The hazards of smoking are well known, but there may be a new reason for you to quit for good. If you treasure your sleep but often feel tired in the morning, it may be linked to your smoking habit.
At Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep, we offer comprehensive smoking cessation resources to reduce your nicotine cravings. Ashok Tyagi, DO, CPE, and Himanshu Chandarana, MD, our pulmonary specialists, make it easier to overcome your addiction and stay smoke-free for life.
The effects of smoking on your sleep
One of the biggest myths about smoking is that it helps you wind down and relax. However, nicotine is actually a stimulant that can increase your heart rate and make you feel more alert. If you smoke before bedtime, you may be unable to fall asleep.
Other ways smoking affects your sleep quality include:
Withdrawal symptoms can also interfere with your sleep quality. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that reaches your bloodstream within seconds of inhaling.
As nicotine leaves your body, you might start craving more, even when you’re sleeping. This might cause you to wake up. When you’re not reaching a deep sleep each night, you’re likely to struggle with daytime sleepiness.
Smoking can lead to chronic insomnia, a persistent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
If you smoke heavily before you go to bed and can’t sleep well, you might be at risk for other issues like low concentration, irritability, and mood swings.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to snore loudly and wake up throughout the night gasping for breath. This condition develops when the tissues at the back of your throat relax and interfere with your breathing.
Smoking can also irritate these tissues and cause them to swell, further disrupting your ability to take in enough oxygen.
What to expect from a smoking cessation program
The smoking cessation programs we offer at Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep focus on reducing your cravings so you can quit nicotine for good without withdrawal issues.
In addition to behavioral counseling that can help you break your smoking habit, we may also prescribe oral medications or patches. Patches deliver a steady amount of nicotine into your body through your skin.
Our team also offers preventive screenings for people who smoke heavily or have smoked for a long time. We use advanced diagnostic testing to identify lung diseases like cancer and emphysema in the earliest stages when treatment is usually more effective.
You might also benefit from an in-lab sleep study if you have symptoms of sleep apnea.
There are also exercises you can do after quitting smoking to improve your lung health. With a healthy diet and daily physical activity, you can lower your risk for smoking-related issues that affect your long-term health.
If you’re ready to quit smoking but aren’t sure you can do it on your own, call the Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep office in St. Petersburg, Florida, today to schedule a smoking cessation consultation.