The Role of Sleep in Maintaining Eye Health

Insufficient sleep is linked to poor eye health, specifically dry eye disease, according to a study conducted on 70,000 Dutch participants. The setting where you sleep, your exercise routine, when you drink coffee, and other aspects of your life affect how well you sleep. Although the importance of sleep for our mental, emotional, and general health is frequently emphasized, the advantages of sleep for the eyes are sometimes disregarded.

Since our bodies recover and regenerate at night, we require adequate sleep for optimal health. The CDC estimates that one in three adults do not get enough sleep. Most of these could be from eye health issues related to sleep deprivation.


Sleep and Eye Health

Your eyes can experience various adverse side effects from lack of sleep. It is also connected to other severe eye conditions or illnesses as a contributing cause. Although each adult has distinct demands for sleep, most doctors concur that most adults should get between seven and nine hours every night.

While healthy eye practices can help us sleep better, getting a good night's sleep helps facilitate more excellent eye health and visual functioning. Lack of sleep can lead to several undesirable eye disorders, including:


  • Red, swollen, and itchy eyes

  • Eye twitches or spasms (myokymia)

  • Red eyes

  • Eye dryness

  • Loss of vision

  • Eyes that are hollow with dark circles underneath

  • Eye ailments


How to Improve Your Sleep and Eye Health


  • Exercise Consistently

Every aspect of your health benefits from regular exercise, including your eyes. Blood flow can be improved by exercising gently and walking, which also benefits eye health. Exercise also aids in preserving the fluid and chemical balance in your body, including melatonin which promotes sleep. Morning walks are associated with better sleep and longer sleep duration. Both exercise and sleep will help the health of your eyes.


  • Control Screen Use

Many people continue to use their phones and other electronics even after they put their heads on their pillows. Particularly in a dark room, the blue color and bright, flickering quality of the screen light might impair your vision and interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Excessive blue light can affect your circadian rhythm, the internal body clock, and melatonin production. Melatonin is the chemical that promotes sleep onset and maintenance. Consider using blue-light-blocking glasses if you can't give up your nightly tech habits to ensure you don't disturb your sleep. Many doctors advise turning off all screens an hour to two before bed.


  • Remove Your Contact Lenses

Companies have created lenses that you can wear while you sleep. Your eyes, however, directly absorb oxygen from the atmosphere to stay healthy and damp even while you are sleeping. Consistently wearing contact lenses can prevent your eyes from getting the necessary oxygen.


  • Remove Your Makeup

After several hours, eye makeup such as eyeliner and mascara can accumulate and alter how your tear glands function. Before turning in for the evening, eye experts advise patients to take off their makeup to prevent eye irritation.

For more on the role of sleep in maintaining eye health, visit Eye Care Center at our offices in Fridley, Maplewood, or Maple Grove, Minnesota. Call (763) 308-8440, (651) 777-3555, or (763) 420-6981 to book an appointment today.

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