticed that my energy levels are a lot higher. Hope this helps folks. butter side up Neill.

    • Dikshyanta Poudel October 20, 2017, 2:38 AM

      Is there side effect on mental health after quitting smoking? I’m in my second week and my friends told me that it’s better to take some kind of nicotine gums because they told me that, it has a very big side effect on mental health.

      Can you suggest me some ideas to quit my smoking successfully? Its my second week since I smoke my last ciggarette.
      Should I expect side effects? If so, then what should I do?

      Thank you in advance.

  • tabathia segura September 7, 2012, 1:32 AM

    I have quit smoking for over a year and still having problems sleeping uugghhh. Before I stopped smoking I could sleep through a hurricane now a pin drops I wake up and cant sleep anymore!!

    • robert d August 23, 2013, 4:38 AM

      tabathia, I also have quit smoking for over a year and still having problems sleeping! Before I stopped smoking I could sleep through a freight train myself but now it seems with any noise and I wake up and then toss and turn waking up multiple times until i finally just get up.

      did you find anything that helped?

      • J February 28, 2014, 5:46 AM

        Csnt image that helping since you basically agreed and gave no solutions..

        • J February 28, 2014, 5:47 AM


      • Cks August 1, 2014, 11:22 PM

        Hi robert did u find any good solution to beat the insomnia?? I quit smoking over a year also insomnia slmost half year… :(

      • Ana February 9, 2015, 2:27 AM

        I quit smoking cold turkey 6 months ago, and I’m still having trouble staying asleep. I wake up multiple times during the night, sometimes as often as every hour. It’s a form of torture. I used to sleep very well before quitting.

        I’ve tried sleep hygiene, relaxation techniques, dietary changes, sleep restriction therapy… almost everything but not medications. I don’t want to depend on sleep medications.

    • Thomas July 21, 2014, 10:02 PM

      how u feel now tabathia segura

  • Andy O'Neill November 5, 2012, 10:39 AM

    I too have trouble sleeping since i have quit smoking, however I use relax/sleep hypnotherapy apps on my phone on an evening whilst in bed (I personally find the Andrew Johnson relax and deep sleep ones to be the most effective) but there are many to choose from. Am normally gonked out in about half an hour, and sleep really well. hope this helps.

  • N December 14, 2012, 6:35 AM

    I also have trouble sleeping after I quit smoking for the first time of my entire 10 years of being a smoker. I am on my 6th week of being smoke free. However, my sleep was not at all affected in the first 3 to 4 weeks, this just became a recent problem in the last couple of weeks. It is so frustrating! I was an incredibly deep sleeper when I was smoking and I never had problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Now, I wake up at 3:00 to 3:30 a.m. every night. I am lucky if I can get back to sleep by 5 a.m. Then in less than two hours I have to wake up to go to work. I have dreams almost every night, or every second night, about smoking a cigarette and in my dreams it feels so real. In my dream I feel guilty while smoking but at the same time it feels so good to inhale that puff of the cigarette. I am an active person, I exercise 4 to 7 hours a week. That includes cardio and weight lifting. I recently started doing hot yoga once a week in hopes that would help me to sleep through the night. I do have to admit though, on the days I do exercise, I do sleep better, but I still wake up at 3 a.m., but I get back to sleep much faster compared to on the days I didn’t exercise. So exercise helps a small bit. However, I do feel extremely discouraged. The feeling that my life would be a lot easier if I went back to smoking becomes more and more stronger every single day. I lost a friend when I quit smoking, really I did, the habit was very much like a friend and a reward. If anyone has any advice not just for sleeping but to help with the strong feeling of discouragement as well, please share.

    ~Tired, frustrated, discouraged, and sad….

    • Matt January 9, 2014, 12:56 AM

      Hi N,

      I remember being told that when you stop Smoking you need to think of it as stopping something NOT quitting. The phrase quitting means you are giving up something you enjoy, stopping is you making a conscious decision to stop doing something you don’t like.

      The most important thing is to remember the reasons why you stopped in the first place, it may help to write these down somewhere and whenever you are tempted to revisit these and remind yourself why you stopped.

      Surely you don’t miss coughing up a lung in the mornings, the shortness of breath after running up a flight of stairs? The stench on your hair, clothes and breath?

      There’s a good reason why cigarettes are considered one of the most addictive and therefore dangerous drugs around, stopping smoking is one of the hardest things any of us will do.

      I’d also suggest looking into alternatives to hot yoga as the heat and sweat make this an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, people have been hospitalised after sessions due to the amount of viruses floating around in the moist air.

      I wish you all the best, try to maintain the positive attitude you started with.

