We can never say it enough: sleep is vital to help your body stay healthy and energized. Sleeping helps keep your brain alert. It also helps support your body for the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Getting enough sleep is also vitally important for your eyes. Now it is the perfect time for them to recover from your daily activities. Let's find out what our eyes do when we sleep.

Eye hydration during sleep

Efficient tear production relies on a delicate balance of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. This balance can be seriously disturbed by a lack of sleep. This is why sleeping approximately 7 to 9 hours per night can help treat eyestrain and can help reduce the feeling of dryness our eyes feel after a long day.

Rapid eye movement when we sleep

Nighttime is the natural recovery period for your eyes. But it wouldn't be entirely accurate to say that your eyes are completely at rest while you sleep. While the rest of our body is motionless, the muscles in our eyes continue to function.

When we are actively dreaming, we enter a phase called REM (Rapid Eye Movement). During this phase of sleep, the eyes make jerky movements. These types of movements are among the fastest produced by the human body, reaching angular speeds of 900 degrees per second! REM is a mysterious phenomenon that scientists are still trying to better understand.

Blue Light and the Sleep Cycle

Do you look at your phone before going to sleep? We bet you do: who doesn’t? When we look at digital screens late at night, we are exposing our eyes to unnatural blue light that can disrupt our ability to sleep. In fact, it is beneficial for our eyes and for our whole body to limit the time spent in front of a screen before falling asleep.

Although this is not always possible, try to keep your eyes off all screens about 30 minutes before you go to bed. This will help your body and eyes get better rest during the night. And during the day, you can protect your eyes with TrueBlue glasses whose lenses filter blue light. These glasses are suitable for adults and for children. Ask a healthcare professional for more information.

Your eyes are still active while you sleep. However, they are nice enough not to bother your brain with the information they pick up in order to help it rest better. In fact, the connection between your eyes and your brain needs to reboot when you wake up. It can take up to 30 seconds for the brain to recognize that you are awake. That's why you don't see complete images right away when you wake up.

If you feel like your eyes always feel sore and dry, it might just be because of a lack of sleep. Or, your eyes may not be getting enough rest during the night. Do not hesitate to ask your optometrist at your local IRIS store for more information about other ways to help maintain good eye health.