Why Am I So Tired After Quitting Smoking?

If you have already stopped smoking, or maybe you are thinking about it, we commend you. It is one of the best things you can do for your health. Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths worldwide. By stopping smoking even the very next day, you are increasing your lifespan and giving your body the chance to start healing.

But kicking the habit isn’t always moonshine and roses, and quitting comes with its own sets of challenges, but these are short-lived, I guarantee, and you will be better off for it at the end of the day.


I Quit Smoking, but Now I Am Tired All the Time

Even though you are keeping away from your tempting tobacco rolls, some people may experience extreme tiredness and even bouts of drowsiness during the days. Many people find it challenging to find the energy to focus on the finer tasks at hand. So why is this?

Our bodies produce and chemical named acetylcholine, this chemical behaves like a neurotransmitter in the brain and body. This chemical can make our brain speed up and slow down nerve signals. Now non-smokers are kept awake and alert by this chemical. This chemical also affects our mood and has been lovingly called the “memory neurotransmitter.”

Nicotine mimics the effects of acetylcholine by binding to the receptors in your brain. Parts of the smoker’s brain “think” that they are receiving this chemical when, in fact, it is just the nicotine. When you stop smoking, especially when you go cold turkey, you will have none or at most very little acetylcholine, and the nicotine levels will gradually drop as well.

So this means that you haven’t got enough neurotransmitters to keep you awake. But this is all short-lived as your nicotine levels decrease and your brain starts producing acetylcholine.

Why Does Nicotine Make Me Tired?

A lot of people believe that cigarettes give you energy. Unfortunately, that statement is very untrue. Smoking can increase your chances of conditions like chronic fatigue and increased stress.

If you ask any smoker, they will tell you that smoking boosts their energy and gives them a level of clarity to perform a task to the best of their ability. This is because nicotine is a booster that you find in all tobacco products.

Nicotine enters the bloodstream quickly and then starts to mess with your brain chemicals, giving you a small boost and lowering your stress levels. Even if this sounds very positive for smoking, these “positive” effects are short-lived and the damage it causes is far-reaching and very bad

In the long run, smoking has a very negative effect on your energy levels, and the energy boosts are shorter and shorter-lived, causing you to need to smoke more often. Tobacco users also suffer from a range of different health issues that take their toll on energy levels.

As an example, smokers have decreased lung capacity and get less oxygen into their lungs. Less oxygen in the lungs means less oxygen for the heart to pump and, in the end, less oxygen to the brain which will result in fatigue and decreased concentration.

How Long Does It Take to Feel Normal After Quitting Smoking?

How long does it take to feel normal after quitting smoking?

Most people think quitting is as easy as smoking your last cigarette and then just fighting the craving until is normal not to smoke, but the truth of the matter is there is much more to it than that, and even minutes after stopping your body starts the healing process that smoking has caused.

Our bodies are amazing machines and even 20 minutes after killing the last one, your body will start the healing process. The benefit of this is exponential and the longer you stay away from the urge, the better your body can heal.

Remember recovering from nicotine addiction is a marathon and not a sprint and you might relapse sometimes but never give up. If you have decided to stop smoking stick with, it doesn’t matter how many times you relapse.

Healing from nicotine addiction is different for everyone and not everyone will face the same challenges, some people can put it down and never think of it again. Others will have a craving for up to a year after they stopped.

The big secret is that craving a cigarette isn’t wrong, just take that craving and turn it into something positive, try this every time you crave a cigarette, eat a carrot stick or something like that.

Most people expect to be healthier and have more money at the end of the day when quitting smoking, but the benefits are so much more and will start to show themselves from the moment you stop.

Can Quitting Smoking Make You Sick?

The short answer, yes… it can make you very sick, but this is all the body’s way of healing the damage that smoking has done to your body, and your addicted mind is fighting this constantly, and that can cause an internal war that can make you very sick.

So what are the side effects of stopping smoking?

  • Headaches and nausea
  • Tingling in your hand and feet
  • Coughing and a sore throat
  • Increase appetite
  • Cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Constipation
  • Mental issues
  • Lack of concentration
  • Dry mouth

The Butt End

So, in the end, yes, quitting is hard and it isn’t fun, but it is good for you and everyone else in the long run. Your body will heal itself; it just takes time. So give it the time, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t crack it the first time. A relapse is not a failure unless you stop trying.

