Do you wake up in the middle of the night sweating and soaking wet? You might have night sweats. They can leave you feeling irritable and restless. Night sweats are common in new quitters, but they might persist after quitting smoking for many months. Here we'll explore all the reasons that cause night sweats to how long it takes for them to disappear.
Table of Contents:
- What are Night Sweats?
- Are Night Sweats normal after Quitting Smoking?
- How Long do Night Sweats Last after Quitting Smoking?
- What can You Do about Night Sweats after Quitting Smoking?
- What is Nicotine?
- Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
- Benefits of Quitting Nicotine
What are Night Sweats?
Night sweats can be defined as perspiration and heat regulation that are increased when one's sleeping. You may have night sweats if you feel warmer than usual at night or experience a wet, clammy feeling all over that wakes up a person at night.
Many people are concerned about night sweats and the fact that they can feel very uncomfortable. Night sweats are generally a very normal response to increased internal temperatures and some different hormonal changes.
Most people have experienced night sweats at least once in their lives, for example, after an illness that causes fever, such as a cold or flu. Certain illnesses and medications can trigger night sweats but also may occur every night without warning.
After Quitting Smoking
If you are someone who has just quit smoking, you may be wondering if night sweats are a symptom of no longer having nicotine in your body. Many people who have just quit smoking experience these night sweats as part of the withdrawal process. Bear in mind that nicotine withdrawal is uncomfortable, but it's just a temporary part of quitting.
Are Night Sweats Normal After Quitting Smoking?
Yes, night sweats are a normal part of quitting smoking. It is common for new quitters to experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms that often include feeling irritable and restless. Night sweats can be a result of this withdrawal.
They usually happen at night when the body temperature naturally begins to cool down, but you lie in bed or under warm blankets.
Sometimes night sweats are not strictly related to nicotine withdrawal and can be caused by various factors, such as stress, certain medications, or even an underlying health condition that you may have unknowingly been experiencing.
The critical thing to remember is that you can feel confident that night sweats are average energy expenditure as your body releases stored nicotine and nicotine metabolites. When you quit smoking, your body has to slowly deplete its nicotine reserves overtime to eliminate the drug from your system safely.
Just like caffeine or alcohol, nicotine was always present in your body in small amounts, and it took a long time for those levels to build up. However, your body works a little differently if you've been smoking than it does if you abstain. For example, it takes your body longer to replace the nicotine used versus caffeine or alcohol.
Also, any receptors for nicotine in the body are still in place even when you stop smoking. It means that new nicotine receptors don't suddenly come alive and make your body feel good when you quit. These are just some of the reasons that these feelings can last long after quitting smoking.
What percentage of people who quit smoking get night sweats?
Although night sweats are very common, some smokers do not have them. Estimates from the National Cancer Institute suggest that one in three smokers experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit smoking, and some are more severe than others.
Some people may notice that they sweat more at night than usual when they smoke tobacco or nicotine products. These will vary depending on the amount of nicotine in the body and the number of years you smoked.
It is understandable considering that nicotine is a stimulant drug; therefore, it increases your body temperature to boost energy if you need it for whatever reason.
Many smokers who are trying to quit report that they have experienced night sweats, but many say that they had not noticed any signs of nicotine withdrawal when they quit smoking. Studies show these symptoms are similar to what usually occurs when a person quits smoking: fevers, excessive sweating, headaches, and insomnia.
How Long do Night Sweats Last after Quitting Smoking?
Night sweats generally last for a few weeks to a few months after quitting smoking. You can expect some relief as your body adjusts to life without nicotine. For example, these feelings may lessen over time or even disappear altogether.
The length of time that night sweats last can vary for each smoker, but it just depends on how much nicotine was present in their bodies before they quit smoking. In general, this time frame is highly dependent on the level of nicotine in your body and the amount you have been smoking.
If you are a heavy smoker – who would typically smoke cigarettes with very high nicotine levels – then it's likely that your night sweats will last long after quitting smoking. On the other hand, if you have less tolerance to nicotine, it may take less time to adjust and feel better.
Night sweats are not life-threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable and impact your quality of life. You may want to reach out to a healthcare professional if this symptom harms your daily activities or you have excessive sweats for more than a few weeks or months.
