Hair loss & sleep quality: Is there a connection?

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A lack of sleep can impact everything from your mental clarity to your energy level—but did you know it can also have an impact on your hair health?


In fact, if you’re someone who’s struggling with hair loss already, sleep deprivation can make it even worse. This is primarily due to the impact sleep has on lots of other body systems, including your hormone levels (specifically human growth hormones) that allow your body to heal itself.


To learn more about the connection between sleep and hair loss, we spoke with William Gaunitz, certified trichologist, fellow of the World Society of Trichologists, and founder of Advanced Trichology, as well as William Slator, chemical engineer, product designer, and founder of Hairguard.

Can lack of sleep cause hair loss?

For starters, Gaunitz explains exactly what role sleep plays when it comes to hair health.


“While you sleep, your body does the vast majority of its repair and stabilization,” he says. “If you’re getting less than six hours of sleep per night on average, you’re probably causing disruptions in different organ systems including your adrenals, thyroid, and standard neurological patterns.”  When these organs are out of balance, says Gaunitz, this can lead to hair shedding.


Slator adds that sleep loss can result in higher stress, which is also linked to hair loss. One study even found that women who regularly experience high stress levels are up to 11 times more likely to experience some amount of hair loss.

Can sleep apnea cause hair loss?

For those with sleep apnea, the hair loss problem can be a bit more complex.


“Due to the disruptions in oxygen blood levels and sleep disruptions caused by sleep apnea, it certainly could have a ripple effect that would lead to inflammatory hair loss,” explains Gaunitz.


It makes sense, especially because sleep apnea causes people to regularly miss out on quality sleep. It’s also been proven that regular sleep loss can expedite the onset of male pattern baldness or even worsen the severity of other genetically-inherited hair diagnoses.

How can you improve your sleep and prevent hair loss?

Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to improve both your sleep quality and hair health. Below, Gaunitz and Slator weigh in with some ideas:

  • Wash your pillowcases regularly. While silk pillowcases have become trendy because they’re softer on your hair, you still need to clean them regularly for optimal hair health. Gaunitz says you should try to wash or switch out your pillowcases every three to five days. This, he explains, will “prevent a recurrence of microbial overgrowth.”
  • Squeeze in more time for exercise. Too much cortisol can lead to stress, which, in turn, can lead to poor sleep and hair loss. Research shows exercise can help lower cortisol levels so you can keep your hair healthy and get better sleep. Slator suggests making time for at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise per day. For those looking to integrate weight training into their regimens, he says it’s a good idea to aim for three days a week.
  • Take a breath: Start a routine of five minutes of deep breathing 30 minutes before you lie down. “Deep breathing will help oxygenate the lungs, helping to deliver more nutrients to the hair follicles,” says Slator. “Aside from this, it will also help you sleep and help reduce cortisol.”
  • Try supplements: Gaunitz says the most commonly-recommended supplements to combat hair loss are the FoliGROWTH vitamin, as well as the DHT Blocker and Nutra M topical melatonin serum. When it comes to improving sleep specifically, Slator says magnesium, zinc, and valerian root supplements, when taken at least 30 minutes before bedtime, can really help. “It’s often mineral deficiencies that can cause sleeplessness,” he says. Always consult with your doctor before adding new supplements to your routine. (Learn how to sleep on your hair to prevent overnight damage.)
  • Treat your sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, then take steps to get it under control. Work with your doctor to find the solution that’s best for you. This may include wearing a CPAP machine or other oral appliance at night to keep your airways open while you sleep.


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


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These sleep habits that could be harming your health


Where’d you get your information? If you haven’t looked into it, chances are good that much of what you think you know about sleep is based on old myths and not facts.

For a 2019 study published in the journal Sleep Health, researchers at New York University’s Langone Health School of Medicine examined 8,000 websites with sleep-related information to find out what Americans think they know about healthy sleep.


The researchers identified 20 sleep myths, ranging from the statement that “during sleep the brain is not active” to “sleeping in during the weekends is a good way to ensure you get adequate sleep.”

After running their findings by a team of sleep medicine experts, the researchers determined that many of us operate with wrong, unhealthy assumptions about sleep.

Here, we’re breaking down some of the biggest sleep myths from the study and explaining how they affect your health.


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The researchers say this sleep myth is the most likely to harm someone’s long-term health. “We have extensive evidence to show that sleeping five hours a night or less, consistently, increases your risk greatly for adverse health consequences, including cardiovascular disease and early mortality,” Rebecca Robbins, PhD, lead study investigator, tells CNN.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society both recommend adults get seven or more hours of sleep per night regularly to promote optimal health.


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The researchers point out that this is usually a sign of sleep deprivation, which can lead to a host of issues including trouble concentrating, irritability, increased risk of diabetes, and a higher risk of car accidents due to drowsy driving.

They also note that sleep deprivation could be due to sleep apnea, which occurs when the muscles in your throat relax, blocking the airway and causing a momentary cessation of breathing. You then wake up, gasp for air, and go back to sleep.

The sleep apnea process can repeat hundreds of times a night, preventing your body from entering deep sleep and depriving it of much-needed oxygen. This can result in high blood pressure, leading to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.


While snoring by itself isn’t dangerous, it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a more serious sleep condition. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 22 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep apnea—a serious sleep disorder that should be checked out by a health professional.

“Sleep apnea is extremely exhausting,” Robbins tells CNN. “These patients sleep and then they wake up over and over; then they are fighting sleep all day long because they’re so exhausted.” Robbins also notes that sleep apnea is under-diagnosed. “We believe it affects about 30% of the population, and around 10% are diagnosed,” she says.


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It’s well-established that although a cocktail may knock you out, alcohol also disrupts sleep by preventing you from achieving the important deep, restful phase of sleep. “It continues to pull you out of rapid eye movement and the deeper stages of sleep, causing you to wake up not feeling restored,” Robbins tells CNN.

Plus, if you already have a sleep problem, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or a parasomnia (such as sleepwalking or sleep talking), alcohol can heighten those disorders and make getting a good night’s sleep even more difficult.


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Not so. We sleep better in cooler temperatures. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation states that the ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Studies show people with insomnia have a warmer core body temperature immediately before initiating sleep—and the brain responds well to cooler temps, making sleep easier for those who tend to have difficulty.

A new bed can help improve your sleep—but it turns out plenty of mattress myths exist too. Here are the most common mattress myths and why you shouldn’t fall for them.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by



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