Why Do My Eyes Hurt When I Don’t Get Enough Sleep
When you dont get enough sleep, your eyes can feel strained, dry and itchy the next day. Lack of sleep can cause eye strain, burst blood vessels and dry eye.
Our eyes go through a lot during the day. After spending so many hours using your eyes, it’s important for them to get enough recovery time when you’re asleep. Getting enough sleep will give your eyes moisture throughout the night so that they can function properly when you wake up.
How Lack Of Sleep Harms Your Eyesight
April 15, 2021 by Dodge Perry
Most of us know how important sleep is to our health. But did you know that its also important to your visual health and keeps you seeing clearly for years on end? Other than affecting your health and your appearance, missing out on sleep can damage your eyes. In this post, your trusted optometrist, Nova Vision Center, shares how the lack of sleep can harm your eyesight.
- Dark Circles. Some effects of sleep deprivation may actually harm your eyes, but some of them also affect your external appearance. When you lack sleep, your eyes could look puffy, as if theyre forming dark circles underneath your eyes.
- Eye Spasms. Your eye doctor would also tell you that lack of sleep can cause fatigue, leading to eye spasms and erratic twitching throughout the day. This can become frustrating, making daily activities such as reading, driving, and working, very difficult.
- Dry, Bloodshot Eyes. One of the more serious side effects of sleep deprivation is having dry, itchy, or bloodshot eyes. This can result in discomfort and irritation since your eyes lack lubrication to stay healthy. This can also result in light sensitivity, or in serious cases, blurred vision.
For your vision and eye health needs, you can depend on Nova Vision Center. We provide quality eye care and contact lenses for your convenience. Call us at 578-3600 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We help patients in Falls Church and Arlington, VA.
Your Eyes And Sleep Deprivation
While juggling jobs, family life and extracurricular activities, it sometimes feels impossible to get enough sleep each night. However, sleep deprivation can impact many parts of your health, including your eyes. If you find yourself with eye dryness, irritation or spasms, you may be experiencing the effects of sleep deprivation.
Your eyes recover and prepare for the next day while you sleep, so make sure you are getting enough rest. Sleep deprivation side effects can be harmful to your eyes in many ways.
While it is easy to assume that the only side effects on your eyes from lack of sleep are cosmetic issues, there are some more serious problems to look out for.
Sleep deprivation may affect your appearance in a few ways. Puffy eyes or dark circles under your eyes are only one way to notice that your eyes need more rest. This happens because the lack of sleep causes your blood vessels to expand and look more reddish-blue. Sleep deprivation is not the only cause for dark circles, many other things contribute to the issue, but eliminating sleep deprivation can impact the overall appearance of your under-eye circles. Eye spasms are another side effect associated with lack of sleep. While eye spasms are not painful, they can cause irritation and disruption throughout the day.
Extreme sleep deprivation is also correlated with symptoms of eye degeneration and can attribute to other serious eye conditions.
Combating lack of sleep
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How Lack Of Sleep Affects Eyesight
- Jessica Caswell, 12/03/2015 12:00 am
You know that sleep is important to your health, but did you know it is also important for your eyes? Skipping your beauty rest can be detrimental to your appearance, but more importantly it can interfere with your health and damage your eyes. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between sleep and your vision.
Ways Too Little Sleep Can Mess With Your Face
The good news: “Sleep is free and it’s available tonight.”
Not catching enough ZZZZZ’s at night? Here’s how a lack of sleep can do a number on your skin.
1. You deprive your brain, body, and skin of nourishment. Sleep is food for your brain, body, and skin, and if you don’t get enough, you deprive each of its nourishment. “During a good night’s rest, your body works to remove dead blood cells and dead brain cells, and clears the pathways for new synapses to take place so that new blood and brain cells can replace old ones,” says sleep expert Rebecca S. Robbins, M.D., Ph.D., researcher at Cornell University, and author of Sleep for Success!. Your brain also gets rid of 60 percent more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep, she adds. Overall, this helps you feel more refreshed when you get up, able to think more clearly, and gives your skin that I-woke-up-like-this #glowing look.
2. Your skin becomes imbalanced, which leadsto a dehydrated complexion, redness, and breakouts. Not only does not getting enough sleep negatively affect your body, it affects the moisture levels in your skin, decreasing them and also lowering your complexion’s pH levels, which is why your skin looks less youthful and has less of a glow.
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What Do Eyes Do During Sleep
Studies have shown that when you sleep throughout the night, you experience three to five episodes of REM sleep, comprising 20-25% of your sleep time. During these sleep stages, most of your bodys muscles shut down and relax, but not your eyes. In fact, eyes move so fast during REM that they can reach up to 1,000 degrees of movement per second.
The precise purpose of REM sleep remains unknown, however we do know that if you dont get enough solid zzzs, serious eye problems can result.