      • gloria January 28, 2014, 3:28 PM

        Hi Matt
        You have said it all so “perfectly”. I recently stopped smoking and it is not easy. I do a lot of talking to myself.
        The best to you.

    • Judi September 8, 2016, 6:09 PM

      Hi N,
      I know exactly how you feel. I quit 1 year 2 months ago. I have gained weight, been depressed, have early waking almost every night, and almost no energy. None of this was true when I was smoking. I felt fine and was happy. I have asked myself the same thing-I gave up my best friend for this? I am so much worse off; there have been no benefits as were promised. Well, what has kept me clean is that I did a tremendous amount of reading and finally understood what nicotine did to my brain. It ruins your brain chemistry-it takes over the dopamine circuit. The medical profession always said it hurts your heart and lungs–why didn’t anybody ever tell me that it was destroying my brain. I got really angry, and that is what has kept me clean –anger –I simply cannot justify or rationalize smoking any more. I also agree that it was a huge reward system–task completed, have a cig. I am hoping someday to find a true reward replacement; so far I haven’t but I will keep looking. I got alot of support by reading this site–see if it helps you:http://whyquit.com/whyquit/joelcigfriend.html
      Hang in there and best of luck–you can do it, buddy.

    • Aisling Cronin January 6, 2017, 2:49 PM

      I feel your pain….I’m off fags 1 week and I’ve only got 2-3 hours sleep a night then kids wake me early in morning and I’m so exhausted I’ve broken down crying because of sleep deprivation I gave up fags so I cud save to go on a holiday as I haven’t gone on a holiday since I was married and I do love smoking it was my friend my sanity my reward also. This insomnia is driving me to go buy them again but I’m holding tough.

    • sharon March 21, 2017, 4:22 AM

      Hi N, read this book ” Allen Carr’s easy way to stop smoking ” . it will totally change your mindset.and you will never again think of smoking as a friend that rewarded you but instead a enemy that was slowly poisoning you to death. most people that read the book not only stop smoking but never want for one second a ciggerate again. the book is amazeing and will totally change your thought process about ever wanting a cigg again

  • Ioanna January 21, 2013, 3:59 PM

    Just keep reminding yourself that friends don’t kill you and make you sick- you cigarette friend is shIt and had to go- well done for axing that “friend”

  • Brandon March 12, 2013, 9:09 AM

    so quit smoking 3 days ago been up for 2 days and had 2hrs of sleep the day before that, feel no cravings or withdrawal’s other than not being able to sleep and ive had insomnia issues ever since i can remember this is way worse than normal i don’t want to smoke cigs anymore and refuse to dammit i wish i had some money i bet some weed would help and the 720mg of caffeine plus 4 mtn dew’s probably isnt helping but i normally drink large amounts of caffeine on a daily basis and still sleep fine why the hell did i have to start smoking tobacco fml

  • Kyle Arsenault April 26, 2013, 12:31 AM

    i am also having troubles sleeping now that i am quitting smoking cold turkey, been smoking for 4 years and now its to the point where i cant even fall asleep untill the early morning hours!

  • Neil B June 5, 2013, 7:57 PM

    I quit smoking just over 4 weeks ago and initially used patches. I stopped using the patches 4 days ago and since then my sleep has been up the wall. I had 2 nights of bad dreams and waking up intermittently and last night I just could not get to sleep. It is now around 4am and it is not worth even trying to get any sleep now tonight. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict and have not had a drink or drug for nearly 9 years and I have obviously experienced many types of withdrawals, but for me the withdrawals associated with coming off the nicotine is a match for anything. This insomnia is another attempt by nicotine to weaken my resolve which will make today a difficult one, however just for today I will try not to have nicotine and tonight I will use some of the good suggestions I have read here and on other sites to help me sleep so that I can have a better day tomorrow.

  • Jen June 18, 2013, 8:03 PM

    Great to hear everyone here has given up…keep it up & be strong. It’s almost 4am now and i’m wide awake. I gave up on Friday (cold turkey) and since then i’ve hardly slept. I normally sleep like a log. I’m eating like crazy and have had bad withdrawals. Today i’ve shouted alot at my husband. I know it will get better and I feel positive about giving up despite everything. We should be proud, quitting isn’t easy. Good luck x

    • annoyed March 13, 2014, 1:51 AM

      Nobody has given up on here and I’m sure they’re very proud of themselves. They are TIRED, as expected!

