Does smoking make you tired? or Does quitting smoking make you tired?

Written by: John Dicey | Last updated: 23 Dec 20

Reviewed by: Paul Baker

Does giving up smoking make you tired? The truthful answer is – not if you go about it the right way. If you use a willpower method where you have to grit your teeth and battle and fight to resist the urge and temptation to smoke – of course – that would be an exhausting and miserable reaction to quitting smoking. However, if you use a method that makes it easy or even enjoyable to quit smoking then far from being tired – you’ll be completely energised.

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Why does smoking make you tired?

Smoking has a negative effect on energy levels in many ways so the answer to the question, does smoking make you tired, the answer is a resounding “yes!”.

Smokers have a lowered lung capacity than that of non-smokers. Less oxygen in the lungs means less oxygen to the brain, muscles, and other bodily systems. Over time, this can easily lead to fatigue and reduced respiratory function.

One of the main reasons for the smokers to feel tired is that their body may not be receiving enough oxygen due to the damages caused by the cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke contains various toxins, including tar which affect the cleaning process of the lungs by sticking to the lungs. This will reduce the oxygen absorbing capacity of the lungs. When the body organs like heart and brain do not get enough oxygen we feel tired. The blocked airways in the lungs cause continuous cough as the lungs fail to eliminate the dirt containing mucous from the lungs.

Smoking causes damage to the lungs due to exposure to carbon monoxide and cyanide in the cigarette smoke. The alveoli of the lungs lose the elasticity and this will lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. This disease cause shortness of breath, bronchitis, wheezing, etc. all these health problems can lead to tiredness.

The smoke from tobacco has several immediate effects on the working of the heart and blood vessels. When you start smoking, the heart rate increases by 30% within the first 10 minutes, this will put a strain on your heart muscles as they have to beat faster to maintain the blood supply to the organs.

The oxygen carrying ability of the blood decreases due to the carbon monoxide absorbed into the blood while smoking. The organs will not receive the required oxygen and makes you feel tired.

How does smoking cigarettes affect sleep

Potential problems include sleep fragmentation, insomnia, snoring, and sleep apnoea.

Sleep issues associated with smoking are largely attributed to nicotine, which is the active ingredient in tobacco products. Nicotine is a stimulant but, in the same way that those who overuse coffee in the hope to perk them up – stimulants that are used regularly end up causing tiredness and fatigue – the opposite of the desired effect. The result is a variety of sleep issues including insomnia.

Smokers tend to have fragmented sleep that leads to insomnia, take slightly longer to fall asleep (sleep latency), enjoy less deep sleep (slow-wave sleep), experience more sleep disruptions, and frequently complain about difficulty in either falling asleep or staying asleep even though smoking makes them tired.

Smoking can also increase the likelihood and severity of both snoring and sleep apnoea. This is likely due to the effects of harmful chemicals and pollutants present in cigarette smoke—irritants that contribute to swelling of the airway, especially the soft tissues lining the nose and throat. Damage to the lungs may lead to other problems and decrease oxygen levels at night.

As the tissues swell, airflow changes and the resulting vibration in sleep will cause snoring. In addition, the collapse of the airway that occurs in sleep apnoea may be more likely – it is an extremely dangerous and damaging condition.

Read more about what happens when you quit smoking

Does quitting smoking make you tired?

Far from quitting smoking making you feel tired – when you use a method that makes it easy and enjoyable to quit – you can enjoy a huge boost in energy when you quit. So the answer to the questions, will quitting smoking make me tired or does quitting cigarettes make you feel tired – the answer is clear – not at all – as long as you use the right method of quitting.

Does Champix/Chantix make you feel tired?

Tiredness caused by difficulty sleeping and abnormal dreams is a common side effect of the drug. In other smoking cessation aids, such as those containing nicotine, sleep disruption can also be caused.

Final thoughts

If you use the correct method of quitting smoking, especially one which is drug free and focuses on the psychological aspects of why you smoke – you should emerge as a happy non-smoker and full of energy and enthusiasm for life.

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