It can be easy to spot someone who did not get enough sleep: dark circles, puffy eyes, or drooping eyelids can be signs of a poor night’s rest.
However, a lack of sleep affects more than just your appearance. Sleep is fundamental to your health and well-being. Skimping on your beauty rest affects your mood, motivation, memory, metabolism, and so much more. It even affects the health of your eyes.
Sleep Deprivation and Eye Health
Much like the brain and the body, your eyes heal themselves as you sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to having dry, itchy, or bloodshot eyes. The eyes may produce less tears after a night of insufficient sleep. This can open the door to eye infections.
You may experience eye twitches or spasms when you have not had enough sleep. Your eyes may even be more sensitive to light, or you may have blurry vision. Sleep deprivation could lead to serious eye problems, such as glaucoma, over time.
Sleep Apnea and Your Eyes
What does sleep apnea have to do with your eyes?
Sleep apnea is a risk factor for glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disease that could lead to loss of vision. The likelihood of developing glaucoma is higher in people who have sleep apnea.
Eye doctors may be able to spot signs of sleep apnea during a routine eye exam. Changes in your eyelids, retina, or vision could be indicators of sleep apnea. When sleep apnea is treated, many of the eye-related symptoms are reversible.
Tonight, give your eyes a chance to rest and heal by getting your recommended amount of sleep. Adults should sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis. To support your overall health and the health of your eyes, follow these healthy sleep tips.
Reviewed by Lawrence Epstein, MD