How Important Is a Full Night’s Sleep for Eye Health?

How Important Is a Full Night’s Sleep for Eye Health?

Most people would probably agree that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. With work and taking care of the kids to making dinner and cleaning the house to running errands and paying bills, it often feels like there simply aren’t enough hours to get everything done. So, what do we sacrifice? Sleep.

In fact, a study by the CDC states that one third of adults get less than the necessary amount of sleep. The recommended amount for adults is seven to nine hours. Even if we don’t listen to this advice, we all know how important sleep is for our overall health. But something you may not know is that the amount of sleep you get greatly impacts your eye health. Here are some common eye conditions that are directly impacted by how well you sleep.

Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

How Important Is a Full Night’s Sleep for Eye Health?

If you aren’t getting a full night of sleep, you can eventually develop issues with your eyes. You could develop a condition called ischemic optic neuropathy. This condition is caused by damage that has occurred in the optic nerve due to poor blood flow. It can cause you to experience a sharp pain in either one or both of your eyes, as well as make it difficult to see clearly.


Besides just not getting enough sleep at night, if you have sleep apnea, you are at risk of developing glaucoma. If you aren’t sure what it is exactly, sleep apnea is a condition that causes sporadic interruptions in your breathing while you sleep. This means you experience a lack of oxygen in those seconds when you stop breathing, and it’s often hard for people with sleep apnea to fall into a deep, restful sleep. The lack of oxygen caused by sleep apnea has been linked to the development of glaucoma.

If glaucoma develops, the optic nerve in your eyes can become damaged, which can lead to a loss in vision or even blindness. If you think you have sleep apnea, it’s a good idea to look into having a sleep study done. Besides affecting your eyes, sleep apnea has many other side effects that can impact your health.

Eye Spasms

Have you ever had one of those annoying spasms that make your eyelid twitch incessantly? Many researchers link those spasms to sleep deprivation.

Thankfully, you won’t experience any kind of serious eye problems or vision loss from those spasms. But if you’re getting them a lot, that’s probably a sign that you need to get more sleep.

Dry Eye

Lack of sleep over a period of time can also cause your eyes to become red, swollen, and bloodshot, and you might even develop dry eye. Dry eye occurs when your tear ducts do not produce adequate tears to keep your eyes lubricated. You might experience pain in your eyes and it could cause redness, itching, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision.

If you experience dry eye, try getting more sleep to increase tear production. You can also use over-the-counter eye drops to help lubricate your eyes.

Eye Strain

Getting enough sleep is also important for keeping your eyes from becoming strained. If you sit in front of a computer all day at work, or you read a lot, or do a lot of driving, especially at night, these types of activities can contribute to eye strain.

With so many electronics taking up space in our everyday lives, it’s not really surprising that so many people experience eye strain. Many people struggle to instill proper boundaries with screen time.

You probably also use some kind of tablet to do your work or read on. That’s in addition to the time you probably spend on the computer or watching TV every day. Your eyes need to rest just like your body and mind do in order to keep going and functioning properly. Sometimes that means turning off all the electronics, lying back, and resting your eyes for a bit.

Many medical professionals recommend that to avoid eye strain you should get plenty of sleep. Also, rest your eyes occasionally throughout the day just by closing them for a few minutes at a time. While it won’t do any permanent damage to your eyes or vision, eye strain can cause temporary blurriness and mild pain.

Get More Sleep

In order to keep your eyes strong and healthy, it’s imperative that you get plenty of rest. Some people have difficulties falling asleep at night. Other people are just so busy that getting to bed at a decent hour is a chore in and of itself. To help you fall asleep easier, you can try a few different home remedies that are said to cause sleepiness.

Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed to help you relax. Try reading a book; any book will do, although if it’s a boring book, it might help you to fall asleep faster! Reading a physical book rather than scrolling through your phone or tablet ensures that you aren’t looking at blue light before bed, either, which will help improve your quality of sleep. Cut the sugars and caffeine out of your diet a few hours before bed, too.

Once your lights are out, make sure you’ve blocked out any light from the street with curtains or blinds. You can diffuse some lavender essential oil while you sleep to keep you relaxed and comfortable all night. Also, make sure you’ve adjusted your room temperature to be cooler at night, as this will help promote better sleep.

Proper Nutrition for Eyes

Besides just getting more sleep to improve your eye health, you can also try daily eye vitamins. Certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs, like those found in our Ocu-Plus Formula, have great benefits for your overall eye health. These range from reducing strain to improving your vision. Your eyes get tired just like the rest of your body, so eating right and getting enough sleep will help improve eye health.

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Join or Start the Discussion

  1. Amazing article Tyler! Many people do not realize how important sleep is for their eyes. A good tip to get enough sleep is to set proper timings for going to bed and waking up. Your body would soon get accustomed to the pattern and sleep on time.

  2. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen mh says:

    Have you any info on EMF and vision and/or what products would be helpful?
    Eyemask? bracelet? etc?

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About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.


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