Why do I always feel tired? A question a lot of us are asking.
If you’re like a whole lot of Americans, getting more sleep was likely on your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2016. And while your motivations for packing in some additional Zs might vary, chances are, you just feel a whole lot better when you’re well-rested.
Additionally, getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night also helps you keep your immunity up and can reduce your risk for various diseases and condition. If you needed one more reason to curl up in bed, we’ve got it for you; it’s good for your eyes as well!
Here are a few things you might not know about sleep – and your eyes!
Always Feel Tired? Your contacts could be sabotaging your shut-eye.
If you’ve ever come home from a late night or exhausting day and been tempted to throw yourself on the bed without completing your nightly ritual, you could definitely be doing yourself a disservice.
Believe it or not, failing to remove your contacts will not only put you at risk of getting an eye infection (about one million people in America visit the eye doctor each year with infections due to poor contact lens hygiene), but it could also keep you from “seeing” all the benefits your time asleep could give you.
Contact lenses sit directly on the eye, so they naturally decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches your eye from the outside world. When you leave your contacts in, the length of time your eyes are deprived of oxygen is prolonged, leading to infection, inflammation, abrasions and other damage – not to mention discomfort that could keep you from getting a restful night’s sleep.
No matter how tired you are, take a moment to take the contacts out.
The screen is keeping you awake.
If you’re in the habit of getting in bed, then reaching for your smartphone, you’re a lot like many Americans that always feel tired. That said, what you may not know is that that tiny screen could be sabotaging your quality of sleep.
Young couple with smartphones in their bed
Your body relies on natural “cues” to tell it when to wake and sleep – light being a major one (this is why we sleep during the night and wake during the day). Smartphones and other electronic devices – like laptops, TVs and tablets – emit blue light, the same kind of light provided by the sun.
While you may know the difference between your cell phone and the sun, your brain may be a bit more confused. As the light is emitted, your brain signals the body to stop making melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. This can lead to insomnia or convoluted sleep cycles and will make you always feel tired.
Sleep deprivation makes you look bad.
You know how you feel when you haven’t had enough sleep. But how you feel is often reflected in your overall appearance – and your eyes don’t lie. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll likely experience red, bloodshot eyes, dark circles, annoying eye twitching, dry eyes and even blurry vision. A lack of sleep can also cause you to strain as you read or work at the computer, causing headaches and tension and make you always feel tired.
It affects your total health.
We care a lot about the health of your eyes, but we’re also concerned with your overall health – and that’s where sleep is absolutely crucial. When you are sleep deprived on a chronic basis, that “sleep debt” can contribute to many unhealthy conditions, like weight gain, depression and high blood pressure.
It can also increase your risk for a variety of serious diseases, including heart disease and stroke. And, of course, your overall quality of life stands to suffer. The lack of motivation and focus you feel when you lose sleep contributes to overall lost productivity, which can make you feel frustrated and depressed.
You already know sleep is important to how you feel; this year, keep in mind that it’s also crucial to the health of your eyes and your overall wellness.
Here’s to a more restful 2016!