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Horrific insomnia after quitting smoking

My significant other quit smoking a year ago. She then started gaining weight and suffering with insominia. My understanding is that temporary insomnia is to be expected. However, the insomnia is not subsiding, just getting worse. She can fall asleep but wakes up frequently, and sometimes lies awake for hours. She is not consciously worrying about falling back asleep. She has seen one sleep specialist who told her not to keep a sleep log or worry about sleep. The MD did not suggest a sleep study. This is taking such a toll on her health, as she can barely concentrate while driving or function at work.

Why did quitting smoking start this? What angle should she take when she sees her sleep specialist again? Also, her thyroid levels are normal, but might there be additional tests they could do to be sure?

1 Responses
1355118 tn?1298568479
Hi, welcome to the forum, She seems to have idiopathic insomnia. It can be associated with stress, anxiety, or circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Quitting smoking is not associated with insomnia. Nicotine craving may be responsible but not for long term.

They may also be associated with sleep disorders (eg, sleep apnea, periodic limb movements), medical conditions that cause pain, psychiatric diseases (eg, anxiety, depression).

The investigations which will help to diagnose the type and cause for insomnia are Polysomnography, Multiple sleep latency test and Actigraphy.

The therapy for this condition includes retaining of normal circadian rhythm by non-pharmacological therapy which includes; Photo therapy, maintenance of sleep hygiene. Psychotherapy can also help him to learn how to cope and deal with the various stressors in his life. A short course of sedatives will help her.

She may go for nicotine gum or transdermal patch which can reduce the craving and may help. Do not worry, follow the above mentioned methods and the symptoms will alleviate. I suggest you to consult sleep specialist or child psychiatrist. Take care and regards.
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