Nicotine Great For the Brain and Bad For Sleep?

I have started on 2mg of nicotine lozenges. Only 1 per day in the morning. I have taken occasional days off to verify that I'm not becoming addicted, and so far so good.

The Good

  • It just feels awesome
  • More social
  • My mind feels stronger

The Bad

  • Possible insomnia

So, I'm liking it a lot and want to continue, but if it leads to these massive bags under my eyes because I sleep horribly, it might not be worth it. In fact, that would probably be detrimental in the long run.

Questions

  • I'm wondering if the brand of nicotine matters much. I'm on CVS brand. Is this like other things where a higher end brand is "cleaner" and has better results?
  • Does the insomnia subside after a while?

Comments

  • Update: I'm snapping the lozenge in half now so it's 1 mg. I'll add some decaf green tea to the mix to see if the theanine helps.

    I'll try to update this post with my results.

  • cortextcortext ✭✭

    I found it pretty interesting to hear Dr Steven Gundry (a cardiologist) talk about the potential benefits of nicotine on a recent podcast. Are there not cardiovascular risks or health risks (cancer?) with supplementing nicotine?

  • Some people on the internet claim that they consume nicotine via a patch in their sleep to induce lucid dreaming. I used to smoke 3 packs a day so I tend to stay a way. Dave wrote an article about it. Might pick up Lozenges for in case of emergency.

  • Another update: the 1mg dose with theanine was better... not completely better, but better. It was easier to fall asleep but still took some intentional effort to quiet my mind. Also, I wouldn't call my sleep extremely restful.

    The day after that, I tried 2mg again with two cups of decaf green tea during the day. It was difficult to fall sleep that night (last night). I did not feel tired. Briefly, tiredness swept over me and I went to sleep, only to wake up moments later and feel wide awake again. I think it took a couple hours to finally get to sleep. Then around 1:30am I woke up and I thought it was much later. I couldn't believe how slowly time had passed. It felt like I was asleep all night even though it was only an hour or so, at most.

    Overall, I like the wakefulness I get from it during the day, but it seems to be a sleep-wrecker, which makes it unsustainable. Of course, I can drug myself to sleep and then drug myself with nicotine, but I don't think that's sustainable either. I want my body to work better, not to grow in dependency to multiple drugs that replace what my body could do by itself in the first place.

  • @cortext said:
    I found it pretty interesting to hear Dr Steven Gundry (a cardiologist) talk about the potential benefits of nicotine on a recent podcast. Are there not cardiovascular risks or health risks (cancer?) with supplementing nicotine?

    Thanks, I'm going to check that podcast out.

  • Update: Yesterday I refrained from taking any nicotine and I still had serious insomnia last night. Perhaps my worst night in a long time. After lying in bed for around three hours, I took a 3mg melatonin pill and finally slept from 2AM - 5:30AM. That was as long as I could sleep for.

    I think I am giving up on nicotine. Maybe some piracetam will heal me. :smile:

  • WalterWalter ✭✭✭

    Nicotine is a stimulant so should not be taken in the evening, just like drinking coffee won't help your sleep. You might be extremely sensitive to nicotine, excreting it slower so it's still in your system at high levels at bedtime, but other than that supplementing with melatonin makes sleep even worse since that should be almost exclusively made endogenously.

    But I read you also had insomnia the day you didn't take nicotine at all, which leads me to think there's something else that's preventing you from sleeping.

  • Update: After getting off of the nicotine for a couple of days, sleep resumed to normal. Just for experiment's sake, I purchased some Swedish Snus (General) to see if natural nicotine had the same effect, and have taken tiny hits of that to see if it had a different effect than the synthetic nicotine and I have slept really well. Now this experiment is flawed, I admit, because my nicotine lozenge lasted for about two hours whereas the Swedish snus is removed after 60 seconds or so, because it's so incredibly nauseating, but euphoric, but nauseating, nonetheless.

    @Walter said:
    Nicotine is a stimulant so should not be taken in the evening, just like drinking coffee won't help your sleep. You might be extremely sensitive to nicotine, excreting it slower so it's still in your system at high levels at bedtime, but other than that supplementing with melatonin makes sleep even worse since that should be almost exclusively made endogenously.

    I think I am very sensitive to everything I take. I have to mix caffeinated coffee with decaf coffee 1:2 or else my brain function and sleep both suffer. Piracetam, which I don't use very often, makes me dumber if I take more than 800mg per day. Aniracetam proved to make me dumber when taking normal doses. Alcohol tends to hit me hard when I have more than one drink. What can I say? I guess I'm just a cheap date.

  • edited August 7

    Oh yeah, another thing... theanine makes me dumb, too, even with normal doses of caffeine. Even if I switch over to a natural food-source like green or black tea, rather than the supplements, my mental functioning plummets. I become forgetful and lose my ability to connect basic things in my brain.

    I'm sure these "symptoms" of sensitivity to all substances are pointing at something, but I just don't know what.

  • Update:
    Lucky me, I found some nicotine gum on clearance for $3.99 for 4mg pieces. It's still the nicotine polacrilex synthetic stuff. Since it was a different brand (Kroger store brand this time) and a different delivery method (gum, not lozenge) I wanted to see how it affected me. I have broken them in half to make them 2mg per day. Today, I'm trying a full 4mg piece because you know, science.

    After several days on it, I feel way better on this than the lozenges. There are some differences in its effectiveness. The gum seems to be a slower release so that euphoric feeling is dulled substantially... or I have become tolerant to it. One or the other. I do feel attentive and my wife told me that I looked really attentive, whatever that means. Probably my eyes were wider and I seemed less distracted. I guess that's kind of how I felt.

    But as for the sleep, I've been sleeping like a rock. (Those of us who have had babies don't say "sleeping like a baby", but I digress.) No trouble falling asleep, no trouble staying asleep. It does bring a slight crash is the afternoon, but I can easily overcome it by simply doing something.

    The effects are nice in that I feel a bit more motivated to do stuff.

    Perhaps my issue was with the lozenges. Either the brand was bad or the lozenges method of delivery is an issue for me.

  • This is a cleaner product than lozenges or the patch. I think 2 brothers started this company. https://pixotine.com/

  • Another update: I tried some nicotine gum (4mg) and I have been chewing a piece every day for around 2 weeks now. No issues whatsoever with sleeping. There must have been something about those lozenges that made my body freak out.

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