If you find yourself dreaming about smoking cigarettes in the middle of a quit smoking campaign, don’t be alarmed. As this study suggests; it’s an entirely normal phenomenon and one to be expected during both chemical withdrawal and medium to long term recovery.
Dreaming about drug use is very common among almost all forms of recovering drug addict, a fact also confirmed by this study.
Dreaming is a phenomenon not yet fully understood, but most certainly produced by neurological and psychological conditions. When you stop smoking cigarettes, your brain enters a period of intense recovery involving physiological changes to the brain.
Changes driven by a rationalised intent and desire to quit smoking. This desired change comes into direct conflict with primal areas of the brain tricked into believing nicotine and the cigarettes that provide it, are both critical to your survival.
You can expect this conflict to manifest itself as vivid dreams about smoking and relapse while quitting smoking.
This is something I myself experienced while quitting, and is something I see regularly discussed on quit smoking forums and communities. The dreams themselves are extremely vivid, often leaving the dreamer feeling guilty, disappointed and alarmed upon waking.
These negative feelings are often replaced with a great deal of relief once awareness and the realisation it was all just a dream, kicks in.
Personally, I see such dreams as being very beneficial to the healing process. It’s comforting to know that even asleep, the rational part of the brain somehow wrestles against areas of the brain diseased with addiction.
Even if my rational mind didn’t win, the feeling of relief I felt every time I awoke from a smoking dream, reaffirmed my desire to quit. I didn’t need a physical relapse to experience the negative feelings that would come with it.
If you find yourself dreaming about smoking and/or having a relapse, I suggest not viewing it as a negative experience, but rather, a positive one. It is simply another sign you are well and truly recovering and that the wondrous plasticity of your brain is doing its thing.