The Importance of Sleep for Eye Health

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When you hear the phrase “healthy lifestyle,” you may instantly think of certain habits, like eating well, exercising, or not smoking. These are all crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. But, one of the most important habits is often forgotten: a good night’s rest. Sleep is restorative for all parts of your health, including your eyes! In honor of National Sleep Awareness Month and the recent Daylight Savings time change, we’re sharing how sleep impacts your eyes.

Adequate sleep helps produce tears and fight dry eye symptoms and infection.

When you wake up after not getting enough rest, you may notice that your eyes feel dry and appear bloodshot. A good sleep schedule helps tear production, while a lack of sleep could worsen dry eye symptoms. Without adequate tear production to keep eyes moisturized, you also have an increased chance of infections.

If your eyes feel dry even after a good night’s rest, something bigger, like chronic dry eye, could be to blame. Our experts can diagnose and treat dry eye through a variety of effective treatments, including our cutting-edge LipiFlow® therapy. LipiFlow® targets the most common cause of evaporative dry eye: meibomian gland dysfunction. For dry eye relief, schedule an appointment with us to see what treatments could benefit you.

Evidence links insufficient sleep and glaucoma.

The body is an interconnected system, and health issues in one area can affect and be detected in other parts of the body. According to studies, poor sleep may increase your risk for glaucoma. In fact, sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops during sleep, is a glaucoma risk factor.

Fortunately, regular comprehensive eye exams can help you maintain healthy vision—even if you are at a higher risk of developing eye disease. While at home, aim for an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep per night to support your healthiest vision, and contact a sleep specialist if you suspect you are suffering from sleep apnea.

Practice healthy pre-sleep eye habits.

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but make sure you still take care of your eyes before hitting the hay. Never sleep in contacts or with eye makeup, even if it’s just a nap!

Sleeping in contacts dramatically increases your risk of a potentially vision-threatening infection by 6 to 8 times. And if you wear makeup, always remove it before bed to prevent inflammation and infection. These basic steps are critical for healthy eyes, no matter how tired you are.

Sleep is one of the best ways to care for our bodies and minds. Adults should aim for 7-9 hours per night, and children need even more. If you are having trouble getting enough rest, create a sleep schedule, cut down on caffeine, and read a book instead of looking at a screen before bedtime. (Blue light from electronics can impact your circadian rhythm).

Book your appointment!

Ready to see our team for your annual eye exam? Call us today to book your appointment. Until then, sweet dreams!

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