Quitting smoking and fatigue

July 2017


When you quit smoking, various symptoms, withdrawal symptoms, may appear. The main symptoms of withdrawal are:
  • fatigue;
  • dizziness;
  • insomnia;
  • coughing;
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (constipation, hunger, craving for sweets), irritability;
  • Weight gain.

All of these symptoms decrease in intensity in the weeks following your choice to quit.

Understanding the phenomenon

When you smoke, your body becomes poisoned by the tobacco smoke and by one of its constituents: nicotine, which acts as a stimulant. Thus, quitting smoking triggers fatigue, which is on the one hand due to the phenomenon of detoxification, and on the other hand to the absence of nicotine stimulation. Combined, these two mechanisms result in the significant fatigue during the two to four weeks after the elimination of tobacco use.

Fighting against fatigue

It is possible to fight against the fatigue that is triggered when you quit smoking by implementing a few simple tricks:
  • Make a habit of going to bed earlier than usual.
  • Be sure to sleep better, protecting yourself from noise and light (use earplugs and a sleeping mask if needed).
  • Avoid the use of stimulating products in the evening.
  • In case of daytime fatigue, give your body a momentary boost (eating sugar-free candy, an apple, listening to dynamic music).
  • Perform quiet physical activity (tai chi, qi jong...) to make your fatigue a "healthy fatigue,".
  • Place a balanced emphasis on fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • If necessary, supplement your diet with vitamin C and magnesium.

Preventing fatigue due to quitting
If you intend to quit smoking, it may be useful to anticipate the fatigue that you might feel:
  • choose your moment to quit smoking carefully (ideally it should be at time when you are comfortable in your skin, such as a holiday period);
  • Consult a doctor who may prescribe a nicotine replacement that will gradually stop your addiction and help your body to get through the ordeal without too many unpleasant symptoms. Nicotine substitutes exist in different forms: chewing gum, skin patches, lozenges;
  • make room for adequate sleep time, that is to say, longer than usual.


Published by Jeff. Latest update on June 4, 2013 at 01:33 PM by Jeff.
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