Sleep is something many of us take for granted. Like breathing, we don’t really think about it unless we have trouble sleeping. But, delve a little deeper, and you’ll discover that sleep is not just a period of rest. It’s restorative. When we sleep, our bodies and brains kick into gear. Tissues repair themselves, the brain dumps toxins, and memories are consolidated. If we don’t get enough sleep, our immune systems become weak, and we can’t absorb nutrients as well. Even our hair starts falling out. Chronic sleep deprivation places our bodies under a lot of stress, which manifests in many ways including hair loss.
It’s important to note that hair loss can be caused by a number of factors like genetics, poor nutrition, using excessive styling products, trauma, etc. Poor sleep is one part of it. The good news is that hair loss associated with sleep deprivation usually grows back. However, you don’t want to take chances!
Quality sleep helps us get through the day with a clearer mind. We can handle daily stressors better and can make sounder judgments. It also keeps us looking younger. However, when we don’t get good sleep, our bodies release more cortisol, which is a hormone that’s produced in response to stress. While we need it in moderate amounts, too much can cause or worsen hair growth disorders.
There are a couple of types of hair loss associated with too much stress – telogen effluvium and alopecia areata. In telogen effluvium, high levels of stress, shock, or a traumatic event force hair follicles into a resting phase. The affected hair falls out and shedding may continue for a few months. The condition is usually temporary and hair grows back. In alopecia areata, circular bald patches develop on the scalp because the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes loss of hair. Stress is believed to be one of the factors that contribute to the condition. Hair loss is sometimes permanent and when hair does grow back, it may fall again later. This hair loss and regrowth differ between people.
The human growth hormone or HGH is a protein that aids in the growth of children and helps maintain tissues and organs until the end of our days. It’s release peaks when we sleep and is part of sleep’s restorative characteristic. HGH is responsible for enhancing tissue repair and performs other restorative functions. When you don’t get enough sleep, it isn’t released as it should be and can cause problems like thinning hair and thin skin.
Many things stress us out, and it’s impossible to avoid all of them. What you can do is learn to manage stress so that you sleep better. If you’re taking on too many things, delegate responsibility to others. Journal your thoughts to help control your emotions and focus on things that are important to you.
Another stress-buster is yoga. The ancient practice promotes relaxation of the body and mind and builds focus. You can try poses like easy pose (Sukhasana), salutation seal (Anjali Mudra) and corpse pose (Savasana).
Sleep comes more easily when you’re tired. If you’ve been shirking exercise, now’s the time to take it seriously. Regular exercise promotes better sleep by exhausting you and relieving stress. The gradual drop in body temperature post-exercise also helps you sleep better as a cooler core body temperature is necessary for sound sleep.
Treat your bedroom as a place of solitude and relaxation. It’s where you should be able to unwind and prepare for sleep. Keep work out of it, keep it clutter-free, quiet and dark, so there’s nothing to distract you. Using a properly designed mattress helps too as you won’t be able to sleep well if it’s not supportive and comfortable.
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Nuvanna is a mattress with a difference. It has the right balance of comfort and support, which are two traits that can help you sleep better. Designed by an industry expert with over 20 years of experience, the result is an innovative triple-layered product that aims to promote good health through good sleep. The top layer consists of a cooling gel layer that draws body heat away, disperses it, and keeps you cool. The middle layer absorbs motion, so you and your partner don’t disturb each other when you move. The bottom layer provides support to individual body parts and most importantly, your spine, to prevent neck and back pain.
Unhealthy lifestyles, poor diet, and bad sleep habits can take a toll on our minds and bodies. While some things may be out of our control – such as genetics – there’s much we can do to ensure we have a good head of hair. Having fewer styling treatments, following a nutritious diet, and getting better sleep can go a long way in keeping hair healthy.