Improving Your Posture

Why Does Your Head Hurt And Why Can't You Sleep After Quitting Smoking?

If you suffer from severe headaches and insomnia after you quit smoking, you may wonder if you can do anything to stop the pain and sleep better. Headaches and insomnia are common symptoms many people experience after they quit smoking. But some individuals may experience stronger symptoms than other people and require chiropractic help to overcome them. Here's why you have headaches and can't sleep and how chiropractic care can help you overcome your problems.

Why Do You Have Headaches and Problems Sleeping After You Quit Smoking?

After you quit smoking, your body undergoes many changes to adapt to the lack of nicotine and other chemicals inside it. One of the changes you experience is a reduction of serotonin. Serotonin is a special chemical or neurotransmitter produced by your brain and several other tissues that controls your moods, as well as ability to sleep. The nicotine in cigarettes can disrupt these functions.

Nicotine tends to increase the serotonin levels in the body immediately after you smoke a cigarette. Once you finish the cigarette, your serotonin levels go down and stay that way until you smoke another cigarette. However, quitting smoking completely keeps your serotonin levels down. The drastic reduction of serotonin can trigger head pain that varies in intensity and strength. In a number of cases, other factors that occur from quitting smoking may affect the intensity of your headaches, including insomnia, which may also develop from reduced serotonin.

Insomnia, or the inability to sleep or stay sleep, interferes with your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which may lead to headaches. Sleep allows your body to recover from the stresses of work, school and other issues. Without sufficient sleep, your body can't do so properly. Insomnia may also affect how you maintain your body's posture. For example, you may hunch your shoulders or slouch in your chair at work because you're too tired to sit up straight. Poor posture can place stress and strain on the muscles of your neck, which may eventually cause pain in this body tissue.

It's essential that you seek chiropractic care to alleviate your headaches and other symptoms of quitting smoking.

How Can a Chiropractor Help You Overcome Your Head Pain and Insomnia?

A chiropractor may provide a number of non-medicated treatments to help you improve, including spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation removes stress and tension off the nerves that travel through your spine, neck and head. 

A chiropractor may also prescribe special exercises to help you sleep better, which may include stretching and relaxing the tissues in your neck and back during private sessions. Your exercise sessions may include other activities, such as swimming or aquatic classes, to ease the stress in your body. A chiropractor will discuss what you may expect to do during your exercise sessions when you consult with them.

You may also require a change in your diet to help you sleep better, including eliminating or reducing your caffeine intake. Just like nicotine, caffeine stimulates your body's neurotransmitters and may cause headaches and insomnia over time. Water, unsweetened fruit juices and tea may be replacements for your caffeinated beverages.

You can also take steps to feel and sleep better after quitting smoking by establishing a new evening or bedtime routine that helps your body and mind relax. For instance, try taking a short walk around the block right after work or school. The walk may help you alleviate some of the stress and tension you feel from quitting smoking that leads to your headaches. If possible, ask a chiropractor for exercise tips you can use to reduce your symptoms.

For more information about headaches and quitting smoking, contact a chiropractor, like those at Smith Chiropractic, today.