Dreams About Smoking After Quitting – Interpretation & Tips For Better Sleep

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As part of withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking, sleep disorder and dreaming of smoking are most common. Dreaming about smoking is a way of your mind fulfilling its wish subconsciously. Sometimes, it can be very realistic as your body continuously works towards clearing out this garbage from your body. You end up experiencing the smell, taste, and feel of smoking.

We are all familiar with addiction to smoking and its effects over time if one cannot quit. However, if you finally do decide to do so and make the final decision of quitting, there are several hindrances you would still face. First, quitting can be really tough on you both mentally and physically.

Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. And that feel-good effect on the brain is harder to let go of than you might think. Even if you can battle the urge to go back to smoking during the day, nights bring other problems, such as dreams. Your brain subconsciously brings forth the urge to smoke through the means of dreams.

Psychological effects of smoking

A young woman is concerned about her smoking habits and is working on quitting.

We know that smoking provides a temporary high to any person who smokes. Smoking has become very common among young adults using it as a stress reliever. And when one tries to get rid of this addictive habit, they face many issues like withdrawal symptoms and craving to go back.

The nicotine in cigarettes affects the brain in ways like relieving stress, unwinding, and giving them a kick to get through their day. But many choose to smoke because it is a way to cope with their depression, anxiety, or other mental issues they might be facing.

Withdrawal symptoms

Smoking withdrawal symptoms

Giving up smoking can be pretty dramatic, with many withdrawal symptoms and craving it again and again. In addition, when a person quits smoking, they experience headaches, nausea, irritability, anxiety, feeling miserable, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, and drowsiness.

Mentally it can be very distracting as you can’t help thinking about smoking, its feel, and the relief you used to get from it.

Even while working, you might miss it and would want to jump back into the wagon of smoking. And when you don’t let yourself fulfill this craving, your mind will subconsciously project this craving via your dreams.

Why do you dream about smoking?

It’s said dreams about smoking are quite common amongst quitters and occurs quite early on when one has quit smoking. For some, these dreams can be so real that after waking up, they would say it was as if they actually smoked a real cigarette with such a realistic sensation.

A young woman in work attire is smoking outside during her work break.

The simplest way to understand why you might get dreams about smoking and that too realistic is that your body undergoes a cleaning mechanism when you quit smoking. This mechanism includes your lungs clearing out the junk accumulated in you via coughing and spitting through mucus.

So, when you’re sleeping and dreaming, your body is still working on cleaning out this garbage accumulated. The tobacco tars get brought up, reach sensory nerves for taste and smell, and create a dream involving cigarettes and smoking.

So, you’re dreaming, and it seems so realistic that you could feel the smell and taste sensations still there.

Smoking dream interpretation

We know how smokers feel guilt and crave nicotine early on as they quit. And how dreams about smoking are a result of tobacco withdrawal. But many experiences having such realistic dreams that think they actually smoked.

Another aspect of dreaming about smoking is your mind craving it so much that it transcends into a dream that is your body’s way of fulfilling its dream to smoke.

But another way to look at it if you actually want to quit smoking for once and for all is to change your perception about how you perceive your dream about smoking. For example, if you just dreamt about smoking, chances are you might have woken up with sweat, slight tremors, and having a feeling of panic all over.

If this is how you feel, that doesn’t mean you need to go back to smoking again. Changing your perception, you can think of how your body is terrified of smoking means how much you need to get away from smoking cigarettes. It gives you a sense of how bad you would feel if you go back to smoking.

This dream is a nightmare which is why you need to work harder to quit smoking altogether. Psychologically your mind is giving you a warning against smoking cigarettes.

Tips to get better sleep

A young woman who recently stopped smoking is having a hard time sleeping lately.

Once you quit smoking, your mind goes haywires, and so does your body. So keeping things according to a fixed routine is very important to get through the first couple of weeks, which is the most challenging time to get through.

  • Go to bed and wake up at a fixed time, including weekends.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol six hours before going to sleep.
  • Avoid watching screens 2 hours before sleeping. Instead, try journaling, reading books, or having family time.
  • Before sleeping, you can meditate, take a warm bath, have soothing tea or warm milk to calm down your mind. A soothing scented candle also might help soothe your senses.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t start using your phone. Instead, just keep your eyes closed and try to go back to sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if you smoke after quitting?

Relapse happens to all who have quit smoking before, but it doesn’t mean you need to be hard on yourself. Slip up happens to all. What you can do is move on and quit from now on. It doesn’t mean you’re on square one. All it says is that you’re a human, and there will be such ups and downs towards your journey to quit smoking.

How many cigarettes a day is heavy smoking?

Heavy smoking can be explained as someone who smokes around 25 cigarettes or more in a day. People belonging to such groups are putting themselves under a lot of risks as this much smoking is damaging their lungs to a greater extent daily.

Does quitting smoking affect your sleep?

Disturbed sleep is part of the withdrawal symptoms every person faces who have quit smoking. Your sleep gets affected to the extent that you keep on waking up all night as your body tries to adapt itself to nicotine withdrawal.

How long does nicotine withdrawal last?

After you have decided to quit smoking, the withdrawal symptoms are quick to come. Starting from day 3, these symptoms can last up to 2 weeks. These initial couple of weeks are the most crucial time for any quitter when they should stay focused on quitting.

Why do I feel so tired after quitting smoking?

Nicotine gives you a sense of relief, calming down your nerves, which is why it is so addictive in nature. So, when you give up smoking, your brain feels foggy, a part of withdrawal symptoms.

To summarize

Smoking is genuinely harmful to health and addictive because of the nicotine in it. This addiction takes over both your body and mind making you crave it more with each passing day. When you try to quit smoking, its side effects, called withdrawal symptoms, can be felt physically and psychologically.

A part of this withdrawal symptom is losing sleep for the first two weeks. And dreaming about smoking is directly linked with this withdrawal symptom. As you leave smoking, your body is trying to cleanse itself of the garbage accumulated, even while you sleep. Most of the time, this can become a very realistic feeling.

One interpretation linked to dreaming about smoking could be that your mind subconsciously craves smoking. So, when you sleep, your mind fulfills its wishes by dreaming about smoking. But you can think of it in this way that is going back to it will only cause you more harm than the temporary feeling of feel good. So, keep trying and don’t give up!

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Saumya Malik
I'm an ardent follower of everything good for the health and wellness of body and mind. I am passionate about providing effective solutions to general health and mental well-being issues and wants to help people achieve the same. When I'm not writing, you can find me curled up with a good book in a corner or cooking as a form of good mental therapy.

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