Question: I have been having trouble sleeping recently and am worried that this lack of sleep may make my thinning hair worse. Does not getting enough sleep cause hair loss? If it does, is there anything I can do to stop my hair from thinning any further, apart from getting more sleep?
Answer: Yes, sleep deprivation can lead to hair loss. Getting a solid eight hours of sleep a night is vital if we want to stay healthy as a lack of sleep can cause tiredness, an inability to concentrate, irritability and weight gain as well as a host of other health problems, including thinning hair.
Sleep is a time for the body to restore itself – the repair process kicks in and the body heals. Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on hair, leaving it dry, brittle and lacklustre. It can even cause hair to grow more slowly and you may notice more hairs on your brush than usual.
Failing to get enough sleep affects the body’s immune system and can lead to internal stress. In fact, sleep deprivation can affect your mental and physical stamina, and even the level of hormones secreted by your body. The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person – whilst some people may feel fully refreshed after just a few hours, others need between eight to nine hours.
Stress can cause hair loss conditions such as Telogen Effluvium and can trigger some cases of Alopecia Areata, so it’s perhaps no surprise that sleep deprivation – a form of stress – can also negatively impact your hair.
Seeing a hair loss expert in relation to your concerns about thinning from lack of sleep can help as they will check that other issues, such as genetic hair loss, a thyroid disorder or anaemia are not the cause of your hair loss and can prescribe a bespoke hair loss treatment programme based on your specific hair loss condition.
Practicing good sleep hygiene can also help; winding down an hour before bedtime by switching off computers and mobile phones and trying reading instead, with a hot milky drink, should help you to relax. There are even apps which can help you to drift off to sleep! If your sleep issues persist, you may also want to speak to your GP about the underlying reason for this.
General tips for those concerned about dry, brittle hair include treating your tresses with a leave-in conditioner or hair masque overnight which can help improve the hair’s condition although it will not treat hair loss. Whilst sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase can reduce the level of friction as you toss and turn in your sleep which can help to ease shedding and breakage.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.