  • Quitting Dude August 1, 2013, 10:58 PM

    I quit recently and, while I’m able to at least sleep, I too have been waking up numerous times throughout a sleeping period. One commenter mentioned that their consumption of caffeine isn’t helping, and they were right. I know from experience and have read from multiple sources that your body can’t handle caffeine the way it does when you mix it with nicotine. If you quit smoking (using nicotine, however you do it) you should cut your caffeine consumption in half. I’ve come across conflicting figures but one source claims that nicotine use doubles your bodies metabolic rate of caffeine. I know cutting back on caffeine will be hard for those addictive personalities such as myself out there, but if you want to quit smoking, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by heeding this advice. If you’re also stubborn, you might learn from experience and succeed at abstaining longer on your next attempt.

    Anyway, the point of all that rambling was that if you use caffeine, pay close attention to how much you consume. Monitor it, and cut back. I’ve cut my consumption to a little over half. I don’t get those buzzing caff highs anymore but as a plus, I have more steady energy throughout the day.

    • Deanna August 2, 2013, 6:48 AM

      Hey Quitting Dude,

      That’s excellent advice, and right on the money. After you quit you can cut your caffeine by about half and still get the same effect as your ‘full’ dose from before you quit. I recommend mixing your regular coffee at home with half decaf, or asking for ‘half caf’ at the coffee shops. Most will accommodate that. Don’t forget that sodas and tea also have caffeine, so if you drink any significant amount of those, you’ll want to be sure you’re mixing in non-caffienated versions about half the time. Finally, if you find yourself drinking *more* coffee or tea after you quit to deal with feelings of deprivation, consider drinking herbal tea (for something hot) or water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange (for something cold). The beauty of those choices is they give you something you can drink with abandon – no restrictions – and no bad impact (assuming that they are not sweetened).

      Good luck to everyone!

  • Fay Goddard November 25, 2013, 4:08 AM

    Hi all! Congrats to everyone!!
    Well im on my 8th day on bieng a none smoker. And i was awake till about 3am last night and woke up at 6 and was wide awake. I cannot live on this little sleep (mardy is not the word) im on step one of the patch programme and keep telling myself why im doing it. So very determind this time! I will beat you horrible nicotine!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck to everyone and hope you get some sleep soon :)

  • Franklin December 9, 2013, 7:44 AM

    Hey guys, through reading these comments, I’m glad to see that most of us have a positive outlook on the future. Though, it is discouraging to see that some people haven’t smoked in years and still have troubles sleeping. As for people who have quit a week ago or less, it’s perfectly normal not to get sleep, I didn’t sleep for one full hour in the first 3 days of quitting. It’s been over 2 weeks for me now, which still isn’t a long enough time in my opinion to readjust my sleep patterns. I was beginning to think that I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t get my brain to shut up, even when my body was fatigued. It’s uncanny for me how similar my situation is to ‘N’s’ situation, beginning with his sentence: “I was an incredibly deep sleeper when I was smoking…”. I too dream almost every night, and I love that fact, but cigarettes usually tend to make their way into my dreams and it pisses me off. I always wake up thinking that I’ve actually smoked and ruined all of my effort, I feel very guilty during my dream and even still a little bit after I wake and realize the truth. Not my best friend, but the one who I’ve known the longest and have spent the most time with have been growing further apart. He was the influence which got me into smoking cigs and weed, every time we were together, we smoked both cigs and weed. Ever since I told him I quit, he’s still been subtly asking if I want to smoke weed. I’m sure that he love me to give up on my efforts and go back to smoking both, because he knows he doesn’t have the will power to quit himself. So, I’ve been distancing myself for good reasons, and it sucks to lose a friend like that, but to be honest, he’s not a good friend. He’s not the type of friend who will push you to become a better version of yourself, possibly because he himself works a minimum wage job, has only a highschool education and seemingly has no aspirations in life. I’ve lost about 5 valuable years of my life smoking cigs and weed, but I started going to the gym over a year ago, started eating nothing but healthy food over 3 months ago and have quit smoking both cigs and weed over 2 weeks ago. On top of this, I’ve been able to prioritize my school work in the past few months. I’m starting to make up for lost time and beginning to shape my life into what I would like it to be. I hope everyone can see through my efforts and the efforts of everyone on this page that change is possible. You can get yourself out of that slumber, no matter how long it has taken over your life, it has to come from within you. For me, it was a powerful urge to WAKETHEFUCKUP and begin living a real life! :) Congrats to all who have made the effort to quit smoking, I would consider you to be a strong minded individual despite what you or other might think.

    • Jodie January 16, 2014, 1:37 AM

      Thank you for a very inspirational post! Yes, I’ve woke the fuck up to see how my life is and how I want (need!) it to be. Maybe you can be an example for the guy who has no will power. And don’t judge too quick. I’ve been surprised before and found there are people you’d never expect to get their shit together and they do. Maybe it takes a good friend to motivate them? At any rate I’m really trying to change a lot of bad habits. I’ve gotten into a slump but I’m doing the things I need to do to change my life in a positive way.

