Is Vaping a Better Option Than Smoking at Bedtime?
Vaping has become extremely popular in recent years, especially for people who are trying to quit smoking. Vapes or e-cigarettes are electronic devices that let you breathe in heated vapor instead of smoke. They typically contain nicotine and other chemicals to give the vapor a good flavor.
Many people switch from smoking traditional cigarettes to vaping as they try to break their addiction, and some people take up vaping just because they like the flavors and the ritual. In many ways, vaping is less dangerous than smoking regular cigarettes. Is it a better option at bedtime, though? Unfortunately, people who vape right before going to bed tend to have poor quality sleep. Although it may be a better option overall, vaping can impact sleep in some harmful ways.
Vaping and Sleep
Traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes both contain nicotine, which is an addictive stimulant. E-cigarettes can actually deliver a more powerful dose of nicotine than regular cigarettes, which can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. It also can make you feel more awake and alert mentally.
Smoking or vaping may feel like a relaxing ritual, but if you consume nicotine right before bedtime, you’ll have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. People who vape usually take longer to drift off and wake up more frequently throughout the night than people who don’t consume nicotine. The stimulant can prevent you from getting enough deep sleep, so your body doesn’t get the chance to rest and recharge.
Vaping can impact sleep by causing throat irritation and difficulty breathing, too. While it’s true that e-cigarettes don’t have the same harmful smoke and tar of traditional cigarettes, they still contain chemicals that can damage your lungs and throat. For example, most e-liquids include propylene glycol, a chemical that dries out your mouth, nose, and throat.
This dehydration and irritation might cause coughing fits that could make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. It can also cause the tissues in your throat to swell up and block your airway. If this happens, it will require much more effort to take a full breath in. Your body will have to fight to get the air past the swollen tissues that are covering your airway, and you may develop a snoring problem as a result. When it’s so difficult to breathe, you won’t be able to relax enough to get deep and restful sleep, and your body might not get enough oxygen to stay healthy.
Is Vaping Better?
Overall, vaping is better for your health than smoking. However, it still has health risks, and it isn’t better than smoking right before bedtime. Traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes will both affect your sleep, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Both contain nicotine, which will keep you awake or will make you wake up in the middle of the night in withdrawal. Both can also cause throat irritation and difficulty breathing during sleep, and vaping might even be worse than cigarettes for this problem.
The main benefit of vaping instead of smoking before sleep is that you can use e-liquids with less nicotine or with no nicotine. If you feel like you have to vape before bed, try to gradually decrease your nicotine consumption by using e-liquids with lower concentrations of the stimulant. Hopefully, you’ll eventually be able to use a nicotine-free e-liquid or avoid vaping altogether before you go to sleep.
If you like the ritual of smoking or vaping before bed, deep breathing meditation might be a good replacement. Instead of inhaling smoke or vapor, you’ll inhale clean air, and the practice can calm your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.
Practicing good sleep hygiene will also improve your sleep quality, which is especially important if you’re still consuming nicotine in the evening. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, so your body gets into a routine. This will help you fall asleep even when you still feel energized from the nicotine. Avoid looking at your phone screen or other blue light sources right before bed, and make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet.
While vaping might be a helpful tool for quitting smoking, it isn’t necessarily a better option at bedtime. Unless you use a nicotine-free e-liquid, vaping will worsen your sleep quality and cause breathing trouble. It shouldn’t become a permanent part of your nightly routine. Instead, you should try to gradually decrease your nicotine consumption, especially in the evening, and you should practice good sleep habits to help your body get as much rest as possible.