Your eyes are getting heavy, you feel tired, but you can’t seem to catch some zzzz’s. With today’s fast-paced world, it seems to be the norm to not get enough sleep at night. It is a struggle to get all of the necessities done in one day and still manage to get a healthy 7 – 8 hours of sleep. If your Carmel Eye Doctor told you that this lack of sleep could cause damage to your eyesight, would that help you prioritize your schedule a little bit better?
It’s obvious that when you do not get the proper amount of sleep, you experience bags or visible dark circles under your eyes. But lack of sleep can damage the overall health of your eyes as well.
What Happens To Our Bodies When We Sleep
Most people know that lack of sleep can cause harm to your body if you are limiting yourself to less than 6 hours of sleep per night. Many study’s show that lack of sleep can cause physical, mental and social problems to our health. Whether it leaves us feeling fatigued or depressed the following day, there are signs that let us know our body is wearing down. But the eyes can also have vision problems if they do not get proper rest. Studies show that we need at least 5 hours of sleep each day for our eyes to renew themselves.
Your body goes through cycles when you sleep. There are non-REM and REM sleep. REM is “Rapid Eye Movement”. There are 3 phases of non-sleep, these stages can last 5 – 15 minutes each
Stage 1: You close your eyes and you can wake up from this stage very easily.
Stage 2: Light sleep occurs, your body is prepping for deep sleep so your body temperature drops, while your heart rate slows down.
Stage 3: Deep sleeps occurs and it is much harder to wake you up. Your eyes are still during this stage.
While you are asleep during the deep non-REM stage, this is considered to be the healing stage of sleep. Your body repairs and regrows tissues, and builds bone and muscle. Your body and eyes are relaxed and recovers from the day’s activities. Your immune system strengthens since you are getting rest and rejuvenate.
How The Body Reacts To A Lack Of Sleep
The older you get, the less deep sleep you tend to get as well. During REM sleep, your eyes vigorously move every second, this is the stage where you typically dream. Your eyes can still sense light, although they are closed. REM tends to happen around 90 minutes after you fall asleep, your heart rate and breathing become quicker as the stages of REM occur. Without proper sleep, your eyes cannot revive themselves. Just as your body needs to feel refreshed, so do your eyes. These are some common occurrences can begin to happen from a lack of sleep:
- Eye Spasms (Myokymia) – Although they are not painful, they can be quite annoying. They can distract people from whatever task they are trying to accomplish. Eye twitches are an involuntary spasm that occurs in your eyelid. They do not commonly cause damage to your vision long term, but proper sleep can make these instances happen less.
- Popped Blood Vessels – When your eye experiences to much eye strain, your blood vessels can pop. Eye strain can cause headaches, fatigue and your eyes may burn or become irritated.
- Dry Eyes – When tears do not regularly lubricate your eyes, which makes your eyes become dry over time. Symptoms of dry eye include red eyes, itchiness, blurriness and light sensitivity, and itching.
- Bags or Dark Circles – Bags and dark circles can develop under your eyes and your eyes can become pink or red. This can cause a tired look to your physical state.
Contact your Carmel Eye Doctor if you are having trouble managing these symptoms.
Tips For Getting A Better Night’s Rest From Your Carmel Eye Doctor
Everyone has a busy schedule, but a good night’s rest should be the top of our list to accomplish each day. If you are having trouble sleeping here are a few tips from your Carmel Eye Doctor that could help you fall asleep easier:
- Drink warm milk
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea
- Take a warm bath before laying down
- Do not drink caffeine past the afternoon hours
- Read a book
- Exercise daily
- Stay consistent to the time you lay down for bed
Rule of thumb is to get between 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night for a healthy rest. Although you may not see the effects of lack of sleep now, they tend to catch up to your body fairly quickly. If you think you have a sleeping disorder, contact your local primary care doctor so they can assist your problem and begin to work on ways to improve your sleep patterns and your Carmel Eye Doctor to help manage eye strain as a result of lack of sleep.