The connection between eye health and sleep
Although most people have felt the effects of poor sleep on their energy levels and mood, did you know it can affect your eye health? Studies have shown that your eyes need at least five hours of good-quality sleep to replenish sufficiently.
Inadequate sleep can lead to unpleasant symptoms like eye spasms, light sensitivity, blurred vision, chronic dry eyes and eye infections. Over time, lack of sleep can also lead to popped blood vessels due to eye strain. Additionally, people with sleep apnea are more likely to have ocular irritation, increasing the risk of developing floppy eyelids and glaucoma.
Here are some tips for getting a good night’s rest to keep your eyes in tip-top shape.
• Minimize screen time an hour before bed. Blue light from your smartphone, tablet and TV can limit melatonin production, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.
• Limit workouts to three hours before you go to sleep. Exercising before bed can disrupt your stable heart rate, impacting restorative sleep.
• Stick to a routine. Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps your body’s internal clock remain stable, allowing you to fall asleep more easily.
• Turn down the temperature. The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 18.3 C.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol four hours before bedtime. These substances can make it difficult to fall asleep and prevent you from getting deep sleep.
Your eyes can handle the occasional all-nighter. However, regularly falling short of sleep can negatively affect your eyes. If you’re having trouble getting shut-eye, talk with your doctor or optometrist.