  • Mary December 18, 2013, 2:56 AM

    Today is day 7 of cold turkey. Thank you all for the posts, they really do help me stay strong. I haven’t slept for more than 2 hrs in a row since I quit, really getting me down. That’s what addiction does though right? It tries to break down all of your defenses until you just give in. I will not give in today, really trying to take it hour by hour. I’m tired of people looking at me with disgust, tired of smelling bad, tired of trying to find a place to hide to smoke. The world has moved on and so must I.

    • Deanna December 19, 2013, 6:36 AM

      Mary, congratulations to you on your quit! You are correct, that seems to be the nature of addiction. Are you able to be active/exercise at all? That can begin to help with the sleeping issue, if it’s not something you’re already doing.

      I’m glad to hear the blog/posts help, and will be holding you in my thoughts as you get through this. You can do it!!

      • gary c December 23, 2013, 10:36 PM

        I also am on my 7th day smoke free. Its 6:30am and ive been up since 3:00am. I took this sleep deprived time to research whats going on with me and it turns out im not alone.
        Although i dont find it annoying…. I like not feeling as tired staying up later and getting up earlier more refreshed. I read that caffeine is digested upto twice as quick in a smoker thus you have to adjust your caffeine in take.
        Good luck with your quit. You will do it!

  • Michael W December 28, 2013, 12:19 AM

    I gave up smoking two months ago and for the past month I have found sleeping difficult – sometimes I can sleep without a problem whilst other times such as last night I have been unable to sleep more than two hours or so.
    I smoked for fifteen years, I am now using nicotine lozenges, I have seldom craved a cigarette in the past two months. I am hoping that next month will be as easy after I finish the lozenges.
    The difficult part for me is the intermittent insomnia and occasional grumpy moods.
    An unanticipated benefit is that apparently my skin looks far better, people have complimented me on how much healthier I look – that seemed bizarre to me, but apparently your skin suffers due to lack of oxygen whilst you are a smoker.
    It was good to read the other opinions on here, thank you all and good luck.

  • ivan January 6, 2014, 9:03 PM

    i have just stopped smoking day 3 now feel better in myself all ready but only getting 2 hours sleep every night need rest day 3 lol doing fine with out a fag just need to sleep and i have been smoking 39 years good luck to you all

  • Chris January 9, 2014, 6:05 PM

    It’s been interesting reading all of your comments, so thanks for that. I’m in the same boat to an extent, smoked for 20 years.

    Sleeping habits before (10 rolled up cigarettes a day):

    Slept like a log, deeply and dreamed quite a bit (normally cool stuff or women I have no chance with, ah ha!).

    Sleeping habits today, the 10th day after stopping:

    When I am asleep, i can sleep forever (feel sorry for those that don’t). My trouble is getting to sleep – I’ve had a long day and was feeling tired enough to sleep, but I’m not. I can only put it down to quitting because nothing else is really on my mind. All the surgeries I’ve had (near fatal RTC) are long gone, the pain is still present but it’s no where near as bad.

    I didn’t give up because it’s bad for me, or because of social pressure (most friends are smokers, unsurprisingly). I just woke up on New years Day, felt horrible after a heavy nights smoking, and chose not to smoke on that day. That extended to the following day and so on. I’ve always got my smokes on me, but I’ve not even thought about rolling one. Bizarre.

    My only issue is the reward of smoking – you know, you might work on a motorbike/car, finish the job and have one. Or you might shuffle important (to you) paperwork in an office, and enjoy the reward of a mid morning/afternoon smoke. That’s what I’m finding difficult, the lack of reward in my day. I’m accepting that I will put on a bit of weight (2lb in a week so far), so I eat chocolate as a reward, but I’m mainly drinking A LOT more tea as my new reward. I feel no benefit in ‘keeping my hands occupied’, I just want a reward…that’s easy! I can kind of see why non-smokers generally achieve more…not just because they’re getting on with whatever job they do, but because they seek real/difficult rewards, not opening up a packet and holding up a lighter. It’s not fair.

