Does Vaping Keep You Awake | Top Tips From a Sleep Specialist
Does vaping affect your sleep? Does vaping keep you awake? Should you vape before bed?… You wouldn’t believe how many variations of this question we receive on a daily basis. The bottom line is, if you’re concerned about the relationship between vaping and your quality of sleep, you’re not alone.
Vaping may affect your quality of sleep and contribute to sleep issues. Particularly as the nicotine in e-juice acts as a stimulant. Reducing the nicotine in your e-juice and avoiding vaping for at least two hours before bed may help to improve the quality of your sleep.
Over the last few years I’ve spent countless hours lying awake at night wondering why I can’t drift off. I usually put it down to a restless mind, too much screen time (TV, laptop or worse… mobile phone!) or noisy neighbours!
BUT in recent months I’ve been wondering more and more about the relationship between vaping and certain sleep issues/disorders.
I’ve been vaping for years now and would never go back to smoking, but I think the majority of my sleep issues intensified around the time I started vaping…
Could it be possible that vaping has negatively affected my quality of sleep?! I decided it was time to find out and solve the issue once and for all!
Several months later, after a mountain of research and the expertise of a sleep specialist, I’m writing this post to share what I’ve learnt with the vaping community.
Keep reading to learn how vaping can affect sleep, why your vaping habits play a HUGE role and some top tips and tricks to improve your sleep.
Without further ado, let’s get stuck in!
Does vaping keep you awake? The facts…
If you’re new to vaping and have recently switched from smoking, the e-juice you’re vaping will contain nicotine, whether freebase or Nicotine Salts. It’s this nicotine in your e-liquid that is likely to be affecting your sleep, especially if you’re vaping a higher nicotine strength.
Nicotine is a stimulant, similar to caffeine, which is known to increase your blood pressure and heart rate. In turn, this can directly affect how much sleep (and the quality of sleep!) you get each night.
It can also make it harder for you to actually fall asleep, in much the same way as a cup of coffee immediately before bed may make it more difficult to drift off!
So does vaping keep you awake?… It could yes! But does vaping affect your quality of sleep?
Previous studies, including this one, have shown that nicotine impacts rapid eye movement sleep, which most of you will know as REM sleep, the deepest of the 4 sleep states we enter into during the night.
These sleep states are collectively referred to as a sleep cycle, and we typically go through 4 to 5 sleep cycles per night. Sleep states 1-2 are comprised of light sleep during which your body is preparing for deep sleep but it’s easy to wake you. Stage 3 is deep sleep which can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
The final sleep state, REM sleep, usually happens around 90 minutes after you fall asleep and lasts approximately 10 minutes. Your subsequent REM stages last longer and longer, with the final REM stage lasting up to 1 hour.
It’s during this REM sleep that you feel most at rest, which is essential for your health, recovery and memory. The research available indicates that vaping (and smoking) can affect your ability to progress through the lighter sleep stages and enter into deep sleep and REM sleep.
Can vaping affect existing sleep disorders?
In terms of existing sleep disorders, of which there are many, the only two obvious disorders likely to be affected by vaping are sleep apnea and snoring.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing stops and starts while you sleep, disrupting your slumber and often leaving you feeling exhausted throughout the day. It can place a strain on your heart and is considered a serious sleep disorder.
As for snoring, I don’t know if it would necessarily be categorised as a disorder, however if you’ve ever suffered with snoring you know how disruptive to sleep it can be. Both for the sufferer and their partner!
Inhaling nicotine can lead to inflammation of the throat, nasal passages and bronchial tubes connected to your lungs. Therefore, vaping could affect your breathing throughout the night, contributing to increased snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.
How to stop vaping affecting your sleep?
Ok, so at this point in my journey I knew that vaping could be causing the issues I was experiencing with sleep.
Or far more likely, that vaping was not the actual cause but was certainly exasperating the already existing sleep issues.
So is there anything you can do to stop vaping affecting your sleep?
Reducing the nicotine strength in your e-juice and limiting your intake of nicotine immediately before bed may improve the quality of your sleep. Switching to a nicotine-free e-juice in the evening is also a great way to reduce the nicotine in your system before bed.
I started by dropping from 6mg to 3mg nicotine strength after 5pm every evening. That way I could guarantee the nicotine in my system was lower as I approached ‘bedtime’.
This one small change made a big difference, especially in terms of how alert or ‘fidgety’ I felt late in the evening. I was usually still wide awake after midnight, but lowering the nicotine strength in my e-juice helped to relax and prepare me for sleep.
I also attempted to stop vaping for 2 hours before I’d planned to go to sleep BUT personally, this was difficult and not something I could maintain. Instead I switched to nicotine-free e-juice at the 2 hour countdown mark so I could continue vaping but not worry about the nicotine affecting my sleep.
These two changes made such a HUGE difference to the length of time I spent sleeping AND the quality of my sleep.
I do think I could improve my slight snoring and dry throat throughout the night by cutting out the vaping in that 2 hour window I mentioned above. But with the changes I’ve made so far the difference is night and day and that’s a nice balance for me personally.
Other factors that affect sleep
if you’ve tried the steps I’ve outlined above and you’re still struggling with sleep, there are a few other factors to consider. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, eating a healthy diet and limiting your screen time are all important for good quality sleep.
It’s also important to avoid other stimulants, such as caffeine, especially close to ‘bedtime’. Keep in mind alcohol and stress can also affect your quality of sleep.
However, the changes I made to my vaping habits helped me considerably in my quest for better sleep. I also found that simply being more aware of how vaping can affect sleep helped me to make more informed decisions about what to vape and when to vape for better, less interrupted sleep.
Frequently asked questions
Should I vape in bed?
Vaping in bed may affect your quality of sleep, especially if you’re vaping e-juice containing nicotine. For better sleep, it may help limiting yourself to vaping only nicotine-free e-juice up to two hours before you plan on sleeping.
I found it also helped treating vaping the same way I did smoking. By limiting myself to vaping only outside, it helped to reduce my nicotine intake throughout the evening.
Is vaping or smoking worse for sleep?
Vaping may actually be worse than smoking in terms of sleep, especially if you’ve recently switched to vaping to help you quit cigarettes. The nicotine hit you receive from vaping is often more powerful, which can make you feel more awake and alert.
However, I wouldn’t switch back to smoking for all the tea in China. Vaping is significantly healthier for you than smoking and it’s also far cheaper! Only you can make that decision but I would suggest trying the suggestions in this post to improve your sleep first.
I hope I’ve answered “does vaping keep you awake” and you’ve found this post helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment below.