If there's anything life has taught me so far, it's that everything is connected, inside and out. People are connected to nature, people are connected to people, and the health of one part of one's body and mind is connected to all the rest of one's body and mind. So can lack of sleep cause hair loss? Sure it can!

The overall effects of sleep deprivation on the body

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Sleep is an essential psychophysiological process that is regulated by cellular and molecular mechanisms. There is no single purpose that sleep serves – there are numerous. However, there are two essential categories in which sleep plays a great role: brain functioning and cell regeneration.

It is widely known that even a small-scale and short-term disturbance in sleep can cause evidently lowered abilities in cognitive functioning, such as memory, logical thinking, creative thinking, attention, language.

Poor quality or lack of resting time correlates significantly with mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. It is also connected with eating disorders. People that get insufficient amount of shut-eye are at a higher risk to get diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and to gain weight. It also significantly weakens one's immune system.

So how can sleep deprivation cause hair loss?

Lack of sleep and hair loss

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Our skin, nails, and hair are particularly sensitive to the changes in our bodies or bodily functions.

Male pattern baldness is genetic and it does not depend neither on your diet, nor sleep hygiene. However, any other kind of baldness that is not connected to any other major factors, such as chemotherapy or trichotillomania, may indeed be influenced by poor resting patterns.

First and foremost, sleep deprivation is in and of itself a major stress to one's mind and body.

The condition of a severe hair loss, especially at the top of the head, due to stress, shock, traumatic events, or nutritional deficiency, is called telogen effluvium. As it is temporary, after its cause is dealt with, the hair is likely to grow back.

One of the more serious impacts of having less slumber that is needed is that it affects the levels of hormones in one's body, such as a human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is a protein produced by the pituitary gland and then released into the bloodstream.

Its work is essential on children and teenagers, who are undergoing incredibly big biological changes each day and night. But it is still important to an adult's well-being too. It helps building muscle, regulates how the body collects fat, monitors the cholesterol levels, bone density, and aids in a normal brain functioning. This can also cause the thinning of hair.

What to do?

If you managed to clarify that your lack of sleep causes your hair loss and not other factors, such as medication or vitamin deficiency, you're half-way down to success.

How to get better sleep?

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  • Create a routine of going to sleep and waking up at the same time ever day.
  • Keep physically active every day.
  • Make sure you sleep on a comfortable and breathable bedding and mattress.
  • Make your bedroom a distraction-free zone, created for sleep and sex only.
  • Avoid napping if you have trouble dozing off at night.
  • Limit your caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol intake.
  • Avoid sugar and refined carbs.
  • Avoid sleeping pills, as they are addictive.
  • Don’t eat or drink any liquids up to 2 hours before going to bed.
  • Don't use any gadgets from up to 1 hour before bed time.

In addition:

As part of your hair regrowth plan, try to look closely into your diet and see if there's any junk you can omit to make it healthier.

Try to choose foods that include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, zinc, iron, biotin. Dark green leafy veggies, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, sweet peppers, nuts, and seeds are all essential to have a lustrous and thick hair.

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Also, take care of your mental health. Even if it wasn't originally the cause of your problem, the sudden hair loss may lead to serious psychological stress. Go through this demanding period without neglecting your inner world too. Practice meditation, yoga, relaxation, deep breathing techniques, or even light therapy.

The change will not come overnight, so be patient. If normalizing your sleep patterns doesn't seem to help, know that it's time to see a doctor and dig out the real roots of your problem.

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Written by Audra Bajori
Audra is a writer, an ethical vegan, a compulsive self-experimenter and health-hacker, who plans on living for at least 100 years. She's also a cinephile,...
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