A good night’s sleep leaves you feeling refreshed and restored. While you sleep, your body performs important restoration functions. Like the rest of your body, your eyes depend on you getting enough sleep in order to work their best.
What Happens When You Sleep?
A lot of important diagnostic and repair functions take place without you even realizing it while you sleep. Everything from muscle and connective tissues, to sensitive nerve cells, enjoy a form of renewal as you slumber. What’s more, sleep is the time when long-term memory is organized, various chemicals are restored to normal levels, and the immune system gets a boost. With so many important things taking place while you sleep, it’s no wonder that getting enough sleep to let these tasks complete is necessary for good health.
How Your Eyes Benefit
What are some of the ways that your eyes benefit during sleep? For one, your eye cells are restored, and healthy eye cells lead to healthier eye function and better vision. If you don’t sleep long enough, some of the symptoms you’ll likely experience include eye spasms and dry eye syndrome. Spasms are annoying; they can reduce vision and get in the way of the many things we have to do each day, including driving, using the computer, and reading. Symptoms of dry eye also impair quality of life, with itchy eyes, blurred vision, and eye fatigue making it difficult to focus on anything but the distracting eye discomfort.
When you get enough rest, your body has ample time to restore and renew your eyes, leading to better, clearer eyesight, improved eye lubrication, and healthier nerves and tissues in and around your eyes. With proper sleep, you’ll also experience fewer eye-related headaches, and you’ll likely find that your vision is clearer both during the day and at night.
How Much Is Enough?
Every person is different, and some people need more sleep than others to function optimally throughout the day. It’s generally regarded that getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night is ideal for adults; teenagers may need more, and young children require more due to their growing bodies. Your general practitioner or your optometrist can help you determine how much sleep you should be getting based on your age and other factors.
Tips For Getting The Sleep You Need
If you feel you’re not getting enough sleep, here are some things to try:
- Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom. When it’s too hot or too cold, you may find it more difficult to sleep. Run a fan on a low setting, or open a nearby window a crack, to create air flow and increase the comfort level of the room so you can sleep better.
- Turn off the computer early and read a book instead. Electronics keep the brain stimulated, making it a challenge to wind down and fall asleep. Instead of using your computer, tablet, smartphone, or television right before bedtime, turn off all your electronics and instead read a book.
- Try relaxation techniques. Whether it’s a hot bath, a meditation session, a soothing cup of herbal, decaffeinated tea, or anything else that you find relaxing, try it right before going to bed.
- Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. If they’re not, then the discomfort may be preventing you from getting enough sleep. Replace your old, worn mattress, or if your mattress is still good, buy a couple of just-right pillows.
- Watch what you eat before bedtime. Heavy meals or rich desserts can keep you up longer than you’d like. If you get hungry right before bedtime, try a light, healthy snack instead.
Your Eye Health
Your overall eye health depends on getting enough sleep, the right nutrients in your diet, and regular eye tests and checkups. Your eye doctor will evaluate the condition of your eyes and offer suggestions to improve both health and vision quality. If you would like to improve your vision, or you have questions about your eye health, make an appointment with Spectrum Eye Care today. We offer a full range of eye care services for the whole family, and we serve the greater Colorado Springs region. For your convenience, we can even schedule back-to-back appointments for you and your child. Call us today!