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How Sleep Deprivation Can Cause Hair Loss

Posted by Wendy Dessler on Apr 27th 2021

Have you had those days when you didn’t get to sleep the night before? If you’re like most people, you probably spent the day exhausted or, worse, feeling like a zombie.

There are many reasons people don’t get enough rest, and it’s essential to identify them and take preventive steps. 

For some, the mattress may not be the right type. If this is the case, then the solution is really simple. First, you’ll need to determine your sleeping posture. Next, buy a bed that’s suitable for the way you sleep, and you’ll rest better.

However, while experiencing a lack of proper sleep once in a while might be acceptable, prolonged sleeplessness can lead to severe health issues. 

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You should consult a doctor if your problem persists for long periods, because sleep deprivation can adversely impair your cognitive performance. It can affect your focus, your short- and long-term memory, and your decision-making.

Studies show that about one-third of American adults suffer from this affliction, and it’s getting worse in recent years.

You’ve often read about the health risks people face if they don’t get quality shut-eye, but did you know that sleep deprivation can even lead to hair loss?

How Does Insufficient Rest Cause Loss of Hair?

Our bodies need sufficient sleep to function optimally. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults get at least seven hours of shut-eye a night.

When you lack proper rest, you’ll experience stress, which may give rise to unhealthy hair growth and can even cause hair loss. 

The American Journal of Pathology studied this, and their research showed that adult stem cells that generate epithelial cells for hair growth rely on the body’s circadian clock to activate. 

Simply put, if you don’t get enough sleep, the stress will adversely affect the hair-growth process to function optimally.

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There are two key outcomes that can arise from sleep deprivation:

Temporary Hair Loss

Telogen Effluvium is the cause of temporary hair loss. It prematurely upsets the growth cycle, inducing excessive shedding of resting follicles.

The good news is that once you sleep well again and get your stress under control, typical hair production will resume. However, you may have to wait up to six months to notice the complete regrowth.

Worsening of a Genetic Condition 

If you have androgenic alopecia, lack of sleep can aggravate your hair loss. This hereditary condition, which affects both men and women, is commonly known as male or female pattern baldness.

Unfortunately, as this cause of balding is genetic, the thinning will continue even after you’ve solved your sleeping problem. The anxiety of not resting well doesn’t lead to hair loss; really, it only exacerbates it.

Summary

If you want to keep a good head of hair, you’ll have to ensure you get quality sleep. The stress from not getting enough rest can affect your body’s ability to grow hair efficiently. 

The problem may be temporary, unless your hair loss is due to genetics. But even then, solving your slumber difficulty can slow down the rate of hereditary balding.