Set yourself goals, where do you want to be next week? Next month? Next year? Save the money you would spend on cigarettes and spoil yourself with that money when you reach your goals. And remember the only time it’s too late to quit is tomorrow.

16 thoughts on “Why Am I So Tired After Quitting Smoking?”

    • I’m at 9 days, hope you are still going strong ! I smoked a pack a day minimum. This sucks! I’m tired, hungry, cranky. But I’m breathing soooo much better already, and have already saved money. Being with my non smoking friends is more enjoyable when I don’t have to excuse myself . Hope you can keep it up, your comment helped me !!

  1. I’m at day 4 fighting with thoughts that are giving me every reason to have one, but I wont I’m excited for day 10 or anything beyond day 4. I have been trying for 3-4 years to quit I smoke 11-12 a day. I noticed that waking up in the morning isn’t so hard anymore.

  2. I’ve been quit for around 12 weeks now and was smoking a lot for around 25 years, I still feel very drained and tired in my eyes most of the time, would this be normal after this time, I quit after dropping ill all of a sudden just before Christmas, as I was smoking even more than normal, many thanks

  3. Same here Ian, hope you’re doing ok. I’m still tired and have trouble concentrating and working. It’s been over 12 weeks now.

  4. I am a 58 year old female and have smoked for 35 years. I recently took Chantix to help me quit. The chantix did what it is supposed to do. The first couple of weeks taking it I cut my cigarette rate in half. A couple more weeks later I was down to 2 cigarettes a day. I did that for a week or two. I then ripped the bandaid off and quit 100%. It has been 90 days since. Chantix made it so easy. The only thing with Chantix is it made me nauseous. You have to push thru it. I can feel my body healing from all the damage as I am sleeping like a log and sleeping longer then usual. My voice is recovering from smokers voice and laugh. Stick with it.

  5. I’m on day 3 cold turkey and doing better than my last quit. Why did I start again after a year of quitting! I’ve learnt quitting? your never out the woods hence starting again.

    Hopefully this quit will be my last fight with cigarettes. I’m learning a lot about the mental side of smoking. 80% of it is habit and the mental desire to smoke.

    I just hope sleeping gets better. I can’t sleep when I go to bed and this side of quitting gets me down!

  6. I’m on day 15, been alot easier than I thought, maybe because my gp told me my blood flow wasn’t great and I have high blood pressure. But the tiredness I’m feeling is unreal. Just hope the energy returns.

  7. Using chantix I am on day 5 smoke free. I don’t have any cravings but this tiredness is killing me. I can’t hardly keep my eyes open. How do I change this? I know partly my body wants to sleep to help the healing process but a gal has to work!

  8. Cold turkey day 1 here after 22 years of smoking (I’m 38). Smoked my last cigarette around 1:30 am last night (it’s just past 8pm right now), woke up around 9:15am and thought “right, here we go!” I have to say it’s difficult so far. About 11 conscious hours without nicotine. Experienced drowsiness, boredom, cravings, that queasy feeling in my stomach, dry heaving, coughing a lot, and even vomiting (twice).

    I tried doing things to take my mind off it, mainly cleaning, but also some reading, and napped twice.

    I feel annoyance, especially when typing and hitting the wrong key, or two or even three at once, and constantly needing to press backspace to correct myself. I haven’t screamed in anger yet, but I feel close…

  9. I am on day 11 cold turkey and same, I am so tired that sometimes I can barely make it thru the work day I am 54 (in August) and all other quits I’ve used nicotine replacement therapy and have always relapsed so I decided no nicotine replacement therapy this time and it was beyond hard to get thru the first few days with crying spells, anger, couldn’t sleep, now breathing is good blood pressure and pulse more normal, but the being tired and sleepy is so hard, now I’m shoving down coffee daily, and when I do sleep I sleep good but sometimes wake up earlier than normal but am able to wake up instantly, I feel better overall and am glad I didn’t do the nicorettes this time and just suffered thru the withdrawals

  10. I was a smoker and snuff dipper for 40 years. I am on 10 weeks without nothing now and still a little washed out every day. I walked through the fires of hell to quit, and I am not going back! Just wondering how long it take to go back to a normal feeling. It just seems like there is something missing.


Leave a Comment