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The Impact of Sleep on Your Eyesight

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Undeniably, sleep is a crucial part of our daily replenishing cycle. Sleep recharges our batteries and prepares us to take charge the next day. Sadly, for some individuals, sleep is nothing but a luxury. While some people doze off on the couch watching TV, for others sleep can be harder to come by. Regardless of the circumstances, lack of sleep has serious consequences on our physical health as well as a negative impact on our eye health.


If we fail to have a sleep cycle that lasts less than seven hours each night, it results in negligible symptoms indicating we are not sleeping enough. However, as this pattern prolongs, more aggravated symptoms begin to show. One of the most common effects of not enough sleep on our eyes is dry eyes. Dry eyes happen when our eyes fail to produce tears which keep our eyes moist. This lack of moisture results in irritation to our cornea, which is the outer surface of the eye and covers the iris. This irritation indicates a lack of nutrition and a reduction in tears being produced to keep our eyes healthy.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes also cause minor discomfort and pain and also itchiness. Some serious symptoms of dry eyes include redness and blurred vision. Eye drops can be used for bringing temporary relief to dry eyes. However, only a good night’s sleep every night will take care of the problem permanently. If dry eyes are not taken care of, they cause more damage to our eye health. Since lack of moisture makes our eyes vulnerable to several infections, bacteria and debris around us, we must develop a sound sleeping pattern to get sufficient amount of shut-eye every night.

Eye Spasms

Lack of sleep can cause eye spasms. Although eye spasms are not harmful to our vision and are also painless, they are a sign of an imbalance of our eye muscles due to insufficient sleep. Eye spasms are also referred to as myokymia and this involuntary eye twitching can be quite distracting and discomforting. Sufficient sleep has positive effects on our body as well as our eye muscles. Eye vessels and optical nerves are greatly stressed when we do not get enough sleep. Most of the symptoms that arise due to lack of sleep are harmless.

However, appearing with the “bloodied eye” look is not a pleasant sight. Therefore, get plenty of sleep every night.

What You Can Do

To help fix the various problems a poor sleep pattern can cause, make sure you stick to a healthy 6 or 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting more activity, reduced noise levels, good sleeping temperatures and drinking less caffeine in the evening can help you sustain good sleep activity. There are many over-the-counter medicines available for treating insomnia and sleep deprivation. However, do not use anything before asking your doctor about it or it can actually cause more harm to your sleep than good.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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