How Lack of Sleep Affect Your Eyes

Living in a fast-paced world, we’re often overwhelmed with life’s demands. Stress, anxiety, problems of the day can weigh on us until we sacrifice one of the most important factors for our overall health—sleep. Losing sleep can be detrimental to every part of our being, including our vision.

Many health issues can arise from not procuring adequate rest, and so it shouldn’t be surprising that sleep deprivation can negatively impact your eyes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night for the best health and wellbeing and short sleep duration is defined as less than 7 hours of sleep per 24-hour period. The CDC also reported that more than a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

How can lack of sleep affect my eyes?

The old wives’ tale that not procuring enough shut-eye can cause dark circles under your eyes is actually a fact. Experts agree that there’s a direct link between the loss of ZZZ’s and the dreaded “bags” under the eyes. A decrease of sleep promotes the increase of retention of blood and fluid around the eyes, creating a dark tint.

Because the eyes require a constant supply of tears, another negative factor that can originate from a shortage of sleep is dry eye. This occurs when tears don’t satisfactorily lubricate the eyes which can trigger pain, light sensitivity, itching, redness. 

Myokymia is another ramification of sleep deprivation. This is an involuntary, repetitive twitch which occurs because the muscles that control the eyes are fatigued. In fact, lack of sleep is one of the primary causes of eye spasms.

A study, published in 2008, revealed that sleep deprivation can cause tunnel vision which is can be extremely dangerous when driving.

Some repercussions of sleep shortage can be hazardous to your vision including popped blood vessels due to eye strain. 

Other effects due to lack of sleep include:

  • Double vision
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Burred vision

What can I do?

The obvious answer would be getting enough shut-eye. Studies have shown that the eye needs at least five hours of sleep per night to properly replenish. To improve the quality of your sleep it’s important to eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, exercise earlier in the day, and eliminate external stimuli such as lighting from phone screens or lap tops. Essential oils, like lavender and valerian root, have been known to promote sleep. You can also incorporate relaxation techniques, like yoga, to promote healthy rest.

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Distress or Chronic Stress

Distress or chronic stress is uncontrollable, prolonged, or overwhelming stress. Once stress becomes distress, the body manages to survive though not always to thrive. For example, when faced with periods of chronic stress, the body’s immune system function is lowered, and the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems no longer function the way they should. In a state of distress, the cells of the immune system (and other body systems) are unable to respond normally and produce levels of inflammation which increase the risk of further health issues.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis refers to your body’s ability to regulate itself and maintain a comparatively stable internal environment despite external and internal conditions and events.

Your body is designed to be in a state of homeostasis, where all the systems within are functioning optimally.

Stressor

Stressor is anything that is perceived by the body as challenging, threatening or demanding.

Health Story

In the context of My Wellbeing Compass, your “Health Story” represents the combination of your dis-eases, conditions, symptoms and the history that binds them together. It is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. Unearthing and resolving the root causes at the core of your Health Story is the only way to truly rewrite this Story.

Natural Self-repair Mechanisms

The body is made up of intelligent, living cells that are dynamically connected. They communicate and just know what to do and when to do it in any given situation. They grow, replicate, repair, and age. Every 90 days, the body has a new bloodstream; every year, it manufactures billions of new cells; colon cells refresh every 4 days; the skin is entirely regenerated every 2-3 weeks; white blood cells regenerate in about 1 year; the liver renews itself at least once every 2 years; and the skeleton replaces its cells entirely every 10 years.

You are an incredibly complex, interactive, and dynamic living organism that is well-equipped with self-repair mechanisms that can fight infections, eliminate toxins, fix damaged DNA, destroy cancer cells, and even slow down aging.

This natural self-healing ability (also referred to as cellular intelligence or body’s innate intelligence) explains spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable” diseases.

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