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Eyes Don't Lie: Yes, Sleep & Eyesight Actually Share A Connection

Written by Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna on Fri, 11 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • Creating a sleepy environment, avoiding daytime naps, watching a diet, and meditating can improve your sleep quality and your eyesight.
  • Eye care should be part of your daily routine.
  • Checking blood sugar levels, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, relaxing, and exercising your eyes can improve your eyesight.
  • Due to sleep deprivation, many people cannot get enough sleep which increases the risk of myopia.
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Your eyes are your window to the world. Eye issues may interfere with your daily chores. 

But did you know that among the many other things, not getting a good night's sleep can be a reason to fall into the downward spiral of poor eye health too? Yes, you read that right!

Sleep deprivation directly affects the eyes and can cause several eye issues. Read on to know how you can improve your sleep quality and your eyesight.

Understanding sleep deprivation

Many people do not get enough good sleep, which can have an impact on their health, happiness, and capacity to carry out daily tasks. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 3 adults do not get enough sleep. 

College students are particularly affected by the negative effects of sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness, which can result in lower grade point averages, an increased chance of academic failure, degraded learning, impaired mood, and an increased risk of car accidents.

Sleep deprivation can cause several eye diseases. A study suggests that lack of sleep only influences the development of myopia, not its progression to high myopia.

1. Causes of sleep deprivation

First, you should understand the causes of sleep deprivation and try to reduce that causes for better sleep and eyesight.

Causes may include: 

  • Using mobile, tablet, or computer before bedtime to midnight
  • Shift work
  • Meeting all the deadlines
  • Noisy and bad sleep environment
  • Depression, chronic pain, and some disease condition

2. Symptoms of sleep deprivation

Symptoms of sleep deprivationA wide range of symptoms, such as the following, could be present in someone who sleeps insufficiently:

  • Fatigue 
  • Irritability
  • Mood shifts
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Memory problems and difficulty in focusing
  • Dull, puffy eyes

How does sleep deprivation affect your eye health? 

You can easily say if a person does not get enough sleep, just by looking at his eyes: Dark circles, puffy eyes, or drooping eyelids can be signs of poor sleep. Lack of sleep does not just affect your appearance but also affects your health.

Skipping one beauty sleep can affect your mood, memory, metabolism, and motivation. It can even affect your eye health.

According to studies, sleep deprivation can have an impact on the cornea's stem cells as well as its tear film surface. After a night of inadequate sleep, tears may start to flow less frequently. This may result in infection.

Ocular discomfort is a short-term result of inadequate or delayed sleep, and symptoms include dryness, soreness, pruritus, and hyperemia of the eye. Over time, lack of sleep may cause significant eye issues including glaucoma.

Glaucoma risk factors include sleep apnea. Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause blindness. People who have sleep apnea are more likely to acquire glaucoma.

During a routine eye exam, eye specialists may be able to detect indicators of sleep apnea. Your eyelids, retina, or vision changes could be signs that you have sleep apnea. Many of the eye-related symptoms are curable when sleep apnea is addressed.

What to do for getting better sleep?

Early to bed and early to rise to make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Sleep is an essential part of our life cycle and healthy sleep is necessary for our well-being. 

In your day-to-day life, many factors may interfere with a good night's sleep from diseases to family obligations and work stress. It makes sense why getting good sleep can be difficult at times.

You may have no control over the things that keep you from sleeping. however, you may develop routines that promote healthier sleeping. Start with these easy tips.

1. Create a sleepy environment

Keep your space cool, quiet, and dark. It could be harder to fall asleep if you are exposed to light in the evening. When it's close to bedtime, avoid using a mobile screen for too long. To establish a setting that is appropriate for your needs, think about utilizing earplugs, a fan, room-darkening curtains, or other gadgets.

Better sleep might be facilitated by relaxing activities like taking a bath or practicing meditation techniques before bed.

2. Avoid daytime naps

Having long daytime naps can interfere with the night sleep cycle. Avoid napping late during the day and if there is a need for a nap do not take more than one hour of nap.

3. Make one sleep schedule 

A healthy adult needs at least seven hours of sleep per night. Most people can fall asleep for no more than eight hours and yet feel rested.