What can You Do about Night Sweats after Quitting Smoking?
Some people may find medical treatments or lifestyle changes helpful for overcoming night sweats after quitting smoking. Night sweats are an essential part of the process, but they can't be avoided altogether.
The top 10 followings can help with reducing night sweats:
- Try to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth: For maximum relief from night sweats, you should try to maintain a regular breathing pattern throughout the night. It is recommended because inhaling through your mouth will increase your heartbeat to a slightly higher rate than usual, making you feel even warmer or sweating more at night.
- Exercise regularly: You may find that exercise helps to reduce symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and is a great way for you to focus on something besides night sweats if they are persistent and bothersome.
- Practice good sleep habits: Sleep is vital for the body. If you want to sleep well, you have to be well-rested and have enough restorative sleep. Try to get on a regular bedtime schedule that works for you and give your mind plenty of time and rest before going to bed so your body can relax.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of water can help you feel more comfortable and avoid sweating at night by cooling you down internally. So, try to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day.
- Eat healthily: You have to eat well and drink enough fluids, so your body can stay healthy. Eating healthy foods that contain natural ingredients and minerals is an excellent way to avoid nutrient deficiencies that may be causing you not to feel well.
- Cut down on caffeine: Caffeine products that contain theobromine and caffeine can produce excessive sweating and cause uncomfortable symptoms at night if used in large enough amounts. Consuming a lot of caffeine can be harmful to your health, so trying to cut back may help you reduce these symptoms.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcoholic drinks can dehydrate you and make it harder to get a good night's sleep. Alcohol is a stimulant and can also cause your body temperature to rise, so it is crucial to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages late in the day or early in the evening.
- Don't eat spicy foods: Spicy food can make you sweat a lot at night, and you may be trying to abstain from smoking to better your heart health. If you are sensitive to spices, try eating a small amount of the food first and see if it affects your body temperature.
- Manage stress: Stress can cause anxiety and irritability, elevating your body temperature and making you sweat more at night. So it is crucial to take control of that stress and use breathing techniques or other stress management techniques.
- Seek support: If you are experiencing any symptoms at night, it is essential to let someone know and seek professional help if you can. The sooner you begin this process of quitting smoking, the better your overall health will be.
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is a toxic chemical found in tobacco products like cigarettes. When tobacco is smoked, nicotine enters the bloodstream quickly and causes the body's cells to release dopamine, leading to the "rush" or "high" that smokers feel.
Nicotine is produced naturally in tobacco plants. When tobacco is processed into cigarettes, the nicotine content can be increased even more by adding chemicals that stimulate production. It's very addictive, which is one of the reasons that quitting smoking is so hard.
Effects of Nicotine
Nicotine acts on the body's central nervous system. Over time, it changes how the brain works. Nicotine affects the performance of regions of the brain responsible for pleasure, memory, and concentration.
It can also change how nerve cells work together to send and receive chemical messages in a process. Both of these effects could alter what people think and feel - potentially altering their mood and behavior.
Nicotine can also cause increased blood pressure and constrict blood vessels, leading to headaches and increases in heart rate. It can also harm the blood vessels causing them to leak. Nicotine is addictive and causes withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it.
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine withdrawal can be a difficult time for a smoker who suddenly has to quit the damaging practice. The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can vary from person to person, but the following are the most common withdrawal symptoms of nicotine:
Headaches are a common symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine users often report increased headaches and migraines, especially during the earlier stages of nicotine withdrawal. They can be debilitating and cause heavy, pain-filled sleep that often leaves the user feeling tired.
2. Impaired concentration
Nicotine users have a heightened sense of concentration, hindering tasks like studying, writing, or using a computer. The user's concentration can often be so impaired that they feel dizzy or nauseous, leading to headaches and vomiting.
3. Irritability and angry outbursts
Nicotine withdrawal often causes mood swings in users. The use of nicotine has become quite common to suppress emotions and feelings; in fact, it has been proven that nicotine use directly affects a person's dopamine levels.
These levels will undergo a rapid and drastic change after the person has quit smoking. If a person has an already unstable mood, then in nicotine withdrawal, that individual may become angry, depressed, or irritable.
