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Permission to Snooze, ma'am

Posted by Adria Marshall on

Still struggling to "Spring forward"? You're not alone, my friend! The good news is that March's blog post will give us both permission to give into the temptation to get some extra Z's! It turns out that beauty rest isn't just vital for your skin and overall well-being - it can also make a big difference in the quality of your curls. Today, we'll discuss why sleep is important, the best sleeping methods for curl health and some great workaround when you just quite catch enough shut eye.


But, why tho?

f you were to ask anyone walking down the street if sleep is important, most of them would agree. But ask them "why" it's important and you're bound to get a variety of responses. Believe it or not, there are actually 3 theories about the importance of sleep.

The Energy Conservation Theory suggests that we need sleep to conserve energy. Sleeping allows us to reduce our caloric needs by spending part of our time functioning at a lower metabolism.

Not to be outdone, the Brain plasticity Theory says sleep is required for brain function. Specifically, it allows your neurons, or nerve cells, to reorganize. When you sleep, your brain’s glymphatic (waste clearance) system clears out waste from the central nervous system. It removes toxic byproducts from your brain, which build up throughout the day. This allows your brain to work well when you wake up.

Finally, the Restoration Theory proposes that sleep is necessary to restore the body. The idea is that sleep allows cells to repair and regrow. This is supported by many important processes that happen during sleep, including:

  • muscle repair
  • protein synthesis
  • tissue growth
  • hormone release

This is actually the theory that we're going to focus on today.

The Restoration Theory

As the Restoration Theory alludes, when you sleep, your body literally repairs and regenerates itself. This means that if you're getting enough sleep, your body is better equipped to nourish and support your hair body, including your hair follicles, leading to stronger, healthier hair over time.

The Restoration Theory also focuses on hormone release during sleep. When you're stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to hair loss and thinning. By getting enough sleep, you're giving your body a chance to lower cortisol levels and reduce stress, which can prevent havoc being wreaked on our bodies, including our hair. Another hormone produced during sleep is melatonin, which helps to regulate your body's natural circadian rhythms. When your body is in sync with these rhythms, it's better able to support hair growth. On the contrary, without enough sleep, our bodies may not be able to properly repair any damage to our hair, leaving our curls looking lackluster.

So now that you know why sleep is so important, what's the best way to care for your curls during the night? We've covered this topic from Root-to-Tip in the blog post, The Night Time is the Right Time, but here are a few highlights:

  • Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase. These fabrics are gentler on your hair than cotton, which can cause friction and damage. This is especially important if you're a back or side sleeper, as you may be putting unnecessary pressure on your curls, which can lead to breakage and frizz. Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase can help reduce this friction, allowing your curls to maintain their shape and bounce.
  • Avoid sleeping with wet hair. Wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage, so it's best to let it dry completely before hitting the hay.

Can't catch any Z's?

So, all of this sounds great, right? But what can be done when you're cramming for that test, awakened constantly by your newborn or just can't seem to get some rest? Here a few tips on how to keep your hair and body in tip-top shape even when you're not consistently sleeping well:

  • Fiber-Rich Foods: Eating enough fiber can also improve the quality of sleep we get, so it'll help you make up for a not-so-restful night. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are packed with healthy fiber to help you get enough.
  • Increase your protein intake: Eggs are a great food to help keep us energized on sleepy days. They are high in protein which makes them filling and satisfying. Not to mention, they are super versatile and affordable. Eggs are also a great source of vitamin B12, which helps our cells metabolize energy and function at our best. Protein is especially important on days you don't get enough sleep.
  • Got Milk: Foods like dairy, soybeans, sardines and leafy greens are worthwhile additions to your plate for when you need an energy boost. Not only are they high in protein to keep you feeling fueled, but also they are packed with calcium. Not having enough calcium in your day-to-day can make it challenging to get quality sleep. Research hypothesizes that this could be because of calcium's ability to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Pump iron: Not getting enough iron can lead to general fatigue and even anemia in the long term. Iron is the main nutrient that delivers oxygen throughout our bodies. If you don't have enough iron in your blood, oxygen might not be able to get where it needs to go, resulting in a lack of energy. To help you feel energized on a regular basis, make sure to include iron-rich foods like spinach, kale, red meat and clams into your eating pattern.  
  • Take a supplement: If eating well is proving a challenge, reach for a supplement to help fill in those dietary gaps.
  • Stay Hydrated: Water is far and away the most important drink when you are short on sleep. Though it might be tempting to turn to coffee or tea, research suggests that you do otherwise. Dehydration can lead to not-so-pleasant side-effects like overeating, moodiness and headaches, which can be especially draining if you're lacking sleep. Staying hydrated will help you feel energized in the short and long term. It is also important for your brain, skin, heart and more. Carry a water bottle with you to make it easy to sip throughout the day.
  • Sneak in a nap: Don't try to be a super-hero! If you feel sleepy during the day and have the luxury of claiming a few minutes of shut-eye, go for it! A power nap can often give us the extra jolt of energy that we need to make it through the day.
  • Low/Protective style: When your sleep consistency is suffering, low maintenance styles are key. Not only do they reduce the amount of time needed to get ready in the morning, they reduce the physical stress placed on our locks. Since our hair is weaker when we're not well-rested, this is super important until we get our sleep consistency to a better place.

In conclusion, sleep may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to hair health, but it's definitely a factor worth considering. So go ahead and hit snooze - your hair will thank you for it!

Nighty night,



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