Losing an Hour: How Lack of Sleep Affects Your Eyes

eye health, eye strain, lack of sleep, sleep deprivationIf you find yourself tired at work right now, you’re not alone. In fact a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study finds more than 40 million American workers get fewer than six hours of sleep per night- that’s about 30 percent of the country’s workforce (Source: CBS News).

Most of us are aware that not getting enough shut eye can be harmful for your body; however, you may not know that a lack of rest can be hazardous for your eyesight. While lack of sleep is often blamed for dark circles under your eyes, not getting enough rest can interfere with your overall eye health.

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Studies have shown that the eye needs at least five hours of sleep per night to properly replenish. Without that time, eyes cannot work at their full potential. One common side effect of lack of sleep is eye spasms. Eye spasms are defined as involuntary eye twitches that occur when you have a spasm in your eyelid. These involuntary spasms are known as myokymia.  Eye spasms should not be painful or do damage to your vision; however, they can be very aggravating and disruptive. Avoid eye spasms by making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep per night.

Over time, lack of sleep can lead to serious ramifications on your vision including popped blood vessels due to eye strain. Additionally, a shortage of sleep can cause dry eye, a condition when tears do not adequately lubricate your eyes. When dry eye sets in you can experience some pain, light sensitivity, itching, redness or even blurred vision.


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Eye Strain: What to Do at Work

Dry eye can be dangerous: 7 ways to treat and prevent it