Medical Treatment For Dry Eyes
If youre not able to get fast relief from do-it-yourself methods, consult a medical professional. In fact, it may be best to consult your eye doctor first to identify the cause of dry eye, particularly if its an on-going issue.
Your eye doctor may prescribe medication, and for severe conditions, your ophthalmologist may recommend other dry eye treatment options, such as punctal plugs inserted into the tear ducts to keep the tears from draining out of the eye.
Is it time to put together a plan to correct your dry eyes? Request an appointment with the eye doctors at Barnet Dulaney and Perkins to help correct vision problems and improve the quality of your life.
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How Are Dry Eyes Treated
There are a number of options. Ask your eye doctor what to do. Treatments include:
Artificial tear drops and ointments. This is the most common treatment. Many types of drops are available over the counter. No one product works for everyone, so you might have to try a few to figure out the one thatâs right for you. If you have chronic dry eye, you need to use the drops even when your eyes feel fine, or they wonât stay wet enough. If your eyes dry out while you sleep, you can use a thick product, like an ointment, at night. You might think about sleeping with airtight goggles on. They’ll create a mini “moisture chamber” for your eyes.
Temporary punctal occlusion. Your doctor might opt to close the punctum, or duct that drains tears from your eye. They might start with a temporary plug designed to dissolve over time. Based on how it works, your doctor will know whether permanent plugs will help.
Lipiflow. This medical device uses heat and pressure to unclog blocked glands on your eyelids. These glands produce the oil in your tears. It keeps your eye moist and prevents your tears from evaporating.
Testosterone cream. Dry eye can be related to a lack of testosterone in the oil glands on your eyelids. The doctor might give you a testosterone cream that you apply to your eyelids. It can help your oil glands work better.
Cyclosporine .This prescription eye drop helps your eyes boost tear production.
How To Treat Bloodshot Eyes
If you don’t have eye drops handy, try these simple tricks to get rid of your bloodshot eyes:
Cold compress: Try soaking a hand towel in cold water, ringing it out and placing it over your eyes to remove the redness.
Water rinse: A water rinse is a great substitute for eye drops. However, make sure that the water youre using is filtered. Tap water can cause additional irritation.
Get better rest: Its important to get the recommended amount of sleep for your age range. Not only will you feel better rested, but you may also get rid of the redness in your eyes without eye drops.
Change your contact lenses: If your multi-use contact lenses are getting old, changing them could remove the redness from your eyes. If you sleep in your contact lenses, consider not doing that anymore.
Blink more often: Its easy to forget to blink, especially when you are glued to your smartphone. Blinking more often can relieve eye strain and make eye redness less likely. When you work on the computer or phone for long periods of time, studies show you do 50% to 66% less blinking than usual, which can dry out your eyes and make them red.
Take allergy medication: If allergies are the cause of your bloodshot eyes, allergy medications could clear up that redness.
Get relief for your dry eyes: These treatments can range from oral flax oil capsules to punctal plugs and prescription eye drops.
Treat sun damage: Chronic redness from sun damage may be treated with a procedure called conjunctivoplasty.
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Common Reasons Our Eyes Gettired
It is usually easy to pinpoint the cause of your tired eyes. Here are a few common reasons for swollen, droopy eyes and heavy eyelids:
- Too little or too much sleep
- Prolonged staring at digital devices this is known as Computer Vision Syndrome
- Overworking the eyes by performing an activity that requires intense use of the eyes, such driving or reading, for an extended period without taking a break
- Incorrect vision prescription
- Dry eye syndrome
- Exposure to bright light or straining to see in dim light
- Presbyopia is normal as you get older people with presbyopia often have headaches or strained, tired eyes, and may require reading glasses
All these conditions force the eye muscles to work harder than usual. Ophthalmologists speculate that much eye fatigue is really caused by dryness. People normally blink about 12 to 15 times per minute. This naturally refreshes the eyes.
When you are tired, the blink rate slows down and the eyes are not properly lubricated, causing irritation. Studies suggest that computer users blink much less frequently, about four or five blinks per minute.
The less you blink, the more productive you may be, but this can take a toll on your eyes. The symptoms that accompany eye strain from computer use have been summed up as Computer Vision Syndrome:
Add Essential Fatty Acids To Your Diet
According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, Omega-3 oils improve the function of the gland that produces tears, and they can naturally reduce the symptoms of dry eye. Omega-3 can be found in:
- Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna
- Fish oil supplements
To help with eye issues, you can eat a more balanced diet or add supplements.
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Dry Eyes When Sleeping
If you suffer from chronic dry eye, you know that its more than just a little bit of itching and discomfort. Dry eye can make it extremely difficult to function normally, and if you suffer a flat up while driving or operating machinery, it could be potentially dangerous. Thankfully the team at Wicker Park Eye Center offers dry eye treatment to soothe irritation and prevent sudden attacks. These dry eye treatments have been a boon to people in the greater Chicago, IL area.