    Good luck everyone and sorry for the waffle :-)

    • Nina November 13, 2018, 11:40 PM

      Hi well I,m at. month 2 now prior to stopping I was 40a day for forty yrs,and I agree with just about all on here, I am sat up after struggling for the past six hours to get to sleep. It is so frustrating lying in bed waiting for sleep to come to me. Night after night. Same agonising annoying routine, will I ever get that fabulous deep relaxing sleep again?. Not sure, but one thing is for sure. I,m a stubborn taurean, and when someone tells me I.m never going to be able to release myself from the grasp of nicotine..well there was my incentive! Nobody controls me! I just needed to realise that I was. Being controlled by a small piece of paper and a bit of poison for a woman with integrity ,strength,and intelligence It was my wake up call. No person
      or thing controls me. I just had to realise that my life was controlled by poison. In the disguise of a welcome treat. Daft really when you think about it!, Good luck to you all. If I can do it anyone can, just think about it when you get that craving,or your wide awake in the middle of the night,are you happy to have something running your life take back control!, all the sleepless nights will be worth it in the end, here endoth my personal rant and BREXIT from Nicotine

  • Rohit January 9, 2014, 11:21 PM

    Hey everyone,

    Feels great to read about everyone’s efforts. I have quit cold turkey after being a smoker for 21 years. It’s been 8 weeks since my last puff. I am feeling great except for one weird sleep related problem. I have no trouble falling asleep (am asleep within 5 minutes of hitting the pillow) but I invariably wake up in between 3 and 4 am (after 4-5 hrs of going to sleep). I stay awake for about 1.5 hrs and then eventually fall asleep again till my alarm sounds @ 6 am.

    The problem is I dont feel refreshed and there’s a feeling of exhaustion the whole day. I don’t even know if its related to quitting cigarettes. Any advice?


  • WannaSmoke January 10, 2014, 10:25 AM

    Used a 21mg patch to quit smoking and have stopped using the patch for about two days. While I was smoking I could fall asleep anywhere at any time and sleep for hours. At night it was never a problem laying my head down and then waking up to the alarm. Now I toss and turn all night with brief periods of sleep. I am starting to feel somewhat crazy due to the lack of sleep. Any insight as to how long it will take for me to at least get 4 hours of sleep without disturbance would be greatly appreciated.

  • Frrustrated January 19, 2014, 7:38 AM

    Thank you all for your comments about your struggles and your triumphs. I am ashamed to say but I have been a smoker for over 25 years and have tried countless times to leave this terrible relationship behind. Day two of not smoking and sleep has not been my companion. Twice last night I said to myself “OK, one more pack and I will make it last a long time and ween myself off”
    That was the addiction and the withdraw attempting to make a choice for me. I do not want this anymore. I do not want to slowly hurt my body and , like another post commented. I am tired of hiding out and finding a place to smoke to keep it from others. Years ago, my social circle almost all smoked. I am the last one and want cigarettes to me as far away from memory as the sprain I suffered last summer. Today I will go for a hike and enjoy the accomplishment of JUST ONE MORE DAY.

  • Cks January 25, 2014, 5:08 AM

    First I quit smoking I just have some symptoms panic attack and heart palpitation. But after 5 month I suffer insomnia already 3 weeks. So anybody know how long to take it recovery? I smoke 18yrs a pack daily. :-/

  • kay February 4, 2014, 5:33 PM

    same here first week i cant sleep uts fk up and when i get to work i feel tired fking nicotine ,but am happy to stop and congra to everyone that stop woop woopp

  • ryan April 2, 2014, 11:40 AM

    well hey guys congrats on everyone quitting so far today is day 20 for me with the exception of having two cigarettes in that time due to stress related things but I shall overlook that, however I have found that on my firt two days I had nightmares that I had a cigarette when I hadn’t and I felt disappointed. this was merely my subconscious talking. however since the 3 night every night I have trouble going to sleep and I toss and turn all night waking up and falling asleep again and again and its really hard for me to fall asleep to. im exhausted every day I do gym and running to tire myself out but it doesn’t work. its really annoying and I have been really irritable and rude to my parents because of it. and it does affect me because I used to reward myself with a fag and now I cant reward myself with anything. getting really upset about this and am really considering that if I don’t improe in the next two days ill probably start smoking again just so ican go to sleep nd be a nicer less stressed person. who ever said that fags increase stress is a bull shitter its when you give them up it makes you more angry!!! sorry for the ramble guys, keep up the good work! x

  • Trisha April 15, 2014, 6:23 PM

    Hi to All. Ive been reading all these comments and i am just starting quitting smoking. I have severe anxiety and im scare about this sleeping thing. I pray to God i can make it. Sleep is important, but a cigarette is not. Just on here to comment. I wish you all the best, abd u hope i can be like all of you who have quit.

