January 30, 2023
Sleep is an essential part of life for all living organisms, including humans and animals. It is a crucial aspect of overall health and well-being, making it vital to get enough sleep to function optimally. Sleep is a time when the body and brain rest and repair themselves.
Scientists and researchers know that lack of sleep affects the body negatively. However, the exact impact on specific body organs is not entirely known. One organ where we know sleep has quite a bit of impact on is the eye. Sleep is essential for good eye health, and lack of it can lead to complications.
What Is Enough Sleep?
The amount of sleep considered enough varies with a person's age. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should sleep for seven to nine hours per night. For children and adolescents, the recommended amount of sleep is higher, ranging from nine to 10 hours for school-aged children and eight to 10 hours for teenagers.
It is essential to note that these are just general guidelines. The amount of sleep appropriate for an individual may vary with age, lifestyle, and overall health. Some people may feel well-rested and alert with less sleep, while others may need more sleep to feel rested and alert.
What Happens When You Sleep?
Here are some of the things that happen during sleep:
The Brain Becomes Less Active
While you sleep, the brain becomes less responsive to external stimuli, and activity decreases.
The Body Becomes Less Responsive
During sleep, your body becomes less responsive to external stimuli, and movement decreases.
The Body Relaxes
When you are asleep, the muscles of your body relax, helping reduce tension and promote relaxation.
The Body Repairs Itself
During sleep, the body repairs and regenerates cells and tissues, helping maintain physical health.
The Brain Processes and Consolidates Memories
During sleep, the brain processes and consolidates memories, helping strengthen them.
Hormones Are Released
During sleep, the body releases hormones, such as growth hormones, essential for growth and development in children and adolescents.
Sleep and Eye Health
Getting enough sleep is vital for overall eye health. During sleep, the body repairs, and regenerates cells, including cells in the eyes. Adequate sleep can help reduce the risk of developing certain eye conditions, such as dry eye and age-related macular degeneration.
In addition, sleep can help reduce eyestrain and fatigue. It is expected from prolonged periods spent looking at screens or performing other tasks requiring sustained visual attention.
Can Lack of Sleep Cause Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a condition in which the eyes fail to produce enough tears or produce tears that are not of the right consistency to lubricate the eyes properly. It can cause symptoms such as dryness, itching, and redness of the eyes.
Some evidence suggests that sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality may be linked to an increased risk of developing dry eye. It may be because sleep plays a role in the production and maintenance of tears. So, in all, sleep only benefits the body and without it, you may find yourself experiencing uncomfortable symptoms!
For more on whether lack of sleep can cause dry eyes or to learn about our dry eye treatments, call East Main Vision Clinic at (253) 780-0700 today.