Does vaping affect your sleep? The simple answer is yes it can. However, all is not lost, there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality. This article will help you to hopefully gain the right balance and achieve a better nights rest.
A lot of vapers switch from smoking traditional cigarettes to using a vape device that uses a nicotine-based e-liquid. It is far easier to quit smoking if you can still get your nicotine hit, but this does have its drawbacks as nicotine is the main cause of sleep deprivation when vaping.
The Science Behind Nicotine and Poor Sleep
Nicotine is a powerful stimulant, so if your e-liquid contains nicotine, this will affect your ability to fall and stay asleep. As a stimulant, it increases blood pressure, raises your heart rate and as a result makes you feel more alert and awake. If you are finding that you are having trouble achieving deep sleep, it is likely down to your body feeling energised from the effect of the nicotine in your system.
E-cigarettes often have a more potent strength of nicotine than regular cigarettes. Which is why when you switch to vaping you may notice a change in your sleep pattern. As nicotine is an addictive substance, one of the reasons for waking in the night may be down to your body feeling the effects of withdrawal. You may have been fine smoking a cigarette last thing at night, but that last hit of nicotine from an e-cigarette can cause greater withdrawal symptoms.
If you find yourself waking because you are craving another hit, you may find yourself in a catch 22 situation. On the one hand, it is hard to fall asleep because you are experiencing withdrawal. On the other, having another hit will only stimulate your body again, and you may find it hard to fall back to sleep. This can lead to you feeling very uncomfortable and unsettled.
Nicotine can also cause some people to have extremely vivid dreams. This in itself may not be an issue. However, it is worth remembering that vivid dreams can quickly turn into vivid nightmares. The theory behind this is that the nicotine confuses your brain. The nicotine stimulates your brain, and the signals of being asleep and awake can get mixed.
Does Vaping Make You Snore?
Although e-cigarettes are more gentle on your nose and throat than regular cigarettes, they can still cause some irritation. Regular cigarettes contain anaesthetic properties to help reduce irritation, e-liquids do not. So even though you are not inhaling smoke when vaping, the chemicals in the e-liquid may still cause issues.
Most e-liquids contain propylene glycol which is a chemical that causes dehydration, irritation and inflammation in your throat. An inflamed and swollen throat may cause snoring. Snoring happens because the tissues in the mouth and throat vibrate against one another while inhaling. The swollen tissue will obviously lead to a higher chance of that vibration happening.
As it is difficult to get enough air into your lungs when you snore, your body is fighting to inhale the oxygen. The result of this may be frequent waking or the inability to get deep sleep. It could also lead to sleep apnea.
How to Improve Your Sleep Quality
The most effective way to help improve your sleep quality would be to stop using e-liquids that contain nicotine for a few hours before bedtime. Switching to an e-liquid that is either lower in nicotine or completely free of nicotine in the evenings will give your body a chance to relax and thereby reduce the stimulating effects of the nicotine.
Reduce Screen Time
However, there are other things you can do to take care of your sleep health. We all know that reducing screen time before bedtime is crucial. The reason for this is that the blue light emitted from your devices tricks your brain into thinking that it is time to be awake rather than time to be winding down.
As discussed above, vaping may cause your throat to dry out, leading to irritation and snoring. To counteract this effect, it is important to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water. If you do have an irritated throat, try a soothing drink at bedtime such as decaffeinated tea with honey or suck a cough sweet.
You may find that using a humidifier in your bedroom at night helps with any dry air issues, and avoid having a fan pointing directly at your face as this will just serve to irritate your throat more.
Develop a Regular Sleep Pattern
Good sleep hygiene can be beneficial to everyone, but vapers really do need to take care of their habits. Setting a routine for sleep is immensely helpful, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even weekends, gets your body into a good routine. Even if you are feeling the effects of nicotine from your e-liquid, having a regular bedtime routine will help your body to regulate itself.
Try and Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Also, try to avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages to close to bedtime. Both of these act as a stimulant and will make it harder for you to drop into a deep and peaceful sleep.
So switch off gadgets, keep your room dark and quiet, hydrate and regulate your sleep. All these things will help you adjust to your vaping habit, while hopefully not disturbing your sleep too much.
Remember though; if you have switched to vaping to quit smoking, the health benefits are worth a few nights of disturbed sleep until your body adjusts. Most vapers will experience a mild disturbance in their sleep patterns, but as you can see from this article, there are steps you can take to speed up that transition period and get you sleeping well again.