How Our Eyes are Affected by a Lack of Sleep

Today more than ever, we are constantly busy. Always on the move and trying to squeeze the last drop out of every hour of every day. While productivity is great, it’s often easy to forget just how important those precious hours of the night are that we use to rest. Our jobs, family, and the stress that can come with both sometimes keeps us from getting the sleep our bodies require. It’s all too common to watch television or stay up on your phone, but we are here to tell you just how crucial sleep is for tired eyes.

Why Sleep?

Not only does sleep allow us to rest or bodies, but it allows our brains to recharge. It is during this time that our memories are sorted and stored, allowing us to be mentally sharp the next morning. However, many of us cheat ourselves out of this valuable recuperation. A recent study by the CDC found that one third of Americans currently get less than 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour day. Though it may be hard to set aside the time, this magic number cannot be understated. The study goes onto explain that adults who consistently sleep less than 7 hours a night are at a higher risk for:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Frequent mental distress

Other complications from a lack of sleep include: decreased mental efficiency, accelerated skin aging, lack of a sex drive, and increased forgetfulness.

Sleep and Vision

By now we’re all familiar with the dark circles left under our eyes when we’re running low on sleep. They weigh us down and look less-than-appealing. However, there are several other eye risks that come with insufficient sleep. When getting less than 7 hours of sleep, we are prone to eye spasms, characterized by involuntary eye twitching in the eyelid. This eye twitching is not usually damaging, but can be very distracting. It is important to give these fine muscles in our eyes the rest they require.

Not getting enough sleep can also lead to eye conditions such as dry eye. Dry eye is a condition in which the eyes are not properly lubricated by our tears. This may cause irritation, disrupted vision, and light pain. Popped blood vessels are also a risk when operating on minimal sleep. Eye fatigue has the potential to not only be irritating, but can cause you discomfort and affect your eyesight. Your sleep and vision are two of the most important things for your body, so make sure to pay attention to both!

Healthy Habits

If you feel like a lack of sleep is affecting your vision, there are some things you can do in the workplace and at home to help with eye fatigue. If you spend most of the day working on a computer, make sure to keep the screen at least a foot in a half away from your face and use a glare filter, if possible. Additionally, the 20-20-20 rule is a great rule of thumb to implement for preventing many kinds of eye strain. Every 20 minutes, make it a point to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to give your eyes a natural rest.

At home, you may find it helpful to soak a washcloth in warm water and gently apply to closed eyes. Moisture is your eyes’ best friend. Whether it’s steam, artificial tears, or a humidifier, your eyes will thank you for the hydration.

For a consultation towards clear vision, or to clear up any questions you may have, contact Laser for Eyes  today. We are standing by to answer any of your concerns, and to help you get your vision back to where you want it. Join our growing family of happy customers who trust us with their eyes.