a brown and white dog laying on top of a bed next to a teddy bear.

Are you getting enough shut-eye?

Are you getting enough sleep? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2014, 32% of North Carolina adults are getting less than 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour time period. That’s a lot of tired people in our great state! And, we’d be willing to bet that statistic has not improved in the last 6 years.

March 1-7, 2020 is designated National Sleep Awareness Week. Getting adequate sleep, no matter your age, is very important for you overall health and your eye health.

Yes, not getting enough sleep can affect your eyes. Sleep is when our eyes have a time to rest from all the stimuli they are constantly taking in while awake, and work on tear production to help keep our eyes lubricated. So, can lack of sleep affect your eyes?

Bags and/or Dark Circles under the Eyes – mainly related to fluid retention and paler skin which allows for the blood vessels to be more visible.

Dry Eyes – when we sleep, our eyes work on tear production and lubrication. When this is disrupted, we may experience dry eye symptoms such as itching, gritty/irritated feeling, redness and/or discomfort. Dry eye will also affect the quality of our vision – tear film is the first structure of the eye that bends light to focus on the retina.

Difficulty focusing – not only do we have muscles that control the movements of our eyes, open/close our eyelids, but the iris and ciliary body of the eye have muscles that control the amount of light entering the eye and control accommodation. Not enough sleep can impact the ability of the eye muscles in focusing on objects, reading material, etc.

Eyelid twitching – who hasn’t had the dreaded eyelid twitch? Lack of sleep, stress, too much caffeine are a few things that can cause an eyelid twitch. Twitches generally are short-lived and are more annoying than anything else. However, there can be other neurological causes of lid spasms which should be evaluated by your eye doctor as soon as possible.

The take home message – as an adult aim for 7+ hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Not only will your body thank you, your eyes will too!

If you have noticed changes in your vision, or you want to protect your eye health, call Kelly Eye Center 919-282-1100 to schedule an appointment!

Life is beautiful, see it clearly!