Whenever it comes to beauty norms, healthy, shiny, and silky hair always has its place at the top of the list. Hair loss, grey hairs, or bad hair day causes havoc in almost everyone’s life to the extent that it can cause stress, anxiety, fear about social appearance, and sleepless nights despite sleeping on the best mattress. But, do you know that lack of sleep or bad sleep habits are also one of the causes of hair loss or hair problems?
Several factors are responsible for hair growth, and sleep has a direct or indirect connection. So, in order to comprehend how sleep affects hair development, we must first grasp some concepts. This blog covers important aspects of sleep and its impact on hair loss.
Which biological factors impact hair growth?
The first thing one tends to think of when it comes to hair growth is that it is purely a cosmetic issue. It is not true, and many biological factors are involved in hair growth. Some of these are hormones, blood circulation, nutrients, and genetics.
Hormones are responsible for many functions, such as regulating mood, body temperature, reproduction, growth, and development. Also, they are responsible for the production of hair and other body parts. They help determine the rate at which hair grows, how long it will grow, and how quickly it will fall out. Androgen, testosterone, and oestrogen influence hair growth along with melatonin. The hormone androgen in men controls hair development and, to a lesser extent, in women. As we age, our testosterone levels fall, resulting in slower growth, hair loss, and less lustrous hair.
Melatonin hormone helps regulate sleep and plays a role in hair growth. Hair follicles release this hormone when exposed to light. When the body does not produce enough melatonin, the bristles are less likely to grow hair. It may be due to a lack of sleep or an excess of artificial light. As a result, persons with low melatonin levels are more prone to hair loss than those with high levels.
Blood circulation is an essential factor in hair growth. The oxygen circulating through the blood is crucial for healthy and thriving hair. When the blood flow to the scalp is reduced, it creates a lack of oxygen which causes hair loss. A study published by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that hair loss is more common in people with low blood flow.
Like in other areas of our body, the skin on our scalp is composed of two layers. The outer layer (epidermis) is structured of dead tissues that are continually peeled off and replaced with new ones, whilst the inner layer (dermis) is formed of thin blood vessels. The blood vessels in the dermis provide oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles as well as remove waste products. In order to keep healthy hair, the blood vessels must be healthy too. Without healthy blood vessels, hair follicles become weak and lose their ability to grow.
Hair is a complex organ. It needs nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals to grow. The body’s lack of these nutrients can lead to hair loss or thinning.
Some of the significant nutrients that are essential for hair growth are proteins, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients provide a healthy balance of amino acids and trace elements that help with hair growth and strength.
- Protein: Protein is one of the vital nutrients for hair growth because it provides a healthy balance of amino acids that help with hair growth and strength.
- Vitamin: Vitamin B-12 is one of the significant vitamins needed for healthy hair growth because it helps with red blood cell production, which in turn produces energy for cells to function correctly.
- Minerals: Calcium is necessary for strong bones, so it’s vital for healthy teeth and nails, too, but it’s also important for your scalp because it helps with cellular communication within your scalp, which promotes healthier follicles.
Genetics plays a vital role in the development of hair. The genes responsible for hair growth are also responsible for hair loss. Hair growth is a complex process that has control of many genes. The genes that control hair growth and loss are present in the DNA of every single person.
How quickly and thickly your hair grows determines how your genes are expressed in your body. The balance of keratinocytes and melanocyte cells determines the rate of hair development. The thickness, texture, and colour of your hair all have the impact of variations in melanin levels in the hair shaft.
Why is Sleep Important for Hair Growth?
Sleep directly and indirectly impacts the biological factors responsible for hair growth and loss. While we sleep, our brains perform processes such as mending and replacing damaged cells, development, and other reproductive functions. It also covers hair growth and follicle healing. Our hair follicles contain the most protein, and while we sleep, our body’s protein building and manufacturing are at their peak. It also repairs, restores, strengthens, and grows hair.
Lack of sleep impacts biological factors responsible for hair growth. Such as:
- Hormonal imbalance: Sleep deprivation causes hormonal imbalance. Hormone fluctuations cause hair loss, baldness, and hair problems.
