Alaska Sleep Education Center

Can Lack of Sleep Cause Hair Loss?

Posted by Will Hartfield on Jun 30, 2018 7:01:00 AM

Stress and sleep loss can lead to hair loss.

Not getting enough sleep, or prolonged lack of restful sleep, can lead to a variety of negative impacts to your physical health.

The increased levels of stress that result from the lack of sleep, and the reduced capacity for normal cellular functioning, may result in conditions of hair loss or thinning hair as well.

There are many reasons why an individual may lack appropriate sleep, many of which can be addressed to help promote better rest.

If you are experiencing a lack of sleep it is important for you to address the cause or take steps to promote better sleep, which may require consultation with your physician.

Bonus: Take the 6 question quiz at the bottom of this page to find out if you’ll be able to regrow lost hair naturally.

Impact of Lack of Sleep on the Body

According the the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute sleep plays an important role in proper health and overall wellness in your body. During sleep cycles the body is able to work on supporting brain function as well as the maintenance and upkeep of physical health.

Sleep is important for healthy brain function and emotional well being, overall physical health, daily performance, as well as safety.

In general, the research suggests that the lack of sleep will lead to a variety of issues within the body and can even trigger inherited issues that may otherwise wait longer to appear.

The negative impact of the lack of sleep on the body is very likely to impact the process of hair growth and may even be linked directly to hair loss and thinning hair.

How Lack of Sleep Effects Hair Loss

Insufficient amounts of sleep have been shown to have significant negative consequences on the body, which can lead directly and indirectly to conditions of hair loss and thinning hair.

The lack of sleep can result in higher levels of stress which is shown to cause hair loss.

In the image below we can see how scalp tension corresponds with the typical ‘male pattern baldness.’

So if stress and tension go together, it’s clear that there can be a direct impact.

Comparison chart for stress and tension.

The body also undergoes numerous cycles during sleep, which promote the stem cell activity that generates epithelial cells for hair growth.

Research published in the American Journal of Pathology discusses the relationship between stress and the process of hair growth.

The prolonged stress response can have a negative impact on the skin and its capacity to function appropriately which can directly impact the hair follicle.

Hair follicle diagram

The study also suggests that the release of hormones, neurotransmitters, and cytokines during a stress respond can significantly influence the growth of hair.

There is evidence to suggest that hair follicles and the hair growth cycle are significantly impacted by stress, which can lead to unhealthy hair growth and hair loss.

An article from the National Institutes of Health further suggest that sleep plays a role in hair growth. The activity of adult stem cells relies on the internal circadian clock to orchestrate the proliferation of the hair growth cycle.

This study suggests that disruptions to the sleep cycle of an organism can have a significant impact on the biologic functions taking place in the hair follicle where hair growth is initiated:

The inability of the body to function normally due to lack of sleep reduces overall physical health and wellness.

The fact that lacking sleep is a significant source of stress may also trigger the beginning of genetically-influenced hair loss such as male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss. To find out more about hair loss and get the Hair Growth Nutrition 1-Week Meal Plan Newsletter, click the link below.



The importance of sleep cannot be understated, and there is evidence to suggest that the lack of sleep may play a role in hair loss or thinning hair with the primary mechanism being the build up of stress. Sleep and stress only play a very small role in hair loss though.

While more research is required to fully understand the role sleep plays in the growth of hair, the studies suggest that numerous consequences of the lack of sleep may lead to hair that does not grow properly.

There are many ways to address the lack of sleep, including making changes to your diet and consulting a medical professional to determine the causes of poor sleep. Alaska Sleep Clinic's board certified sleep specialists are ready to help you improve your sleep and your life.  Click this link to request your free sleep assessment.

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