Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Eye Health: An Examination of Complexity and Connection

Sacrificing sleep can cause a chain of effects, especially its strong influence on ocular health, which can appear as dark rings, eye redness, and uncontrolled eye twitches. This is not merely a hypothetical thought; it’s a fact for many, such as the 25-year-old IT worker Disha Bangera from New Delhi. Her demanding work schedule and repeated night shifts left her dealing with dry eyes and ocular tiredness, finally linking the root cause to sleep loss. 


Muscular Fatigue: A Byproduct of Sleep Deprivation

The eyes, often seen as an extension of our brain, are subject to strain when short of sleep. The eye structure, akin to a lens, is managed by the ciliary muscle. As we focus on close items, these muscles tighten, and they relax when we study things at a distance. However, these ciliary muscles find relief in rest only during sleep, according to Dr. Ashwin Santosh Shetty, a senior optometrist at Aster CMI hospital, Bengaluru. The lack of knowledge during sleep offers a much-needed break for our eyes, similar to how our body muscles re-energize. 


The Invisible Impact of Sleep Deprivation

The effects of sleep loss on eyes remain an under-explored area. Aside from long-term vision problems, sleep loss can result in puffy, tired-looking eyes, a burning feeling, redness, and eye twitching, as noted by Dr. Winston Padu, a retina expert based in Bengaluru. The Sleep Medicine magazine released a study in 2015 showing a clear link between dry eye syndrome (DES) and shorter sleep lengths or lack of sleep.


Sleep Deprivation and Dark Circles: An Unwanted Alliance

Sleep loss can lead to an increased blood flow in the veins under our eyes, resulting in a dark blue hue. This, mixed with the fluid gathered due to lack of sleep, can make the under-eye area look big or swollen, as per Dr. Shetty. Employing easy measures like the 20-20-20 rule during computer time or meditation can add greatly to keeping eye health.


Ayurvedic Insights for Eye Health

Sleep loss can have a significant effect on our eyes, as per Dr. Kavya Kadapi, an Ayurvedic expert and senior physician at Yukti Ayurveda, Bengaluru. Ayurveda, the old health system, stresses the link between gut and eye health, and how our food habits can affect our vision. This is particularly noticeable in people with chronic gastritis. 

Ayurveda offers several methods for keeping eye health, including washing eyes with triphala water, drinking of triphala, and rubbing cow’s ghee over closed eyelids. Dr. Kadapi also stresses the value of consuming ghee in the morning, time fruit intake properly, lowering sour (acidic) food intake, and consuming food rich in Vitamin K for better eyes. 


In conclusion, sleep loss can lead to eye strain, bloating, dark rings, and itchy eyes. Experts suggest limiting computer time, utilizing blue-light blocking glasses, and exploring Ayurvedic treatments for eye health. Despite the complexity, the link between sleep loss and eye health stays clearly clear.

Leave a comment