Are You Not Getting Enough Sleep?
Posted by: Mitchell Refractive Surgery & Eye Center
Our minds are so busy thinking and making decisions daily, but we have to rest our bodies, mind, and eyes to be refreshed to succeed in daily activities. A full night’s sleep is the remedy, but we definitely can feel it when we don’t get that good night’s sleep.
There is an interesting relationship between our quality and quantity of sleep and eye health. We want to encourage better eye health with a restful night’s sleep with some helpful tips.
Are You Sleep Deprived?
Sleep deprivation can compromise your eye health. Some symptoms of sleep deprivation may include a weakened immune system, weight gain, high blood pressure, memory issues, and mood changes, but it also impacts your eye health.
For your eyes to replenish and function well throughout the day, your eyes need at least five hours of sleep per night. The longer you go without enough sleep, the more you might notice symptoms like eye strain, twitchy eyelids, and dry eye. The good news is that our eyes can be part of the solution to getting better sleep!
Turn Off Blue Lights Before Bed
No matter how smartphone savvy you are, your eyes still find these high-tech devices very confusing. A Laptop, IPad, or smartphone screens all produce a lot of blue light. In nature, the only source of blue light is the sun, so when we see blue light, our eyes think it’s still daytime and that we should be awake!
Browsing the internet right up until bedtime can make it much harder for our brains to go to sleep, which cuts into the time we should be sleeping. Looking at bright screens in dark rooms also leaves us more vulnerable to digital eye strain.
It may be hard not to use your device right before bedtime to catch up on the latest news or view your favorite TV show, but there are solutions to help reduce blue light exposure before bed. There are many apps, and some phones have a Night Shift feature in the settings. If you have to be on your digital device right before bed, take advantage of those tools or features that reduce the blue light emitted by the screen. Your tired eyes will thank you!
Give Your Eyes the Night Off! Remove Your Contact Lenses.
Not removing your contact lenses before you go to bed makes things harder on your eyes. Your eyes get oxygen directly from the air. Contact lenses block air from reaching them, especially during the hours our eyes are closed for sleep.
Some types of newer contact lenses allow much more oxygen flow, but taking them out overnight will still be the healthier choice. In addition to letting your eyes breathe freely, it reduces your risk of eye infection from the bacteria that like to accumulate around contact lenses. In any case, check the labeling of the boxes your contacts come in to make sure you’re only wearing them for the recommended length of time.
Sleep Well, See Well
Healthy, uninterrupted sleep is essential for your overall health, including eye health. Sleeping helps your eyes get the moisture and lubrication they need. Also, during sleep, our eyes clear out irritants such as dust or allergens that may have accumulated during the day.
Make Your Eye Exam Appointment a Priority
If you have any questions about the relationship between sleep and eye health, make sure to bring them with you to your next eye exam. In the meantime, get plenty of rest!
References: American Academy of Ophthalmology