  • Thomas July 21, 2014, 10:00 PM

    Insomni after quit smoking 1year later

  • Wendy August 13, 2014, 12:08 AM

    Hi all and congratulations on being non smokers. I’m on day 8 and it’s been easy enough to quit just the odd moment of forgetting that I don’t smoke any more after 20 yrs. like most on this page I’m having real trouble with sleep, as a smoker I would usually be asleep before my head hit the pillow but since stopping I seem to lie awake for hours tossing and turning and find myself wide awake at 2 or 3 am. I can put up with other side effects like itching and sore legs etc but sleep deprivation is torture and really don’t want to have to reply on medication. Anyway that’s my rant over thanks for listening, btw for anyone struggling to stay off the dreaded smokes give Allen carrs book ‘the easy way to quit smoking’ a read I found it really helpful and stopped the minute I finished reading it. Good luck everyone :)

    • jannet pole March 21, 2017, 10:25 AM

      Wendy I also am on day 8 and stopped the minute I finished Allen Carr’s book ” the easy way to quit smoking” the book is beyond amazeing and I recommend it to everyone, those that quit and those that want to quit, even if you have already quit the book teaches you how to never want another smoke even during stressful times. I have smoked for 60 years and it is working bigtime for me. as for sleep, I fall asleep just fine but wake up at 3:30 full of energy . oh well I am getting a lot of stuff done getting up so early. it is sooooo wonderful not to be a slave anymore to that ciggerete , I fell like I am out of prison . wishing all of u good luck and I really, really recommend Allen Carr’s book

  • Emma Lamm October 3, 2014, 8:16 AM

    I have been taking St. John’s wort for almost two weeks and my quit day was last Saturday. I have not had hardly any withdrawals so far and all is going great except the last three nights I have not been able to sleep. I tried melatonin tablets last night but they did not help one bit. I normally have a great sleep routine and this is completely out of the norm. Quitting smoking is the only change that has taken place recently. How long can I expect this to last?

  • Micki October 9, 2014, 3:34 AM

    I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as
    no one else know such detailed about my problem.
    You are incredible! Thanks!

  • Nizaam October 29, 2014, 10:41 PM


    Four days ago quit again cold turkey, almost four time in last 20 years. last time for i year i did not smoke.
    now the strange thing, i am waking up in the middle of night and not going back to sleep. Thats strange but will wait for few more days and see what happens.

    • Ali February 19, 2016, 3:52 AM

      Hi, im havin a similar issue..did u manage to sort this?

  • Michele May 11, 2015, 5:42 AM

    Hi all and congratulations to all on giving up smoking! I am on day 12 and doing amazingly well – except I cannot sleep. I started out being able to go to sleep but waking at 3 am. Now, I can’t even get to sleep. Does anybody have any advice – please???

  • April June 1, 2015, 1:03 AM

    I’m on day 5 or 6 of no smoking/no sleeping, it’s 4:01am on a Monday morning. This I was not prepared for.

  • Tristen June 3, 2015, 1:04 PM

    OK im glad im not the only one! I kept reading all these posts and noticed one thing, no one answered the questions. Im no doctor, but try these…
    1) if you recently quit, try unisom sleep pills for a while until your body gets use to sleeping again, then slowly stop using
    2) before bed…have sex/give yourself some love ;)
    3) if u wake up in the middle of the night dont torture yourself trying to get back to sleep. Get up out of bed and do something. Your body will be much more tired if u stay in bed.
    4) yoga and exercising help alot! If u have any energy at the end of a long work day try some reps.
    5) try drinking warm milk, I like hot cocoa personally.
    6) if u find your mind constantly running when your trying to sleep, look up sleep meditation… try to control your thoughts.

    Hope this helps some. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember yall, if u wake up at 3 in the morning and wake up at 5 or 6 anyways, you might not want to go back to sleep. Other wise you will be sluggish all day long.

    Congrats everyone! Peace!

    • Rayan March 24, 2023, 12:12 AM

      Four months ago I quit smoking after smoking for 33 years. It wasnt very hard to be honest, but hardest of all has been the insomnia I have been experiencing since then, i cant sleep anymore like before and i can get enough rest, Any advice?
      I’ve tried sleep hygiene, relaxation techniques, dietary changes, sleep restriction therapy… almost everything but not medications. I don’t want to depend on sleep medications.

  • Jesse July 2, 2015, 11:09 AM

    I’m happy to hear people have been having trouble sleeping and I’m not alone. I’m almost at a month of not smoking and right when this week started is when I started becoming unable to sleep. I’m trying my hardest to push through this but if this lasts much longer I might end up caving and smoking a cigarette just so I can sleep. I’m trying extremely hard not to because I know if I smoke I’ll feel incredibly guilty about it, but I haven’t been able to sleep more than 3 hours in the past 3 days my anxiety is through the roof and I don’t know how much longer I can take this.

