Thursday, November 27, 2008

The First 72 Hours After Quitting Smoking

Feelings of fatigue, irritability and an extremely
persistent headache are all side effects of nicotine
withdrawal and are all perfectly normal. Why? Simply
because it is in the first 72 hours when nicotine purges
itself from your system - regardless of the smoking
cessation method you have chosen to use.

The good news is that if you prepare mentally for your quit
day, many of the symptoms will not make you feel like you
have to lock yourself in a closet. Letting friends and
family members know that today is your quit day (if you
feel they would be a help and not a hindrance) would be a
good idea and since it's common knowledge about how people
act when they stop smoking, you may just get the house to
yourself for the day.

Keep in mind, that by making plans in advance on how you
are going to handle these symptoms, it can really help if
you write them down. What are you going to feel? What are
the symptoms of withdrawal? You may want to include these
things on your list:

Feeling angry or agitated: I will take deep breaths and
take a walk outside. I will leave the room or go take a

Feeling overly emotional or sensitive: I will find a few
moments for myself.

Feeling tired: Rest and healing are needed to allow myself
to heal from my addiction.

Feeling nauseated: I will drink a glass of water (helps
with nausea, as do apples and ginger).

After I eat I will: Find something to do so I don't crave
the 'after-dinner' cigarette.

A really good way to help your body get rid of the nicotine
within it is to drink lots of water. The more you drink,
the faster your body will metabolize the stored nicotine
within your system and the only side effect of this is a
slouchy stomach and maybe a few more trips to the bathroom.
The faster you can get the nicotine flushed out of your
system, the sooner the withdrawal symptoms will be over, at
least the physical ones.

Some theorize that drinking beverages with caffeine in them
can cause your withdrawal symptoms to worsen. Others find
that it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. Each
individual's situation is unique. If you find that
caffeinated drinks are causing you to crave cigarettes,
then it would be best to cut back or stop completely.

Sometimes giving up too many things at once can also open
up another can of worms, so maybe just try cutting back on
the caffeine. Water, fruit juices, and even ice cream
shakes, can help clear out your system and get those
withdrawal symptoms done with faster.

A very common side effect during the first few nights is
finding it difficult to fall asleep and then to sleep
soundly. Even though you might have been exhausted
throughout the day, when it's time for bed it seems like
everything is racing through your mind and you can't get

Taking a nice hot shower or a soothing bath, just prior to
going to bed can be very helpful and can help you become
relaxed enough to fall asleep. Normally, this will only
last one or two nights at the most, but if it becomes
persistent, you may want to consider taking an
over-the-counter sleep aid for a night or two. Your
sleeplessness won't last for long.

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