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Why Cigarettes Make you Feel Tired?

woman with a cigarett
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Some falsely believe that cigarettes increase energy levels, while also inducing a sense of calm and well-being. However, these assumptions are myths, as smoking actually increases your chances of suffering from chronic fatigue and increased stress over time.

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How Nicotine Impacts Energy Levels

Ask any current smoker, and they’ll probably tell you that smoking gives him a boost of clarity, energy, and calmness. This is the result of nicotine, a stimulant found naturally in tobacco products. Nicotine enters the bloodstream quickly and affects brain chemicals, causing a boost in energy levels and a reduction in stress. While this sounds like a positive in favor of smoking, the effects of nicotine are short-lived.

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Levels crash very quickly, and the smoker begins to feel jittery, agitated and on edge. Further, energy and mood levels begin to decline below pre-smoking levels. That means the smoker now has to light up just to feel “normal,” giving the false sense of an energy boost, when in fact, smoking lowers energy levels and “feel good” hormones over time. Further smoking only (temporarily) helps thwart these effects, according to Livestrong.

How Smoking Decreases Energy Levels

Smoking has a negative effect on energy levels in other ways as well. Tobacco users suffer from a range of health complications, many of which can take a serious toll on energy levels. For instance, smokers have a lowered lung capacity than that of non-smokers. Less oxygen in the lungs means less oxygen to the brain, muscles, and other bodily systems. Over time, this can easily lead to fatigue and reduced respiratory function.

As the smoker continues, tobacco products continue to wreak havoc on bodily tissues and systems. All of this eventually erodes energy and overall well-being.

Smoking and Blood Sugar

Another way smoking impacts energy levels, and one that many do not consider, is the effects tobacco smoke has on blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that smoking reduces the body’s sensitivity to insulin. When a non-diabetic eats something containing carbohydrates or sugar, the body converts these substances into glucose, a sugar used by the body for energy. In order to properly process glucose, the pancreas releases a chemical called insulin to break it down and make it available for cells to use. In those who don’t respond as well to insulin (insulin resistance), more insulin is needed to process the same level of glucose.

As the body grows more resistant, more and more insulin is needed. This is what eventually leads to Type II Diabetes. Plenty of insulin is available, but the body no longer knows what to do with it.

This effects energy levels because glucose is the body’s preferred energy source. If glucose cannot be adequately processed and used by the body, energy will suffer. Additionally, ineffective glucose distribution may signal to the brain that you need to eat more sugar or carbohydrates. This eventually may lead to further insulin resistance or Type II Diabetes.

Reduces the Efficiency of Lungs

One of the main reasons for the smokers to feel tired is that their body may not be receiving enough oxygen due to the damages caused by the cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke contains various toxins, including tar which affect the cleaning process of the lungs by sticking to the lungs. This will reduce the oxygen absorbing capacity of the lungs. When the body organs like heart and brain do not get enough oxygen we feel tired. The blocked airways in the lungs cause continuous cough as the lungs fail to eliminate the dirt containing mucous from the lungs.

Causes Pulmonary Diseases

Smoking causes damage to the lungs due to exposure to carbon monoxide and cyanide in the cigarette smoke. The alveoli of the lungs lose the elasticity and this will lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. This disease cause shortness of breath, bronchitis, wheezing, etc. all these health problems can lead to tiredness.

Affects the Cardiovascular System

The smoke from tobacco has several immediate effects on the working of the heart and blood vessels.

  • When you start smoking, the heart rate increases by 30% within the first 10 minutes, this will put a strain on your heart muscles as they have to beat faster to maintain the blood supply to the organs.
  • The oxygen carrying ability of the blood decreases due to the carbon monoxide absorbed into the blood while smoking.
  • The organs will not receive the required oxygen and makes you feel tired.
  • The toxic ingredients in tobacco smoke can cause narrowing of blood vessels which may lead to increased blood pressure and stroke.

There are things smokers can do to help maintain energy levels to some extent.

Exercise: Getting adequate daily exercise may help boost energy levels by increasing endorphins and improving cardiovascular function. Experts recommend at least half an hour a day of cardiovascular exercise for health benefits.