Including weekends, go to bed and rise at the same hour every day. Consistency strengthens the sleep-wake cycle in your body.

After settling down for around 20 minutes, if you still can't sleep, get out of bed and relax. Read a book or play some relaxing music. When you are exhausted, go back to bed. Repeat as necessary, but keep your bedtime and wake-up time the same.

4. Keep a check on your diet

Never sleep hungry or stuffed. Particularly, avoid heavy meals before bedtime. You feel discomfort that might keep you awake. Caffeine and alcohol consumption need caution.

5. Stress management

Stress management can help for better sleep. Start with organizing your thoughts, setting priorities, and meditation to reduce stress.

Not getting enough sleep can affect your eyes. In the eyes, the cornea is a clear front window of the eye, and a tear film that covers it serves as a barrier to help maintain the eye healthy and comfortable.

How to take care of your eyes

Eye care1. Check your blood sugar level

  • Diabetes causes 90 percent of blindness, yet it is preventable. 
  • To manage your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, ask your medical team for assistance in setting and achieving your goals.

2. Eat right to protect your sight

  • Carrots are said to be excellent for your eyes. 
  • However, maintaining the health of your eyes also requires eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, or collard greens. 
  • Salmon, tuna, and halibut are examples of seafood strong in omega-3 fatty acids that have been demonstrated in research to be beneficial for eye health.

3. Quit smoking or never start

  • Smoking affects your eyes just as negatively as it does the rest of your body.
  • Studies have associated smoking with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and damage to the optic nerve, all of which can result in blindness.

4. Practice workplace eye safety

  • A safe workplace must be provided by employers. 
  • Wear the proper protective eyewear whenever necessary if it is a requirement of your employment, and encourage your coworkers to do the same.

5. Give your eyes rest

  • You may forget to blink occasionally if you spend a lot of time at the computer or concentrating on one item, which might cause your eyes to grow tired. 
  • Implement the 20-20-20 rule: Look away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes for roughly 20 feet in front of you. This quick workout helps lessen eye fatigue.

6. Wear protective eyewear

  • When engaging in sports or household chores, wear safety goggles. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses, goggles, shields, and eye guards specifically made to offer the right level of protection for your task. 
  • Polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics, is the material used most often for protective eyewear lenses. Protective eyewear is sold by many eye care professionals and several sporting shops.

7. Have a comprehensive dilated eye examination

  • The only way to ensure that your eyesight is good and your eyes are healthy is to get a thorough dilated eye exam performed by an eye care professional.
  • Some people are unaware that they could see better with glasses or contact lenses if they have typical vision issues.
  • Additionally, several prevalent eye conditions, including glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration, earlier show no symptoms at all. The only way to identify these disorders in their early stages is through a dilated eye exam.

Your eye care specialist will put drops in your eyes during a test, to allow more light to enter the eye. This procedure gives your eye doctor a clear view of the back of the eyes, allowing them to check for any indications of disease or injury. 

The only person who can assess the health of your eyes and whether you are seeing at your best is your eye care practitioner.

Conclusion 

As we know, eyes do not lie. And poor eyesight, puffy eyes, and dark circles are all the signs of poor sleep. 

Sleep & eyesight share an intrinsic connect. A person with sleep derivative is at great risk of myopia

Adults should routinely get seven or more hours of sleep each night. To maintain good eye health, you should first get enough sleep. Follow these recommendations for proper sleep to promote your general well-being and the health of your eyes.

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Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna

Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna Is a medical doctor based out of Ukraine. Dr. Borisovna graduated from the Vinnitsa State Medical University, in 1995. In between 1995-2000, Dr. Borisovna went on to further pursue her post graduation studying scientific activity from the Vinnytsa Medical University in Ukraine.

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  1. Tips to prevent vision loss, available at https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/risk/tips.htm
  2. How lack of sleep affects your eyesight, available at https://sleepeducation.org/lack-sleep-affects-eyesight/
  3. What to know about sleep deprivation, available at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
  4. Not getting enough sleep can disrupt stem cell repair in the cornea, available at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/not-getting-enough-sleep-can-disrupt-stem-cell-repair-in-the-cornea
  5. Tips for better sleep, available at https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html
  6. Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep, available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379