How to get rid of sleep isolated trichotillomania?

I've pulled in my sleep for over three years now. I've switched from head wraps to hair bonnets. Or wearing a sweater with a Hoodie, and a hat but that gets hot. I'm just curious on why I pull my hair in my sleep. Is it from my trauma in my past life?
Asked by Lily bee

Hi Lily bee,

Sleep-Trich or sleep related trichotillomania can be body-focused repetitive behaviour from when you're awake. From your question, if it's just sleep focused hair pulling, it can occur during different sleep stages. Such as when your brain pattern slows, which is thought to be associated with an alert, but daydreaming mind. Showing that when your neurological wakefulness changes it can relate to hair pulling. Of course, this is my opinion of what some research has made me believe.


In terms of trauma from your past life being a cause it can be, which tells us that it would be a response behaviour from your past trauma. It could also be from more frequent stressors such as low self-esteem, for both the hair pulling act can be a release from anxiety and tension for you. It can be a bit of a vicious cycle with the hair pulling in turn becoming a source of repeat anxiety. It can be a type of addiction in giving you that release and can be difficult to stop.


An added obsession of what today's hair perfection culture wants us to feel can make it difficult to stop and the cycle begins again. New traumas can increase the need of release and it can start to feel isolating as people around us don't understand.


Cognitive behavioural therapy has been seen to be the most effective intervention of working with trichotillomania as it works with the underlying thoughts and emotions around the trauma rather than just the behaviour itself. Some negative symptoms you may be experiencing are shame, guilt, anxiety, embarrassment, depression, low self-esteem, isolation or even social withdrawal.


Some things that might be worth considering are a diary to help you understand any patterns that may appear, for example certain days of the week, after certain events or alcohol/sugars. This could help you understand what you may need to avoid or what may increase the frequency for you, your triggers. This could link to your past trauma and what triggers you have around that, therapy could really help with this as it could be a safer environment for you to explore with someone.


I do hope this helps you understand it a little clearer.