    I wish some of you commented on how long your insomnia lasted.. so i had an idea of what to aim for. This is my first time quitting and it seemed really easy at first, I was surprised, but now with this insomnia I see why quitting this drug can be such a nightmare.

  • Drew July 3, 2015, 3:38 PM

    Never noticed my girlfriend snored ,never noticed my two beautiful daughters go to the bathroom ,five times a night.The dog even makes happy dreaming noises ,just to irritate me.The rain keeps me awake pounding off the roof.Second night in a row without sleep,wonder if all those around me are that inconsiderate to keep me awake.I smoked for thirty years ,second hand smoke never bothered me.Karma what a bitch.Feel better for the moan,feel better for not smoking .Going for a walk

  • john July 31, 2015, 2:23 AM

    It’s 4am on my (now) 11th day of quitting smoking cold turkey after 15 years of being an addict and now that the nicotine is totally out of my system the insomnia is only getting worse. I was awake for 2 days straight this week and then finally fell asleep. I can’t fall asleep any earlier than about 5am each night. I just stare at the ceiling or my closed eye lids. I even quit caffeine cold turkey 9 days ago and the insomnia is not going away. This is driving me crazy. But I don’t want to go back to nicotine ever again.

  • james September 9, 2015, 8:35 PM

    iv been a smoker for 15 now non stop for the past 5 weeks i used and e cig was sleeping fin but got really sick of it as well. so it is now 2 days into week 6 without any nicotine no sleep last night and no sleep second night i need to sleep i’m not taken the atavan the doc gave me iv read every post on here it looks liked this may take years to get back on track i hop not any other tip wood be great

    • james September 9, 2015, 8:44 PM

      i’ve also quit weed and caffeine at the same time only drinking soda so not much caffeine just don’t wanna eat to have no will to make food but still eating just want to be able to fall asleep and stay there till mornin not wake up every hour fall watching that sun come up before alarm goes off gives me anxiety so bad im late for work and my day is shoot

  • Norma September 21, 2015, 2:01 AM

    I have just gotten through my first week of not smoking, which had been a love-hate relationship for the last 46 years. I can only sleep approximately 2 hours at a time, is this normal?

  • Gregers October 30, 2015, 11:43 PM

    Quit smoking 45 days ago after recovery from stress … not completely though. But my sleep was getting better. After I quit smoking I am back to lack of sleep … and completely sleepless nights now and then. This night I have not slept for a second. Its difficult to deal with. I do all the right things. No coffee, exercise, mindfulness etc. I do take 50 mg of antihistamin for sleep when absolutely needed … Phernagan. I take it 2 hours before bedtime. It assures 6 or 7 hours of sleep … with 2 wake ups usually … but I quickly fall asleep again. Phernagan is not that dangerous … but I would prefere not to take any medication at all. I have taken 5 x 25 mg the lasr 20 days … so its not that bad. And Pernagan deffinitly doed the job … when anything else fails. I wish so much, my life could go back to normal soon. Good luck to all of you

  • chanchal December 20, 2015, 3:33 AM

    dear friends,

    i am in the 6 th week of quitting smoking process. though i have tried many times earlier too but finally succeed this time. this problem of insomnia is killing me. sometimes i could not even sleep for 2 hours all night. leaving me restless all the day while i am at work. I am still fighting with this withdrawal syndrome hoping that the best is still to arrive.

    one thing is for sure i feel more energetic, may jog 30 minutes continue, can workout and last but not the least better stamina during sex.


  • Tom January 5, 2016, 4:41 PM

    Hi everyone. I have also had trouble sleeping. I overcame this by;

    1. Swimming ever other night for about an hour. (Stretching and light exercises inbetween nights.)
    2. Reducing carbs for dinner.
    3. Eating a lot of chicken, fish, veg and fruit. Drinking lots of iced sugar free orange squash and fizzy mineral water.
    4. Reading instead of watching TV. (This last one REALLY helps!)

  • Christopher January 13, 2016, 4:12 AM

    It has been 3 days without a cigarette, after 28 years straight smoking 2 packs a day. Never had a problem sleeping, until now…I can’t sleep more than a couple hrs. here and there, I have tried everything! I wont feel guilty for smoking if it will help me sleep…I stopped for several reasons, such as money and want to feel better…but is this worth the insomnia? Having everything annoy me? Snapping at everyone including people I have never met, they are just in my way…do I stick with it or just light up?

    • Gomez February 17, 2021, 2:36 AM

      Do hang in there… The insomnia will go away with time. It’s just the body gradually normalizing itself.