Dr. Daniel Tepper and his team would like to consider dry eye attacks during sleep and what can be done about them. As youll see, there are many options for management to consider.
Pick The Right Eye Drops
The Mayo Clinic recommends preservative-free eye drops when choosing eye drops to alleviate red eyes.
Eye drops that contain preservatives can cause eye irritation, especially if theyre used more than four times daily. Eye drops for redness may cause your eyes to become even more irritated, so make sure the drops you use are for dry eyes.
You can also look into artificial tears.
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Sleep Apnea And Your Eyes
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where breathing stops and starts frequently. It can have a severe effect on your eyes and is a risk factor for glaucoma which causes vision loss.
Symptoms of sleep apnea can be spotted during an eye exam and include changes in your vision, eyelids or retina. These symptoms are reversible when sleep apnea is treated.
What Are The Symptoms
Be on the lookout for:
- Sore or irritated eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, or back
These symptoms can lower your productivity. If you stay awake for long hours working, you can make the problem worse. Sleep refreshes your eye with essential nutrients. Lack of sleep may lead to repeated eye irritation.
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Sleep Deprivation Eye Twitch
Eyelid twitches seem to happen mostly without a discernible cause. Myriad reasons have been suggested, but because eyelid twitching is completely benign theres not a lot of research nor drug therapies for a benign lid twitch. Eyelid twitches usually go away anywhere from a few minutes to a day or more. So a sleep deprivation related eye twitch is basically nothing to worry about. We dont know specifically what causes it, although certain things like dehydration, lack of sleep, potentially some calcium imbalance have all been proposed but no one knows exactly the reason why we get a benign sleep deprivation eyelid twitch sometimes.
However, persistent or severe uncontrollable eyelid squeezing and twitching can be a sign of essential blepharospasm, a potentially disabling condition where ones eyes squeeze closed uncontrollably. Essential blepharospasm can prevent people from driving safely. It also has no known cause, but can often be treated with Botox.
Lack of sleep in and of itself may not directly cause dry eyes, but all the above factors may exacerbate eye dryness and make it seem that lack of sleep and dry eyes are not only related, but is a causal relationship. I dont know if this helps, but I hope so!
How To Sleep Better
After all this talk about how your vision can be threatened by not sleeping enough, its important to actually discuss how to sleep better. This refers not only to your total hours spent in the land of nod, but also to the overall quality of your sleep. First and foremost, you need to ensure that your sleeping environment is giving you the best chance of good quality sleep. This includes factors such as lighting, noise levels and temperature. Generally, the darker your bedroom is, the better youll sleep. People are all different when it comes to noise levels some like total silence, while other people prefer some background noise to help them drift off. In terms of temperature, most people sleep best when the room is between 18-20 degrees Celsius, and getting this right ensures that youre not waking up either shivering or sweating in the early hours.
One of the most talked-about tips for getting good sleep in this digital age is to avoid screen time before bed. The blue light emitted by digital screens causes our brains to react in the same way they would if they saw sunlight. Essentially, our brains are tricked into believing that its daytime, and therefore dont release the chemicals we need in order to feel sleepy. Avoiding screens for an hour before bedtime and dimming the lights around your home during this time period should help you feel sleepier.
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Why Do I Have Dry Eyes At Night
Dry eye syndrome can happen for many different reasons such as blocked glands near the eye, medication complication, or hormonal imbalance. They all lead to the root cause of the eyes not producing enough surface moisture to lubricate the eyes. Many patients have dry eyes at night, and there are options to relieve symptoms.
How Sleep Affects Your Eye Health
Do your eyes end up feeling dry and tired at the end of the day? For some, this fatigued feeling comes even during the afternoon. The causes of eye fatigue can vary, but what it often comes down to is that your eyes are tired.
Some common culprits of eye fatigue include careers that demand extreme eye focus. These can include driving, writing, or reading. With increasing technology usage, eye fatigue is becoming more and more of a problem for people in any career field.
How Much Do You Sleep?
So many people suffer from chronic eye fatigue, and yet few may even realize that the solution is more sleep. If your eyes feel tired, it means theyre not getting their proper rejuvenation each night. But does the amount of sleep you get really affect your eye health?
According to Canadian statistics, 30% of adults get fewer than six hours of sleep per night. Considering the recommended amount of eight hours, its even more shocking to discover that a large chunk are getting more like 4-5 hours on a good night.
The old adage Ill sleep when Im dead, may be easy to throw around in conversation, but your eyes need sleep to function.
What Eye Symptoms Can A Lack of Sleep Cause?
Along with causing grumpiness and increased caffeine use, a lack of sleep prevents important eye-renewal processes. If you persist in getting too-little amounts of sleep, your symptoms begin to include:
- Blurry vision
- Eye spasms, also called eye twitches
- Dryness and irritation
- Moderate pain
- Chronic dry eye:
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