Can Lack Of Sleep Lead To Hair Loss?

A hair brush on a surface(BlackDoctor.org) — Even if you manage to cover the dark circles under your eyes and get the red out, your hair may be a dead giveaway that you’ve been burning the midnight oil.

Sleep is the body’s natural restoration period, the time when it rejuvenates and repairs itself. When this suffers, our hair can too. Without enough shut-eye, our tresses simply won’t grow as thick or as fast, and they will often lose their shine and bounce.

Worse than lackluster hair is losing it altogether.

According to a leading hair loss clinic in Britain, The Belgravia Centre, a lack of sleep has been shown to affect the body’s immune function, hormone secretion, and physical and mental stamina. Hair is very sensitive to changes within the body, and hair loss is nearly always the consequence of an internal disturbance.

That internal disturbance is often stress — something that goes hand and hand with sleep deprivation.

While some people can get enough sleep in just a few hours each night, others need a full eight or nine hours to feel fully rested. Either way, if the normal sleep pattern is disrupted, it can trigger emotional and physical stress.

Senior trichologist at the Belgravia Centre, Leonora Doclis, says, “Sleep deprivation is a form of stress, a terrible form of stress.”

Doclis goes on to state, “Stress can indeed cause hair loss. In those susceptible to male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss, stress can instigate, accelerate and aggravate the problem.”

In addition to getting enough zzz’s, you can pamper your slumbering strands with a nighttime masque or leave-in conditioner.

You can also treat your tresses to a silk or satin pillowcase. Besides feeling delightfully soft, the smooth surface creates less friction so it’s easier on your locks when you toss and turn. This can not only help prevent hair loss and breakage overnight, it can also keep your hairstyle in check — possibly avoiding the dreaded bed head when you wake.

The Only Way To Boost Your Metabolism

A black scale against a black background(BlackDoctor.org) — If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably wished you could speed up your metabolism and burn calories more easily. Weight-loss programs often promise to provide “metabolism-boosting” secrets, but the savvy dieter should know that many of these are just gimmicks. There’s only one way you can boost your metabolism legitimately.

Many theories about metabolism are falsely rooted in the idea that there are particular foods or beverages that will magically increase your ability to burn calories. While most nutritionists agree that eating meals based on whole grains and lean proteins is a healthy diet practice, this approach won’t actually help you burn calories faster. Neither will “fat-burning” foods like grapefruit or cabbage.

Here’s the truth about other popular metabolism-boosting theories, including the one that actually works.

5 Metabolism Boosters: Separating Fact From Fiction

1. Don’t eat close to bedtime. You may have been told not to eat too close to bedtime because of the theory that your metabolism slows down at night and you’ll lose less weight than you would if you ate the same food earlier in the day. Not true, says Donna L. Weihofen, MS, RD, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisc. “Calories count whether you eat them in the morning or at night. The problem with nighttime eaters is that they are usually eating far more calories than they think, and the calories are denser.”

2. Drinking water speeds metabolism. Drinking plenty of water is healthful for a number of reasons, but it doesn’t make your body burn calories faster. It can help you feel full, which may keep some cravings at bay. “But that effect doesn’t last very long,” Weihofen cautions. “One of the things that does help is soup before a meal. A broth-type soup does help cut down on the amount of calories you will eat.” Of course, broth won’t speed metabolism, either, but it will help you stick to your diet plan.

3. Eat at the same time or at certain times every day to burn calories. Some diets recommend eating every couple of hours, while others advise sticking to a consistent schedule or number of meals for weight-loss success. Following a set schedule may help you stick to a diet plan, but doesn’t help you burn more calories. “There’s no magic to that,” explains Weihofen. “It’s whatever fits your lifestyle and your diet.”

4. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism. Eating breakfast on a regular basis is important for shedding pounds, but not solely because it improves your metabolism, says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. “People who eat only one meal a day will shut down their metabolism. So breakfast is partly a metabolism-booster and it is partly to make sure you stay on track for the rest of the day,” notes Banes. People who eat breakfast are less likely to binge later in the day, which of course promotes weight loss.

5. Build muscle. The reality is that there is only one way to enhance metabolism: Build more lean muscle mass. “The best way to increase metabolism is by incorporating physical activity, both cardio and weight training, to increase lean muscle mass, which is what burns the calories!” advises Dr. Anding.

Even at rest, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, Anding says. So weight-loss programs that encourage strength training and other forms of exercise to improve your metabolism are your best bet.