If you believe your sleep deprivation only impacts your energy or concentration levels, think again. It could be the very reason why your hair is thinning, too. Let’s understand does lack of sleep cause hair loss?
We are one with nature as we are with each other. This connection is even more apparent within ourselves. Our body and mind inherently affect every tiny bit of biological makeup, from our skin, bones, and tissues, down to each microscopic cell. The things we do in and out of ourselves will always play a role in our overall health, whether we realize it or not.
Does lack of sleep cause hair loss?
Everyone acknowledges the importance of sleep, yet many still disregard the relevance of getting quality shuteye. Achieving at least seven hours of sleep every night presents not only one but a multitude of health benefits. But a couple of these benefits worth highlighting are sleep’s role in brain functioning and cell regeneration.
We can do so much every day thanks to sleep — from cognitive functions (i.e., memory, logic, creativity, focus, language), behavior, mood, eating, and physical activities. It would make total sense that a lack of it will result negatively in our health. Aside from a weaker immune system, sleep deprivation is linked to heart diseases, high blood pressure, and weight gain.
But that is not all. Research suggests that depriving yourself of sleep will trigger or exacerbate health issues that take a bit more time to manifest. One such problem is (yes, you guessed it) hair loss.
How are sleep and hair loss related?
Sleep deprivation is a significant stressor. The longer you forego getting proper sleep, the bigger the impact on your health, and in this case, on your skin, which connects to your hair follicles. Studies further reveal that stress also affects how your hormones, neurotransmitters, and cytokines influence your hair growth. Apart from the hair loss, is your hair looking dull, dry, or brittle? You may want to check your sleeping habits.
If you are also in the running for male or female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), you might want to rethink your nighttime rituals seriously. Lacking sleep may also trigger this type of hair loss much sooner or worsen it if you already have it.
Those who do not have this hair issue written in their family history are not off the hook yet, either. Even if you do not suffer from genetic balding, you can still have another type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. When the hair follicles are put in a state of shock, it stays in their resting phase longer. While it is temporary, it is not something you can overlook, and will take some months before the hair starts growing back (assuming you correct your stressors).
While we are on a roll here, even children and teenagers cannot use their youth as an excuse to skip the ZZZ’s. Sleep deprivation also affects the human growth hormone (HGH), which plays an essential role in the significant biological changes they undergo day and night.
By now, we bet you are finally getting a clearer picture of how poor-quality sleep causes hair loss. But if you are already suffering hair loss, it is best to seek medical attention to determine your condition’s real culprits. It could be the lack of sleep, something else entirely, or a combination of several factors.
Will sleeping well fix it?
If sleep deprivation is indeed the cause of your hair loss, the condition should be reversed when you get back on the correct circadian rhythm.
Now we are no strangers to the causes that lead to lack of sleep. After all, many of us are leading busier lives, and some incidents are beyond our control. Whatever your reasons for foregoing proper slumber, you must do your best to resolve them however you can. Living life like the walking dead certainly will not do you or anyone else around you any favors.
You might want to try the following practices:
- Fix your sleep schedule. Doze off at the same time each night, and rise at the same in the morning. Yes, even on weekends.
- Destress. Stress is a factor in your insomnia and hair loss.
- Do not take naps after three o’clock, and no naps beyond 20 minutes.
- Avoid caffeine (but hey, caffeine shampoo is really good for hair loss) by late afternoon. Skip the alcohol, too.
- Quit smoking.
- Get active, but do not exercise within 2-3 hours before you sleep.
- Make your bedroom more comfortable. Adjust the lights, noise, and temperature.
- Establish a bedtime routine (i.e., read a book, listen to relaxing music)
- Consult with your doctor for recommendations.
What else can be done to stop hair loss?
Assuming you follow all the tips above (and kudos to you if you do), you will not instantly fix your slow hair growth. It will take a matter of months at best for hair to grow back, and it will still depend on other lifestyle factors (like your diet, medical conditions, and hair grooming practices). Meanwhile, you could better enhance your hair potential with high-quality hair care products.
We know keeping your hair in place or growing it back sounds like a lot of work, but it does not have to be. The answer lies in returning to a normal sleep schedule.