How to boost hair growth (while you sleep)
Let me tell you about my man, ‘Big T’ from Texas. Big T came to me for advice because his hair was thinning and it was messing with his confidence. I had experienced hair loss myself, so this was something I could empathize with.
I asked Big T various questions about his lifestyle, and amid a rundown of his day-to-day, one thing stood out. I said, “Wait, wait, wait. Stop, Big T! You said, you’re going to sleep at 11:30/12 o’clock? Let’s focus on that.”
Big T looked a little apprehensive, asking, “What does sleep got to do with my hair?” I told him what I’m going to tell you today…
Sleep has everything to do with your hair.
The most understated lifestyle factor that determines your hair’s growth
If you’re not getting enough quality sleep, then you’re doing your hair a disservice. Studies have shown that stress-related sleep deprivation can be a trigger for hair loss.
Our hair follicles contain stem cells, called HFSCs (hair follicular stem cells). These little guys keep the hair growth cycle running smoothly, and they rely on sleep in order to do their job. Doesn’t matter that you’re taking your vitamins, using high-quality grooming products, and staying hydrated. A lack of sleep will throw you off your game.
So, if you’re serious about getting back to a healthy head of hair but don’t know where to begin, start with sleep. Here’s how.
#1 Be mindful of caffeine intake
The first thing I noticed was that Big T had been consuming a lot of caffeinated drinks — coffee, teas, sodas…the whole shebang. We all know that caffeine has a stimulating effect, but it can also delay the timing of your body’s internal clock and have a disruptive effect on sleep.
I told Big T, “Hey, you might not want to hear this, but you’re going to want to cut down!”
I’m not talking about quitting cold-turkey, especially if you rely on a little caffeination to get you in a good groove for the day. Simply eliminating it 4-6 hours before you go to bed will ensure it doesn’t get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
#2 Protect yourself from blue light
Many of us know to limit our exposure to UV rays, but there’s another light on the spectrum that we also need to be wary of: blue light. This kind of light is emitted not just from the sun but from the screens on your phone, computer, and TV. What does this have to do with sleep and hair growth? Excessive blue light can trick your body into a wake cycle, even if the sun has set and you’re trying to wind down.
On a biochemical level, this means that your body will continue to produce cortisol (the hormone that keeps you up) versus melatonin (the hormone that triggers rest and relaxation).
Blue light blockers, also called blue light lenses, filter out blue light. Tons of eyewear brands offer these types of glasses, and you can also find a pair on Amazon. Another option is looking into an app or feature that removes or reduces the blue light emitted from your devices.
#3 Look into blackout curtains for your bedroom
Big T was rocking busted window blinds in his bedroom, so I suggested that he invest in blackout curtains. These are curtains that block out light, leading to a better night’s sleep — similar to the blue light blockers I just mentioned.
We’ve got to realize that we live in a modern society and we’re dealing with so many distractions that humans were not built for — distractions that are disrupting our sleep. Equip yourself with tools that’ll restore balance to your life.
#4 Put yourself to bed before 10 pm
Going to sleep earlier might seem obvious, but there’s a science to why 10 pm (or earlier) is the best for optimal sleep and hair growth.
Around 10 pm, your body starts to produce melatonin as a way of winding you down and getting you prepped for rest. But if you’re still rocking and rolling — you’ve got your blue light on, your room lit up, you’ve got a whole bunch of activity going on — your cortisol level is going to shoot right back up. Even if you’re just scrolling through Instagram, your body thinks it’s time to party!
Have you ever had to stay up late, and after an initial slump, you suddenly got hit with a wave of energy? What that was is your cortisol production kicking right back in. Let melatonin do its thing by putting yourself to bed early. Not only will your hair thrive, but your entire quality of life will elevate.
#5 Digest before you rest
I shared with Big T how eating right before bed can diminish quality of sleep. Any time you eat, 80% of your energy goes towards the digestive process. So, let’s say you have a big meal immediately before you go to sleep. Instead of putting your energy towards the regeneration and repair that sleep is intended for, your body ends up redirecting its energy towards breaking food down in your intestines.
That’s why some of us still feel drained when we wake up! Help your body out (hair included) by dedicating your sleep to restoration, not digestion.
Don’t feel like you need to implement all five of these habits right away. Even if you pick up one or two of these suggestions, your hair and quality of life will be positively impacted. What makes it even better is that these are all easy, practical things that cost you little to nothing!
Let us know in the comments below which habit you’re committing to and if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on the blog. Thanks so much for being part of the Evan Alexander family