2 Reasons Your Eyes Need Sleep

iosphere sleepIt is 2014, and sleep is so overrated these days. Many people will share the fact that it is a full third of the day wasted. The time could certainly be put to better use. Is a good night’s sleep really necessary?

Pulling an occasional all-nighter to finish the work shouldn’t cause very serious problems or concerns, but doing it often can affect health. It is not just about exhaustion or the dark circles under the eyes; people risk a lot more than that. Our bodies, especially our eyes, need rest. Studies have shown that our eyes, in particular, require a minimum of five hours of sleep to rejuvenate and become fully functional the next day.

  • Paying attention to eye health is very important: If someone is suffering from lack of sleep, the eyes will be the first sign. One common, and often ignored, side effect is eye spasms (called Myokymia). These irritating tremors do not cause any damage to vision, but are a clear sign that sleep is needed. Dry eye (which causes itching, light sensitivity, redness, pain, blurred vision, and pain) is another possibility when sleep deprived.

If patients ignore the warnings that eyes give in signals, extended sleep loss could lead to much more severe eye health issues from the added stress, such as visible blood vessels in the eye.

  • Consistency is a key factor: Typically, everyone believes that sleep is an eight hour rest activity. This average does not necessarily cross all age groups. Studies have shown that people in their 20’s should actually get closer to nine hours a night, and older adults may actually need fewer hours of sleep. The truth is that the ideal amount of daily sleep may differ for every single person, regardless of age. The best practice for overall health, including important eye health, is to be consistent with sleep patterns.

Another helpful practice for eye health and rejuvenation is resting the eyes during the day. This is especially important for those individuals who constantly use computer screens. The strategy is to close the eyes periodically for longer than just a blink. This will allow your eyes to rest and can help prevent eye strain.

If suffering from chronic sleep loss and tiredness, and not simply staying awake to work or have fun), it may be due to sleep apnea. As addressed by Park Ophthalmology, sleep apnea is an irregular breathing pattern that could raise the following health concerns: swelling of the optic nerves, floppy eyelid syndrome, and even glaucoma.

If you are experiencing any problems with your eyes due to sleep loss, call Dr. Beth Friedlandat Park Ophthalmology immediately to make an appointment.


Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!


This article about eye exams is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.



Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: Iosphere, freedigitalphotos.net


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