Eat right: Eating nutrient rich foods that are high in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar and refined carbohydrates will help keep your body healthy.

Get enough sleep: Maintaining a consistent eight hours a night of sleep will help keep energy levels stable.

While these measures will help keep your health from deteriorating in some cases, the only real way to prevent smoking related fatigue and health complications is to quit. There are many smoking cessation aids available for this purpose, so you can easily find something that will work for you.

A note of warning to those who make the choice to quit: for the first several days, you will feel exhausted and irritable. This is your body withdrawing from the nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms peak in the first 12 to 24 hours after quitting. Symptoms should slowly begin to subside after that. You can use a nicotine replacement product to wean off of nicotine if you feel that withdrawal symptoms are too much to handle.

For more motivation to quit smoking once and for all, visit The Real Cost of Smoking.

Read more about the effects cigarette smoke has on the human body at The Effects of Smoking.

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After Content Chirs story
Published: August 4, 2015 Updated: May 13, 2019



Leave a comment

14 comments on “Why Cigarettes Make you Feel Tired?
  • whatthef
    September 9, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    you have to be a douchebag to try and sell vaping by criticizing cigarettes.
    both are very bad for people.

  • Justin Jarvis
    October 22, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Great information! I’m ready to quit smoking today. I realize it’s more of a habit than anything else. I’ve just always thought I’d have a problem breaking the habit. After reading all the advice and comments, I’ve got this. I’ve had the will power to stop since I started smoking 11 years ago. It’s time to start a new chapter in my life…. I’m now a non smoker!

  • Darlene
    October 2, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    First of all you have to “want to quit” in order for any stop smoking aid to work. It’s called discipline i am a smoker of 40 years. A pack and a half to two a packs a day. I started Chantix August 3rd 2018 (now in my 9th week). I am still enjoying a cigarette when I feel like it. Fortunately at this time I only want it 2 to 3 times a day. (And I only want a half at a time). So good luck to all who wish to quit. I hope I do guit. I hate being an outcast

  • Jimmy
    August 20, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I smoked for over 20 years. When the prices started going up a few years back, i just put them down. No withdrawals, in a matter of days i realised I had more energy, started sleeping better, just all around felt better. 8 years now, i get sick just smelling the stench on other people.

  • aidan
    August 5, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    there MUST BE A BETTTER WAY TO LIVE Smoking is killing me and I know it !

  • t k nayak
    July 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    i feel very weak after smoke ,and feel problem take oxzyn

  • Al
    June 21, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Interesting important piece. Once you love your health then you will take heed of this information and do well. Thanks and good luck to all who quit and those who are quitting!

  • Sarah Smith
    June 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Nicotine withdrawal happens as soon as you stub your cigarette out and takes 45 minutes. Then it takes around 3 days for the CO to leave the blood stream. So really withdrawal is less than an hour. Not days or weeks. Telling people they will suffer only makes it harder to stop since smoking is 99% mental. Smokers live and die in a state of withdrawal and they don’t even realise it. As an ex smoker, once you understand that, quitting is no problem and you’re more than happy to stop. That is all.

  • Mary
    May 9, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Thank you. I appreciated reading this information on how serious cigarettes can harm every part of your body. I have the nicotine patches and will do my best to quit asap. The reason I opened this site was because every morning I wake up, I feel so stiff and it’s harder to get out of bed and I’m only 35 years old. I’ve tried to quit in the past with the patches and TBX strips but nothing has helped because my boyfriend smokes too. I can go to work and not smoke all day long then when I come home to seeing him smoking makes me weak and I pick up a cigarette.

  • masum
    April 9, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    sir,if I smoking I lose my weight quckly. and if I not smoking my body gain weight quickly. why?

    • Kurtus cavallo
      September 16, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      Nicotine is a hunger suppressant like caffeine. You eat less when you smoke.

  • Lisa
    April 6, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve been quit for 4 weeks now and I still feel tried

  • pcsx4
    October 29, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Hi, bing lead me here, keep up nice work.

  • na
    October 26, 2017 at 5:06 am

    It is truly a great and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.|