  • Fresh blood January 19, 2016, 11:02 AM

    What a blissful life without devil smoke?two weeks since kickin n dumpin smokes 20 yrs later,i feel new energetic neva mind loss of sleep,not tired anyway!have found my new bible in this site.thanx all,we have to reclaim our life back.i have done it y not you.forgot to tell u am havin a raving appetite,dont worry about adding weight,u dont knw how light weight iam cos of the slavery years of smoke.all saviours starts with j,- joel n jesus!ntap

  • Wendy January 20, 2016, 4:30 AM

    I quit after 40 yrs and the insomnia is horrible. Last night I brought in my essential oil diffuser and put in some lavander oil and it did wonders…People always said good stuff about essential oils and now I can agree with them. Only up once last night to use the rest room instead of the 10 times the previous nights before. Might want to give it a try.

  • Mwangi mbugua January 25, 2016, 8:21 AM

    Stumbled on this site by sheer luck n am glad i did.smoke free two weeks now.did not imagine life without smoke.woke up one day n i said do or die,no more smoke.2weeks later am free,good appetite,energetic n mo so have got my life n health back.wakin up smokefree makes me move on.ntap everyone!

  • Yahoo January 26, 2016, 1:46 PM

    Its 3:12 here in india and i feel great that i visited this site…..it showed me that i’m not the only one who can’t sleep after quiting……..I was an average smoker from the past 2 year now i have quitted it from past 1 week approx…..but from 2 days i was no able to sleep….i woke up after every hour of sleep now finding it difficult but feels good that i stopped the cig but feeling exhausted about this sleep……

  • Rick February 15, 2016, 4:48 AM

    I have been quit smoking for 6 months. I still don’t sleep good. Please help.

  • sharon March 21, 2016, 12:20 PM

    Today is day 7 since i last had a smoke. I haven’t had many cravings which surprises me. I had no idea that insomnea was a possible side effect of quitting but i used to sleep too much before so im not too worried it does however give me more time to miss holding a ciggy. I have been smoking for 40 years and cant remember a time when i didnt smoke but I’m looking forward to seeing what life is like without smokes.

  • Dan Tuffield March 27, 2016, 8:47 PM

    Excercise, excercise, excercise.

    Burn off the extra energy you get from not killing yourself.

  • Penelope April 3, 2016, 6:05 AM

    I am 51 I stopped smoking for 3 years in my 20’s when I was pregnant and had no problems at all, then after pregnancies I started smoking and have been smoking from 25 to 51 I gave up 3 weeks ago, and started using an e cig, I was fine until 4 days ago when I cannot get any sleep at all have terrible anxiety and keep crying, today I went and bought some cigs as I cant stand this no sleeping any more, am very disappointed with myself as I really wanted to quit but I need to sleep more – will go to doctors tomorrow and discuss it and hopefully try again

  • oitsidewaysJon May 9, 2016, 4:49 AM

    I have been a smoker for about 16 years and I have quit once about 2 years ago when my wife got pregnant. No struggles then, but this time is different. I have a very active job and now I can’t sleep. 1 week in and I have gotten 1 night of good sleep. I go to bed at normal times exhausted, fall asleep roght away usually. Then an hour or 2 later I’m staring at the clock for the rest of the night. I literally sleep 2 or 3 hours a night. Today i will miss work cuz i can’t do this anymore. On the flip side of this i feel pretty awesome that I am doing so well with this. I haven’t left any of my friends and my wife still smokes. Figure i dont have to eliminate the problem. Better to stare it in the face and quit. Show them smokes who the boss really is. Take control of my life with the addiction being right on front of me. Did not know until this morning that nicotine and caffeine affect each other so closely. I have never been a true coffee drinker until i quit this past week. Tea is however my drink of choice. I will attempt to quit this as well. Switching to water and lemon today. Hopefully this helps me sleep better.

    • Aaron June 4, 2016, 3:31 AM

      @oitsidewaysJon my wife still smokes, I smoked for 14 years, and quit cold turkey on Monday, 6 days ago. I get more than 2-3 hours of sleep each night, but not much more. I used to sleep like a rock, now i wake up from anything and everything. I woke up at 3AM today with a headache, took something for it and have been doing stuff around the house for the last couple hours. Hopefully the sleep thing will get better for you, and you won’t have to miss work. I think for you and I, its kind of a blessing to have spouses that smoke. If we can put up with our spouses smoking in front of us multiple times a day, theres no reason we should fall to temptation, right?

      Stay strong!

  • Jason June 22, 2016, 9:42 AM

    Day 7 with no nicotine. Need Sleep! Hopefully this doesn’t last too long… Ugh.

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