Can stopping smoking make you dizzy? | Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy Farringdon

I commonly hear smokers say they get dizzy when they stop smoking so thought I'd explain why this might happen.

Can stopping smoking make you dizzy? | Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy Farringdon

I commonly hear smokers say they get dizzy when they stop smoking so thought I'd explain why this might happen.

I’m a Stop Smoking Hypnotherapist in Farringdon, so I normally focus on the psychological aspect of nicotine addiction as it’s by far the more complex and challenging thing to for smokers who want to quit to address. I have said it many times: the physical withdrawal from nicotine is comparatively painless.

But still, it can bring some strange symptoms that can be concerning or even frightening if you’re not expecting them. Some smokers may even feel so freaked out that they want to smoke again in order to alleviate them, so I thought I’d explain this a little so recent ex-smokers can get a better understanding of what’s happening to them.

One of the common ones people report is feeling dizzy or light-headed, and there are two main reasons for this.


Blood pressure changes


Nicotine has a stimulating effect on the body and causes the blood vessels to constrict, blood pressure to increase and your heart to work harder. From about 20 minutes after your last cigarette, the blood vessels dilate and your blood pressure drops back to normal. While this is unlikely to cause serious dizziness, it’s something people with fluctuations in blood pressure often report. Unless you have other underlying problems with blood pressure, this should be nothing to worry about and will shortly pass. I screen everyone for medical conditions and medications in my Farringdon stop smoking hypnotherapy practice, so we should be able to pick up on anything in your medical history that would make this more likely and prepare for it properly. It would probably be possible for me to work collaboratively with other health professionals supporting you, like your GP.

dizzy studying

Oxygen levels in the brain after quitting


When you quit smoking, carbon monoxide levels drop and you oxygen levels steadily increase, meaning all your organs are able to function much better – including the brain.

But researchers at the University of Copenhagen actually found that immediately after you quit, the brain experiences a dramatic, but temporary, reduction in oxygen levels: about 12 hours after your last cigarette, your brain oxygen levels seem to plummet to about 20% below normal levels, and then gradually rise over the coming days and weeks to ‘baseline’. This also temporarily decreases levels of other neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain: the Copenhagen researchers refer to a generalized reduction of brain activity.

This is not serious, and is something you should be able to work through easily by being staying physically active, resting, eating properly and taking supplements – but it could conceivably make you feel a bit dizzy and lightheaded. Trust that is a natural part of your body repairing itself, and you will soon feel much better.


Hypnotherapy for smoking in Farringdon


The Copenhagen Researchers suggested stopping smoking gradually to avoid the temporary reduction in available brain oxygen, but I wouldn’t necessarily agree. I advocate for a strategic cessation of nicotine, focusing on the psychological work necessary to make sure you will be smoke-free for life rather than mitigating physical withdrawal: if you are psychologically resourced and ready to quit then the physical symptoms shouldn’t be alarming or unpleasant, and can in fact represent exciting milestones as your body recovers to health. However, I trust the process and recognize it is different for everyone.

I support smokers through this process in my stop smoking hypnotherapy Farringdon practice. If you’d like to find out how I could help you achieve your goal of being smoke-free as easily and quickly as possible then book a discovery call with me so I can find out more about you and whether we would be a good fit to work together.

Share this article: