The Relationship Between Eyes and Sleep

The Relationship Between Eyes and Sleep

a man sleeping in a bed

Do you need to rest your eyes? How about a little shut-eye?  


It is no coincidence that we close our eyes when we are resting. There is a strong correlation between eye health and proper sleep, but many of us do not consider how our eyes will be affected when we get less than optimal rest.  


You may notice that after a late night with little sleep, you experience dark circles under your eyes and puffy or droopy eyelids. 


Proper sleep is fundamental to our overall health and well-being, and that includes the health of our eyes.  


In this post, we will explore how a lack of proper sleep can affect your eye health. Keep reading to learn the importance of a good night’s sleep. 


Quality Sleep is Important to Maintain Healthy Eyes and Vision 


Diet and sleep are two of the most important factors when considering eye health. Today we will be looking at the importance of quality sleep and its effect on eye health. 


Here are some of the top benefits healthy sleep gives your eyes.  


Sleep Reduces the Risk of Dry Eye 


We spend an unprecedented amount of time staring at screens. This can cause dry eyes because it reduces the number of times we blink our eyes.  


Blinking is essential for refreshing our eyes and producing tears. Lack of sleep also can lead to dry eyes.  


If you are overly tired, you may notice your eyes feel scratchy or itchy.  


A study published in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science found the following: 


“Short sleep duration and poor quality are both significantly and independently associated with symptoms of dry eye.” 


There is a Link Between Glaucoma and Sleep Disorders 


Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, and short sleep duration are linked to elevated glaucoma risk (an eye disease that can lead to loss of vision). Studies have shown that adults who report cognitive problems during the day resulting from sleepiness are more likely to have glaucoma-related visual field defects.  


In addition, patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have a higher level of progression in their glaucoma when looking at visual field loss and retinal nerve fiber loss on OCT testing.  




  • People who slept for 10 or more hours a night were three times more likely to have glaucoma-related optic nerve damage than those who slept 7 hours a night. 

  • People who fell asleep in 9 minutes or less, or those who needed 30 minutes or more to fall asleep, were twice as likely to have glaucoma than those who took 10-29 minutes to fall asleep. 

  • People who said they had trouble remembering things because of daytime sleepiness were twice as likely to have visual field loss than those who said they were not sleepy during the day and did not notice memory problems. 


Sleep Apnea and Your Eyes 


Sleep apnea, a common sleep condition that is often found in overweight adults, is a risk factor for glaucoma.  


You must get regular eye exams for many reasons. One reason is that your eye doctor can spot signs of sleep apnea during a routine exam. Changes in your retina, eyelids, or vision, can all be indicators of sleep apnea. When sleep apnea is treated, these symptoms are often reversible.  


Prioritize Your Eye Health with Oxford Family Vision Care 


Keeping your eyes healthy is one of the best choices you can make.  


That is why it is so important to regularly have your eyes examined by a trained optometrist who you can trust. For the best eye doctor and eyewear in Butler County, look no further than Oxford Family Vision Care.  


At Oxford Family Vision Care, we care about your eye health. We offer you and your family eye exams, eyewear, and all your eye care needs conveniently located in Butler County (only a short walk or drive from the Miami University campus!) 


If it has been a while since your last eye exam, then it is time to reach out to Oxford Family Vision Care today! 


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