- Enhanced hereditary problem: Although genetic factors for hair growth and loss may not have an influence on sleep. But, sleep deprivation may increase the likelihood of genetic disorders.
- Poor blood circulation: Blood travels to our skin and scalp when we sleep. It promotes hair development and heals damaged hair follicles. Sleep deprivation halts the process, and decreased blood circulation causes hair loss.
- Impaired nutrition supply: A lack of sleep limits the availability of nourishment to the hair, which contributes to hair issues and hair loss.
What Are The Possible Effects of Insufficient Sleep on Hair Loss?
Our sleep is an essential component in our body’s healing, repair, and active functioning, including our hair. Many factors associated with sleep degrade the condition of our hair.
- Sleep Deprivation: Sleeping hours are one of the primary causes of hair damage. Many problems arise when we do not receive those 7-9 hours of undisturbed sleep. Our brain activities are altered, thus complicating the process of hair regeneration, repair, and growth. In addition, a lack of sleep lowers hormone levels. Furthermore, a lack of sleep causes stress, which increases the chances of telogen effluvium, or temporary hair loss.
- Sleep Disorders: Living beings lose hair regularly as new hair replaces it, and a person’s body clock, or circadian rhythm, is actively engaged in the function. In 2014, scientific research raised more significant questions about the connection between insufficient sleep and hair loss in humans. The sleep-wake cycle influences melatonin production often used as a therapeutic remedy for hair loss. Melatonin production occurs during regular sleeping hours and irregular sleep-wake cycles or chronic tiredness, which are symptoms of sleep apnea that can affect it.
In addition, other sleep disorders hinder sleep, resulting in sleep debt. Poor sleep starts the cycle of hair loss, which causes more tension in the personal, professional, and family, which then promotes hair loss.
- Sleeping position: Though sleeping style or position does not have the most significant influence on hair development, it can cause hair damage or loss if the individual has a practice of sleeping with loose hair or switching positions constantly. Covering your hair with a bedsheet or anything else while sleeping can also cause hair damage as it doesn’t receive enough air and becomes sweaty.
- Sleeping environment: An external environment, mattress, or pillow material is another element associated with sleep that promotes hair loss. Your hair roots suffer when you sleep in a hot, unsanitary environment. Furthermore, all-night friction between a rough texture of mattress, pillows, or bedsheets and hair leads to hair breakage and loss.
How Can You Improve Your Sleep Quality?
Here are several tips to prevent hair loss and improve sleep quality
Complete your sleep
It is a mandatory step to improve your sleep quality and ultimately improve hair growth. On average, adults require 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night. When you don’t get enough sleep, the body’s restoration, repair, and growing process slow down. To avoid this, complete your sleep without a miss.
Prepare pre-bed activities and sleep-wake time schedules and follow them every day to create consistency and improve sleep quality. You can add hair massage, oiling and combing to your pre-bed routine along with reading, relaxation or listening to music.
Eat proper meals
A meal on time maintains your metabolism and digestion system, which does not hamper peaceful sleep. Also, the consumption of nutritional food provides the required nourishment to hair and prevents hair fall.
Regular exercise helps your body throw out unwanted toxins and fat and opens pores. It allows you to sleep on time, and exhaustion keeps you asleep without waking up at night. Also, several Yoga exercises can help you improve blood circulation to hair and help hair growth.
Prepare your bedroom
External factors are required to keep in proper condition to avoid any harm to hair and sleep quality. Prepare the bedroom by turning off lights, lowering the temperature, and using soothing aromas and music to get a peaceful sleep. Also, buy a new mattress online that can help you sleep without any disruptions like body aches. Buy pillows and pillow covers that have a smooth texture and do not get rough with your hair.
There is still a lot we still need to learn about how sleep affects hair loss. But what we do know is that lack of sleep can lead to an augmented risk of hair loss and hair disorders like androgenetic alopecia and hirsutism. Regular and peaceful sleep may help you reduce the risk of hair problems. However, seeking help from a dermatologist is essential and can help you prevent further harm.