4. Insomnia and insomnia-like dreams
Nicotine users often have difficulty falling asleep. Their eyes are often too heavy as they try to sleep at night, and their brains are still racing with thoughts of nicotine addiction. This insomnia can lead to a lack of sleep, leading to headaches, irritability, and anger.
5. Irritable bowel
Nicotine users often report a great deal of constipation, which can make the symptoms of withdrawal even worse. Constipation is a symptom that will affect many smokers' ability to relieve themselves correctly during the first few days of their nicotine cessation.
People often experience an increase in feelings of anxiety during nicotine withdrawal. They may feel confused and frustrated; they may become depressed/sorrowful and may enter a person's mind during this time frame. Nicotine withdrawal can be difficult as the absence of nicotine has wholly disrupted the user's chemical balance.
Craving for nicotine can occur as the body balances itself through chemical reactions created by nicotine withdrawal. Craving is a common symptom of nicotine withdrawal.
Nicotine users often experience mental depression when they try to quit smoking or after quitting for a very long time. Depression is a common symptom of nicotine withdrawal, and many people experience terrible bouts of depression when they try to quit.
9. Stomach ache
Nicotine users often experience stomach or abdominal pain when they quit. It may be the result of nicotine's effect on the lining of the stomach or intestines. These symptoms can sometimes occur with severe depression as well, which may be caused by nicotine withdrawal.
Nicotine users often vomit after not smoking for some time. The individual may feel nauseous, have bad headaches, or be depressed. Nicotine users often become alcoholics or binge eaters when they quit for a lengthy period. It is because nicotine suppresses the appetite and leads to cravings; however, this can also cause other problems.
Things to Note while Quitting Nicotine
- Talk to your doctor: Nicotine withdrawal can be difficult, and it may be a good idea to discuss your plans with your doctor if you are hoping to quit smoking.
- Take vitamin supplements: A lack of vitamins will worsen nicotine withdrawal because the body cannot replace the vitamins consumed during smoking.
- Exercise: Exercise offers many health benefits, and quitting smoking can exacerbate associated weight losses when an individual decides to quit smoking.
- Quit gradually: It is essential to understand that quitting in a single day is not the best way to quit smoking. Gradual steps will help you slowly reduce your nicotine intake and eventually quit altogether.
Benefits of Quitting Nicotine
There are several benefits to quitting nicotine. The health risks of smoking significantly increase with the amount of smoking done per day and the duration of smoking. Quitting helps to prevent further damage to health. Following are some of the benefits to quitting:
- Reduces the risk of heart attack: Quitting smoking can decrease the chances of getting a heart attack and other forms of cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that a person who smokes is roughly 30% more likely to die of cardiovascular reasons than those who do not smoke.
- Improves circulation: Quitting smoking improves circulation by improving blood's strength and movement through the body. The heart and lungs recover after reducing the amount of nicotine consumed during smoking.
- Reduced risk of cancer: Many types of cancers, including mouth, throat, colon, bladder, and lung cancers, are caused by exposure to nicotine. For instance, it is estimated that as many as 70% of all lung cancers can be prevented by quitting.
- Improved taste buds: The sense of smell goes down when you quit smoking. As a result, your taste buds become hypersensitive to odors – this includes all kinds of smells, including those that you might find unpleasant when you were still smoking cigarettes.
- Increased energy: Nicotine withdrawal causes an increase in the amount of energy consumed daily. As a result, people tend to feel more "alive" and have more "spark" than they did before quitting nicotine.
Quitting nicotine is a complex undertaking, and it can be easy to relapse back to smoking if the person doesn't have the proper support. Quitting is a process rather than a single step, but it's worth it in the long run.
The effect of nicotine is usually mild and short-lived; however, some people may find that they suffer from side effects such as anxiety or headaches after ingestion. Nicotine is highly addictive and can lead to many health issues such as heart disease, cancer, and death.
The only way a person can quit nicotine is by setting goals and sticking to them. When people quit nicotine, they experience a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms that may last for days or weeks until they are used to not having nicotine in their system. Once the physical and emotional side effects are alleviated, most people report a lot of relief from the fog that nicotine has created.